Sick or injured hedgehogs
However, seeing a hedgehog during full daylight can be a sign that they are sick or injured.
How to tell if a hedgehog is sick or injured
The hedgehog is probably sick or injured if
- There is an obvious sign of injury (like a cut or broken leg)
- It doesn't seem interested in the food you've put out
- The hedgehog is staggering, wobbly, walking around in circles or lethargic
- You can see a large number of flies or ticks on the hedgehog
- You can see any maggots or fly eggs on the hedgehog
- The hedgehog does not roll up or try to roll up when you approach or touch it
You should also help hedgehogs if
- The weather is cold - regular ground frost, snow, or temperatures are at or below freezing for several days
- It weighs less than 300g (about the size of an apple)
- It is in immediate danger, for example on a road
A rescued hedgehog
What to do with a sick or injured hedgehog
Then, take the hedgehog to a wildlife rescue centre. If you can’t do this immediately keep the hedgehog somewhere warm and quiet indoors, and offer them a small amount of suitable food and water. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, sick or injured wild animals are in a very bad state by the time they can be caught, and the kindest thing for the vet to do is to put the animal to sleep, so please be prepared that they may need to take that difficult decision.
Keep in mind
- Always wear gloves if you have to handle a hedgehog, as they can carry diseases like ringworm and salmonella bacteria which can be passed to humans.
- Don't handle the hedgehog any more than you need to because contact with humans will be stressful for them.
- Hedgehogs from the same litter can be kept in the same box if it's big enough.
Hedgehogs in the garden
Hedgehog populations are in decline, find out how you can help hedgehogs in your garden.
If you find a hoglet on their own it's usually best to leave them alone as their parent is probably close by. Find out when it's time to help.