The sound of people people using a strimmer sets my teeth on edge. I hate them! They do so much damage to wildlife including hedgehogs, frogs and toads.
This is the story of Holly and her journey to recovery from a terrible strimmer wound. She was found at the end of July with her head sliced open, underneath a Holly bush. You can see from the pictures where the strimmer blade has cut deep into her head.
Holly is lucky – a few mm closer and the blade would have entered her skull.
When Holly was found, it was Summer and flies had laid eggs in the wound and hatched into maggots. These had to be painstakingly removed one by one and then the wound washed out with antimicrobial wound treatment and saline.
You can see where the blade has cut across Holly’s head
Flies had laid eggs in the open wound, which had hatched into maggots
Holly was put on a course of antibiotics and pain relief. The wound was cleaned daily to stop infection and a special wound gel was added to aid healing.
Holly’s wound after around 10 days of treatment. It has scabbed over but needs cleaning daily to prevent infection.
Eventually, the wound healed and new spines started to grow through where the wound was.
New spines starting to grow though – around a month after treatment started
Holly fit and well and ready to go back to the wild.
Holly is incredibly lucky. Sadly, injuries like Holly’s are far from uncommon. Many hedgehogs are not so fortunate and strimmer and mowing injuries are a major cause of suffering and death. It also took me 6 weeks of intensive care to nurse her back to health. To help prevent injuries and suffering please:
- Check all areas of long grass carefully before mowing or strimming. Hedgehogs nest in long grass.
- Ideally keep areas of grass long for wildlife and don’t strim at all.
- Encourage everyone you know to check before they mow – a simple check can save hedgehogs as well as frogs, toads and other wildlife that loves to nest or forage in long grass.
I run a hedgehog rescue in York, England and have nursed hundreds of hedgehogs back to health. You can support my work at www.littlesilverhedgehog.etsy.com
My blog is full of tips and advice on helping wild hedgehogs – please take a look around my other blog posts and see what you can do to help our spiky friends.