15 Aug
Alerts 15/08/2020
This is the first in a regular series looking at Wild Hedgehog Behaviour and Problems as highlighted by specific problems currently seen in Rescue. 

Autumn Juvenile Syndrome: 

Who are they
  • They are this years just weaned Hedgehogs

What is the concern?

  1.  They have become overburdened with Parasites probably due to stress e.g weather conditions, disturbance, increased environmental parasite counts etc.
  2. They fail to find sufficient food at night so appear out in the day
  3. They develop diarrhoea, become dehydrated, disorientated and lay out in the day. They can be wobbly or shake when they walk,  hyperactive or lay unresponsive.
  4. Being out in the day leaves them open to predation e.g Brids (crows), Wild Animals (fox), Domestic Animal (dog) or flies.etc
  5. Left untreated they will die
When does it occur?
  • September to November - although this year we are seeing severe early case now.

What should I do if I see a case?

  • Put the Hedgehog in a high sided box
  • Cover with a towel or similar to reduce stress
  • Add a hot water bottle or fill a drinks bottle with hot water. Cover with a cloth to prevent burns. Treats Shock
  • Contact a Rescue Centre who can give fluids by injection or take to a vet for rehydration. 
  • Do not put to one side in the hope it will recover, call a rescue straight away. 

Veterinary Practices:

Start the process of Hydration. 

  • Warm on a heat pad even if you have a rescue picking up straight away. 
  • When sufficiently warm assess level of dehydration e.g 5%. 10%, 15% etc
  • Give sub cutaneous fluids as per any other dehydrated animal
  • Contact your local Rescue Centre for ongoing care
  • Address fly strike 
  • Stool sample for microscopy, although your rescue centre will do this for you. 

The Vale Wildlife Hospital has information for vets: 

Fluid Replacement Chart

Drug Doses for European Hedgehogs

  Typical 'Rugby Ball Shape' of a sick Hedgehog

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