Hedgehog ringworm and mange

Ringworm and mange hedgehog
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Ringworm and mange are two of the commonest ailments that I have to treat in the hedgehog hospital. They can make the poor hedgehogs look super ugly and can take weeks, if not months, to cure.

Ringworm and mange hedgehog

Hedgehog with severe ringworm and mange. Ringworm often starts on the nose area and can be the most persistent in this area. He has also lost fur.

Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection. Many hedgehogs will carry this fungus without showing any symptoms. Other illnesses and the stress of captivity can often cause it to develop and it is vital to be constantly vigilant for the signs. A hedgehog that has been doing fine in captivity may suddenly develop ringworm later on.

Ringworm varies in severity from a mild crusting around the nose to large scabbed areas and complete fur and spine loss.

Mange is caused by mange mites which burrow into the skin. It causes a white powder on the skin, often accompanied by fur loss.

Mange mite under microscope

Mange mite under magnification

Ringworm and mange often appear together and I always treat for both simultaneously.

If caught early, the spread of both ringworm and mange can sometimes be stopped. If not, it can take many weeks or months of treatments to clear.

Spine loss ringworm

Spine loss due to ringworm

 

Hedgehog with ringworm and mange

Fur and spine loss due to ringworm and mange. The fur has also been lost from the feet, which would normally be brown.

Identification

Mange mites can sometimes be seen by the naked eye. A skin sample tested under the microscope may also show mange mites. See pic above.

A skin culture may be sent for testing via a vet. This is often required in severe cases, where there may also be other potential skin conditions.

Treatment

There are lots of different treatments available for ringworm and many rescues will select their personally preferred option.

I use an anti-fungal treatment for cattle to bathe the hedgehog, with the frequency varying according to the severity of the condition. Alongside this, I use human athlete’s foot creams, brushed onto the skin gently with a toothbrush. Tea tree cream can also be used effectively in mild cases.

Ringworm treatment video

Mange mites are treated by topical or injected ivermectin, available from a vet.

The treatment can take a long time and it is vital to continually remove crusty flakes to ensure that the treatments can get right down into the deeper layers of the skin. Ringworm can become resistant over time and so I alternate between a number of different treatments.

Eventually, the fur and spines will regrow. I find that they often grow back even thicker than before, leaving a very beautiful hedgehog! You can read Octavia’s story, a hedgehog who recovered from ringworm and mange, here.

octavia completed treatment

Hedgehog following completion of treatment for ringworm and mange with fur and spines regrown

Ringworm in particular can be very debilitating for a hedgehog, especially if they are also suffering from other illnesses. I add a vitamin supplement with zinc to their diet to assist with the growth of new fur and spines.

It is vital to maintain the highest standards of hygiene throughout treatment. Ringworm and mange can both spread to humans and between hedgehogs in the rescue. Gloves must be worn and washed between hedgehogs. All bedding must be washed separately and any chance of cross-contamination between hedgehogs eliminated. Hutches used for infected hedgehogs must be thoroughly cleaned out following treatment.

I run a hedgehog hospital in York. My work is entirely self-funded. You can find out more about how to support my work here.

 

Harry hedgehog – media star!

Hoglet
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Harry the hedgehog was a media star this morning when we were interviewed by BBC Radio York.

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You can listen to the interview via the following link – scroll to 1.50 and 2.44 for my interviews. I’d love to know what you think.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05r2p2w

I run a  hedgehog rescue in York. My work is entirely self funded and you can find out more about how to support my work here.

Silver hedgehog jewellery

silver hedgehog necklace, silver hedgehog pendant, hedgehog jewellery
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I just love hedgehogs! I have always loved them. What’s not to love!?!

My favourite designs at the moment are these gorgeous hedgehog heart pendants with inset gemstones. They are a great gift for any hedgehog lover and are that bit more individual with a birthstone.

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Hedgehog heart pendants with inset pink cubic zirconia, blue zircon and garnet. All lovingly handmade by me

I can also make hedgehog designs with handmade glass beads. I only have a tiny number of these gorgeous handmade glass lampwork beads so they are very special.

