Help for Rehabbers

Whether you are an established wildlife rehabilitator with a large centre, or a one-man band taking in a handful of casualties a year, if you want any help or advice or you just want to share some tips and ideas with others, this is the place to do it.

One of the biggest problems that I encountered when I first started taking in and rehabilitating wildlife in 1984, bearing in mind that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing at that time, was finding anyone with experience who was prepared to give me any advice. Nobody seemed willing to share their knowledge. Speaking to other people who have set up since then, this problem is still the same today. This attitude does nothing to encourage more people to take up this line of work and certainly does nothing to help the injured wildlife. If anyone new to wildlife rehabilitation needs any help or advice, we are happy to do our best to assist.

Caroline Gould, Vale Wildlife Hospital Founder

 

DOWNLOADS FOR HEDGEHOG CARERS:

Download our charts to help with the care & treatment of hedgehogs. These documents get updated periodically so make sure you have the latest version.

Drug dosages for hedgehogs (last updated January 2017)

Preparing slides & what to look for (hedgehogs) (last updated October 2015)

HEDGEHOG PARASITE TREATMENT (last updated October 2015)

DRUGS TO USE DURING PREGNANCY (last updated October 2015)

FLUID REPLACEMENT CHART

If you would like help to work out the correct dosage of a particular medication, please click the link to see Hedgehog Bottom’s calculator here

Hedgehogs hibernating when in care – maximum weekly weight loss calculator. Link to Hedgehog Bottom’s page here to detailing acceptable weekly weight losses for hedgehogs hibernating in care.

Buy your microwave heat pads and tick removers from our eBay store. We also have a limited number of feeding tips, which fit on the end of syringes – perfect for hand feeding hoglets.

ROUTINE WORMING OF WILD HEDGEHOGS by Tim Partridge B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S

The sight of green poo from a hedgehog seems to cause panic amongst some carers & they immediately reach for a cocktail of antibiotics, wormers & more. This is often unnecessary & can potentially create problems in a previously healthy hedgehog.

Hedgehog facts:

All wild hedgehogs carry worms

Healthy hedgehogs ‘develop’ a resistance (or immunity) to these worms, which means that the hedgehog itself prevents the worm numbers building up to the point at which they become a problem to the hedgehog (so that normally the hedgehog and its parasites will live in harmony)

However, if a hedgehogs immunity is reduced (by, for example, a bad injury, disease, starvation or even the stress of hospitalisation) the worms can then multiply unchecked; this will then result in them getting to such high numbers inside the hedgehog that they DO now cause a problem.

Conclusions:

There is no evidence to suggest that healthy, unstressed hedgehogs in the wild need worming – they are doing a very good job for themselves in controlling their own worm burden.

The stress experienced by a healthy hedgehog (or other wildlife) when brought into captivity is very well proven to reduce its immunity to the point where the natural host/parasite balance is tipped in favour of the parasite (hence why we often see worm egg and larvae numbers in faeces increasing during periods of hospitalisation).

So the act of captivity has just created a problem which didn’t previously exist!……which is clearly not good medicine! Please do not take hedgehogs into captivity purely for the purpose of worming them – you will be doing them a huge disservice.

HAND REARING BABY BIRDS

A few years ago we trialled a new mixture for hand rearing baby birds such as blackbirds, thrushes, robins, tits, finches & starlings. The results were so impressive that we have now changed over to the new recipe permanently:

50gms raw, lean minced beef

25gms Kaytee Exact

13gms ground sunflower hearts

90mls Lectade

Pinch of vitamin/mineral supplement

All this is liquidised for 5-10 seconds & is fed using tweezers, dipping into Lectade before feeding. Refrigerate between feeds & throw away any unused mixture after 24 hours. The mixture can be frozen. Thanks to Lorraine from Middlebank for suggesting this mix.

Over recent years we have seen an increase in the number of hedgehogs (youngsters in particular) developing metabolic bone disease, a crippling disorder affecting the bones, often caused by an inappropriate diet.

When we started looking into where these hedgehogs were coming in from and what they were eating, we realised that they were all from urban gardens and local people were regularly feeding them.

Mealworms were being given in abundance, but so were other foods which can also contribute to MBD such as sunflower hearts.

This is the main, but not the only, reason that we never give mealworms to the hedgehogs in our care: