Rescue Repair Release
The aim is always to rehabilitate and release hedghogs back into the wild where they belong
Rescue and Repair
Most Hedgehogs are found by people who are alerted to unusual behaviour seen out during the day
Many have serious visible injuries due to traffic incidents, dog/animal attacks, garden machinery particularly strimmer's and mowers and also garden spades and forks.
Others are simply displaying unusual behaviour this can be for a variety of reasons such as dehydration, poisoning, starvation worms, fluke or a concealed internal injury.
On arrival Judy will assess the immediate situation any Hogs which are clearly unable to be helped and are suffering will be taken to Dartvale Vets to be painlessly put to sleep.
Intakes details will be recorded and they are given a name - an identity. The finder details are taken, where they were found and injury assessment. Rehabilitation treatment begins immediately - they will be given sub-cuts where necessary, they will be weighed then given water, offered food and given a fleece nest. If needed they will be incubated (for warmth) and given antibiotics and pain relief. Judy will closely observe newcomers sometimes sitting up all night to feed or monitor sick Hedgehogs.
A faecal sample will be taken to assess for worms and fluke and other parasites.
Such is Judy's experience and knowledge she is able to make a very good immediate assessment. She is also in close contact with the BHPS and Vale Wildlife as well as other local rescues such as South Devon Hedgehog Rescue (all links below) - sharing information and knowledge is key to the repair and rehabilitation of the hedgehogs as is working closely with local Vets Dartvale whose expertise and compassion is invaluable to rehabilitation. Sometimes only an xray and discussion with Judy will uncover whether an injury can be repaired so that the Hedgehog can be returned to the wild.
Once fully repaired the hedgehogs are released back into the wild where they belong to live a productive life and hopefully prevent the further decline in hedgehog numbers.
Once repaired the Hogs have to reach a certain weight. This is variable depending on the time of the year human contact is gradually withdrawn until the Hog is ready for release. We rely on the behaviour of our local Hedgehogs to decide when to stop releasing in the Autumn/Winter. After this time all hedgehogs are overwintered until spring. If you are interested in helping with the overwintering please go to the what can I do tab or click on the link below.
All treatment and care comes at a great cost and whilst Judy and Alan have borne most of the expense in the past, Prickles in a Pickle has become so busy that in order to provide rescue and rehabilitation for so many a new hospital room is being built. Donations and help is needed to improve facilities and continue the wonderful and vital rescue work started by Judy and Alan.
Every contribution received goes directly towards helping the survival of hedgehogs. All donations are gratefully received.
Hedgehogs make wonderful elaborate nests with all sorts of natural materials.
Our hospital cages are cleaned daily and lined with newspaper then a fleece. A nest box is provided with fleece bedding Often a Hedgehog will build out of the newspaper- such as this impressive structure
Suitable Hedgehog Food
Cat /Kitten biscuits
dog/cat wet food
5* Room service
B&B Hospital Rooms
Essential weight information
A lot of information is gathered by the weight of a hedghog. Sick hedghogs are weighed daily. A hedghog for release should be a healthy steady 750 grammes plus.
Tinsell was rescued and brought to us in Dec 2019. She was in a very poorly state and we believed at the time she may have lost an eye. Her spines were sparse and she had no tummy fur. She was given fluids, wormed, fed and incubated
but such was her condition that we fully expected her to slip away, comfortable at least and without pain. However, Tinsell had other ideas. Day by day under Judy's care she became stronger and two months later with two functioning eyes, fur growing on her tummy her skin condition being treated daily It soon became apparent that she is an old hog and in this instance she would not thrive if released into the wild - she will therefore spend her retirement safely with Judy and Alan.
Tinsell had a good Summer in the Prickles in a Pickle safe garden until she passed away. Her story as written by Judy is available to read on the Prickles in a Pickle Facebook Page.
Bill (or Belle as he was known for a couple of months!) came to Judy and Alan with an horrific strimmer injury which had sliced his back from one rear leg to the other. Once admitted and assessed (s)he was taken to Dartvale Vets for examination under sedation. Claire cleaned and debrided and stitched the wound then back to Judy for rehabilitation. Antibiotics, pain relief and daily wound washes continued for some time with some touch and go scares with reinfection and concern over one rear leg and whether Belle/Bill would be able to live a fully functioning life in the wild.
May 20th 2020 - Bill has made a full recovery he weighs an impressive 850kg and is undergoing the release programme he will be back into the wild by the end of May.
A truly inspiring story of care and repair and release for one more little Hog.