Wednesday, 18 May 2016

May Update

After 2 hours cleaning
Well, firstly I'll start with the news that for the first time in at least six months HQ was a hog free zone for three whole days. Yes three days! So I took the chance and gave the shed a real deep clean, much to the annoyance of the spiders who had taken up residence over the winter.

I received this update from one of our fosterers (Elke) about our three legged hedgehog Poitkey (an African three-footed pot - named by Helen Pringle our fab vet at the A120 Medivet).

"Every evening between 9.15 and 9.20 pm Poitkey comes out from under the shed and walks straight to his feeding station, where he munches away at the cat food we have put out for him. He is eating with devotion and even switching the dining room light on, does not stop him from eating. All we generally can see is his pointy nose rummaging for the best morsels (chicken flavour is the best!) and sometimes I think he is even laughing at the cat who is looking on enviously. It takes  him about 5-7 minutes to eat about ½ of the food and he always leaves some for later. Once he has made an hedgehog-appropriate mess in the box and wiped off his feet on the newspaper at the exit, he is off back into the direction of the shed, either for a nap or perhaps even to go further afield?

Because he left us late last year in the autumn and he is walking with surprising agility, we first thought that a different hedgehog that had found his/her way into our garden. We tried to see how many legs it had at the April weigh-in, but he did not want to cooperate and had rolled himself into a protective, but grumpy prickly ball with only his nose sticking out. However he was a healthy 772g

We then went for the David Attenborough approach to sit behind dark windows [the hide] to see him coming to the feeding station. After various observations by two diligent observers, it was then confirmed that there was a left leg missing. So we concluded that it was Poitkey as there can’t be many of those where we live.

As we are not nocturnal we then have to go to bed and never see him return from his adventures, but every morning all the food has disappeared, so we conclude that his back under the shed dreaming happily. We feel envious that he seems to have such a good life, but the hostas and other plants, usually victims of various pests including slugs and snails, show not one slug nibble, so he repays his board and lodging with his scary presence and keen appetite.


As you can see poor Percy had a waist - not good for a hog
This poor chap came to us a few weeks ago via the Bishop's Stortford Veterinary Hospital.  Although almost 600 grams and no outward signs of illness or injury he was extremely thin. As you can see from the photograph he has a waist  not something a hog should have. He'd obviously had a very difficult winter (like many of the hedgehogs we are hearing about). He has been putting on a small amount of weight but he's still not quite right. So yesterday (17th May 2016) he was taken to see Helen who gave him a lungworm injection. He has another two to go and we find that by the second one they really do start to pick up. So once he's a little better he'll be going out to one of our short term carers.

Look at all that lovely body fat and those healthy bones
Bones came in to us late last year. He was thin and had an elastic band around his throat (if you ever see one of these or a hair band etc. on the ground please pick up, break and put into a bin). Thankfully it hadn't cut into his skin but it had been on there for quite some time. He was X-rayed and it was discovered he had very low bone density, probably he was not eating very well because it just so uncomfortable to do so. Although we tried to keep him awake he decided he was going to hibernate, so he spent a lovely winter snoozing with our longest serving volunteers Di and Rob. I'm glad to say that after a second X-ray yesterday (it was a very busy hoggie day) he was given the all clear and he has been returned to the wild. 

Our latest resident was found out and about on the 17th May. She has been treated for fleas (no they don't all have fleas I promise you) and she is going to be observed over the next week. If all seems well she is going to stay with Di and Rob for a while and once she reaches 600 grams she'll be released into their garden. We'll then keep our fingers crossed she comes across the lovely Bones or one of the many other males who visit the garden and makes a new friend

Last but not least please remember it's baby season now so take care whilst gardening and if you don't already at least do so put out some clean water for them. However a little food is also always welcome. For advice on what to feed them just click on the 'feeding' button along the top.  

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