The simplest way to tell the difference between an injured hedgehog and a hog that has simply woken to find more food, is that an injured hedgehog is likely to be seen wandering in the daylight. A hedgehog that has woken for more food, or to move from a waterlogged nest will more often stick to the nocturnal patterns. An injured hog may have come under attack from a large dog, been caught by a strimmer, or it may have been hit by a car. If you feel you can adequately handle looking after an injured hedgehog – whether for the day before a rescuer can take them from you or until the hog is back to strength or, sadly, passes away – then it is important to be prepared.
If you are planning on looking after a hog during early December until the winter is over, you will need to weigh the animal. Hogs that are of 600g or above can be left outside to hibernate, provided they are well enough. Otherwise, they will need bringing inside. It is not wise to put the hedgehog in a garage that is being used, as they are very susceptible to exhaust fumes.
Many hedgehogs carry parasites, you can contact your local vet on how is best to tackle these. Ticks, mites, and fleas are incredibly common for hedgehogs to have. There are various ways to be rid of them. If your hog has open wounds, be vigilant and check for maggots as they can also fester away in them.
If you are rescuing a hog with the intention of returning him to the wild – which is what your intention should always be, if you are rescuing a wild creature – then do not attempt to civilise and tame the creature. If the hedgehog still tries to run and hide when you approach, encourage this behaviour. Not all humans will be as friendly toward your spiked house guest as you have been.
Hedgehogs are brilliant animals that need to be preserved as they are quickly becoming extinct. Having a hedgehog house is a great way to keep a hedgehog alive and stop them from being exposed to the general dangers that are present to them in the outside world. They always need a place to hibernate and by providing a safe place there’s no need for them to have to go out into the wild where other animals can attack them and they also won’t have to go into the streets where they could be run over.