Hedgehog heart bracelet, silver hedgehog bracelet, glass bead bracelet by Little Silver Hedgehog

Hedgehog heart bracelet with handmade glass lampwork beads

I also make hedgehogs that can swing from your ears as well as hang from any Pandora charm bracelet.

Silver hedgehog earrings, cute hedgehog earrings, silver wildlife jewellery, silver nature jewellery by little silver hedgehog

Silver hedgehog earrings with purple glass beads

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Handmade silver hedgehog Pandora charm

You can find out more about my story and why I love hedgehogs so much here.

I’ve got a great blog with lots of other ethical gift ideas. If you know of any others that should make the list, please get in touch!

Hedgehog heart pendants, hedgehog heart necklace with inset birthstones, birthstone pendant, birthstone necklace

Plain hedgehog heart, purple cubic zirconia and garnet

I make silver jewellery to raise funds for my work rescuing poorly and injured wild hedgehogs. I create each piece by hand and they are all hand sanded and polished – a real labour of love, just like my hedgehog rescue!

My hedgehog hospital is entirely self funded. You can also support my work here.

Squashing the myth – hedgehogs are full of fleas….

Hedgehog flea
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The phone rings. “Help, I have found a baby hedgehog but I can’t pick it up to put it in a box because it is full of fleas. The fleas will get onto my dog and I have a baby and the baby will catch fleas.”

It’s a myth that all hedgehogs are covered in fleas. I’ve been running a hedgehog rescue for over 5 years and I have seen around 6 hedgehogs in that time that have had fleas. That is out of over 350 hedgehogs admitted. Yet, you’d be surprised how many people say that they cannot help rescue a hedgehog due to the risk of fleas.

The very few hedgehogs that have had fleas have either been incredibly poorly or have been young hoglets that were orphaned some time ago and have been struggling on their own.

In the very rare instance that a hedgehog has fleas, the fleas will not infest your dog, your cat, your house, your baby….. The hedgehog flea (scientific name: Archaeopsylla erinacei) is host specific. That means that it can only live on hedgehogs. It cannot live on anything else.

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The hedgehog flea

“But” I hear you say, “I’ve got a resident hedgehog who visits every night and I often see it scratching….” Well, itches can be caused by many things, just like they can in humans. It is nothing to worry about unless the hedgehog is found out in the day, which is a sign that is is unwell. If it is only seen at night, leave it alone.

What you are more likely to see on a hedgehog, are ticks. These blood-sucking critters also affect other animals and there are many species of them. Hedgehogs are affected by the hedgehog tick (scientific name: Ixodes Heagonus).

Increasingly mild winters mean that ticks are not being killed off and it is quite common and normal to see a hedgehog with a few ticks. One or two will not cause any harm and will drop off naturally once they’ve had their feast.

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Ticks removed from a hedgehog. Notice the variety of sizes and colours – they are all the same species.

Sometimes a hedgehog is found that is absolutely covered in ticks. The ticks can cause anaemia and pass on other infections. Sometimes this is an indication that the hedgehog is sick, likely to be the case if the hedgehog is found out in the day. But lots of ticks don’t necessarily mean that the hedgehog is sick because milder winters mean that fewer ticks are being killed off. The unlucky hedgehog may just have slept in a tick nest and been targeted. But, the ticks will need to be removed to prevent anaemia.

The treatment of fleas and ticks is a specialist job and you can do more harm than good if you try to treat them yourselves. Flea treatments for cats and dogs will kill hedgehogs. If you remove ticks the wrong way, it can lead to infection and disease.

if you find a hedgehog that you suspect to be ill, follow the advice here and remember that a few ticks are absolutely normal and fine…..

I run a hedgehog hospital in York, England. My work is entirely self-funded. You can help me continue my work by supporting me here.

 

 

Custom silver jewellery – as unique as you!

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I love being creative and absolutely love that my jewellery enables me to combine my two passions of making things and hedgehogs. All the jewellery raises funds for my hedgehog rescue work.

