I Found A Hedgehog..What Should I Do Next ?
Release & Leave Alone
When to Leave it Alone
The Hedgehog is in its nest - Hedgehogs sleep all day in their nests. If the nest has been uncovered, cover it straight back up and please don’t disturb it further.
Over 800 grams in winter
As long as it isn't out in daylight or 'sunbathing' on your lawn, leave it alone and it will hibernate when it's ready. If you wish to help it, you can put food and water out each day.
'Orphans' in the nest
Never disturb a nest of babies, the mother may abandon or kill them. Sometimes the nest has already been disturbed and mum has gone or been killed. If you think this might be the case, keep an eye on the nest to see if she returns. If there is no sign within a couple of hours and the babies are making noises, wear gloves and place the entire nest in a cardboard box and get them to rescue or vet immediately.
Do not try to rear them yourself. Babies are notoriously difficult to feed and toilet correctly and they need somebody who knows what they're doing to get them over the hump. Under NO circumstances try to feed them milk.
A nest in your shed or garage
If it's not in any danger and it's not causing you any problems, then leave the hedgehog where it is. Make sure it can get in and out by itself, look for holes or gaps.
The hedgehog appears dead
Please do not bury it until you are 100% sure it is dead and not sick or hibernating. A hibernating hedgehog will be very very cold, it's rarely breathes and when it does it's shallow. There is unlikely to be any movement, but it won't smell of decomposition. If in doubt contact a rescue for further advice.
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When to Contact Hedgehog Rescue Blackpool
If you are not located in Blackpool, Wyre or Fylde area, please contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801 and they will give you the details of your nearest local rescue. Or visit "a rescue near me Help Wild Life Map" visit https://helpwildlife.co.uk/map/
In the below circumstances, please do not give food, just water only.
The Hedgehog is out during the day
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, sleeping during the day and foraging for food late evening through to early morning. If they are out during the day, there may be a problem. If it seems to have a purpose and is going somewhere, or has a mouthful of leaves, it is probably fine. Otherwise a hedgehog found out during daylight should be restrained in a box or cage indoors, then call a rescue for advice.
The Hedgehog is asleep in the open
Hedgehogs sleep and hibernate in specially built nests. If you find one lying in the middle of a garden or path, assume they are ill and call a rescue immediately.
A baby or babies (after surveillance)
Baby and young juvenile hedgehogs live with mum and siblings in nests. Tiny babies will only leave a nest if there is a problem. Young hedgehogs will make a very shrill, loud, call if they are in distress. It sounds like an indoor smoke alarm.
Hit by car or dog / animal attack
Hedgehogs hit by cars or attacked by dogs, and can suffer a variety of injuries, they must have
medical assistance immediately.
A leg appears damaged or is dragging
Fractured legs are easily treated, and this does not necessarily mean the nearest vet who may well amputate or euthanase.
Dragging both hind legs
This can indicate a spinal injury. Handle the hedgehog very carefully. If possible, carefully slide a board or stiff piece of card underneath it.
Cold Winter - under 800 grams
Hedgehogs need at least 20% body fat to survive hibernation, any animal under this weight will need to be housed indoors for the whole of the Winter. If you see a small one, day or night, when the winter is setting in and night time (3am) temperatures are below 5℃ please pick the little one up, weigh it. If it is under 800g, pop it in a deep box, get it indoors in the warm, somewhere nice and quiet, then call your nearest rescue for further information.
The Hedgehog has open wounds
These can become infected or fly blown and will not heal without assistance. Urgent attention is required as the animal will be suffering from shock.
The Hedgehog is caught in netting
Take the Hedgehog to a wildlife hospital, carer or vet immediately, complete with the netting. It must be cut out and will need to stay in hospital for at least seven days' observation, in case of further complications.
Any "apparent" injured orphan
Any young hedgehog that has an injury, or is out during the day, should be taken to a rescue for a check over.
How to collect and rescue a hedgehog
If you have found a hedgehog you are concerned about please use gardening gloves to collect it up, bring it indoors and put it in a high sided cardboard box with an old towel or fleece in the bottom for the hedgehog to hide under. Fill a hot water bottle so that when it is wrapped in a towel there is a nice gentle heat coming through and put that in the bottom of the box with the hedgehog, ensuring it has room to get off the bottle should it get too warm. Make sure the bottle is always kept warm (if allowed to go cold it will chill the hedgehog and do more harm than good). If the hedgehog is bleeding, please do not add a hot water bottle as this will make it bleed more quickly. Put the box somewhere quiet. Offer fresh water then call a rescue as soon as possible for further advice.
Food and Water - Rescue Advice
NEVER attempt to feed a dehydrated, collapsed, or unresponsive animal, by putting food and water in its mouth, you will kill it when it inhales what you have given onto its lungs. You can offer a shallow dish of water or re-hydration fluid but giving food to a dehydrated animal may kill it. The body takes all the fluids away from the vital organs to digest the food and the animal collapses. Under NO circumstances try to feed them milk.