As well as my standard designs, I love making bespoke pieces. I can make many things in different colours, sizes and shapes to create something completely unique. I’d love to show you a few of the custom silver pieces that I’ve made recently.

These little silver hedgehogs are my best seller. I can make them plain or patinated black to suit you. Here are some I’ve made with custom bead colours with a touch of patina.

Silver hedgehog pendants silver hedgehog necklaces by little silver hedgehog

Custom silver hedgehogs

This cute hedgehog bracelet was made to a buyer’s design and can be made with different colours of handmade glass beads.

Hedgehog heart bracelet, glass bead bracelet by Little Silver Hedgehog

Custom hedgehog bead bracelet

It’s not all about the hedgehogs! One of my favourite designs (aside from hedgehogs of course!) are these silver birthstone pebbles. Each one is hand-formed and is completely unique. This one is set with a rare pink sapphire but I can also use other birthstones. They make lovely gifts because no two will ever be quite the same. I’ve also made custom earrings to match this design.

Pink sapphire pebble pendant by little silver hedgehog

Pink sapphire pebble pendant

I’ve recently ventured into hand engraving and can hand write a name or word on the back of many of my designs. I just love this engraving on the back of a cat keyring!

Engraving on keyring

I can hand engrave words or names on the backs of many pieces

I can also create bespoke designs to help make jewellery easier to wear. This pendant was created for an older lady who found it tricky to fasten pendants at the back. It has a front fastening loop and toggle, which also looks fabulous!

Front fastening contemporary silver leaf pendant

Pandora bracelets are all the rage and enable you to create a bespoke silver bracelet but my charm bracelets are even more unique. All the charms are handmade by me and I can create a bespoke one just for you with lots of different charm options.

Bespoke silver charm bracelet by little silver hedgehog

Bespoke silver charm bracelet with handmade charms

Fancy something on a different type of chain or maybe even a fabric ribbon? I can create these liberty fabric bracelets in many different shades and patterns. I can also make them as pendants.

Liberty ribbon silver hedgehog bracelet by little silver hedgehog

Custom liberty ribbon bracelet with patinated hedgehog

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little explore through the possibilities of custom silver jewellery. Lots of people don’t realise that I can make bespoke pieces so I hope this helps spread the word.

If you would like a bespoke piece please get in touch via my shop

I run a hedgehog hospital in York, England. My work is entirely self funded and my silver jewellery helps to raise funds for food, medicines and equipment. You can also support my work here.

Thank you for reading!

Love

Emma and the hedgehogs

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Dogs attacking hedgehogs

Wild hedgehog abscess
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I love dogs and I love hedgehogs but sadly I am seeing an increasing number of hedgehogs coming into rescue after being attacked by dogs.

Many hedgehogs are injured by dogs in private gardens and in parks and countryside when out on walks. A number of hedgehogs I have admitted with bite wounds have been from gardens on the edge of city parks. Hedgehogs love to live in the piles of leaves that dogs love sniffing through.

The problem is that dog canines bite deep into the hedgehog. The wound then quickly seals over and can then be hard to spot. Many people let the hedgehog go again thinking that it is okay. Then, up to several weeks later, abscesses appear when the deep wounds get infected.

A hedgehog with an abscess will struggle due to the infection and then often succumb to other problems, such as an increased parasite burden and it is a downward spiral, ending up with the hedgehog struggling and then being seen in daylight (when they are nocturnal).

There is also usually more than one infected wound – all four canines will normally puncture the hedgehog.

Abscess

Hedgehog with an infected abscess on its face caused by a bite wound

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Hedgehog with a burst abscess. This hedgehog had 8 abscesses caused by individual puncture wounds from teeth.

Treating abscesses requires a lot of TLC. The abscesses will have to be cleaned daily. Deep abscesses may also have to be drained by a vet. The hedgehog will have to be put on a strong antibiotic.

Although dogs are a major cause of bite wounds, there are also other animals that can attack them, including foxes and rats, although rat attacks are rare. Cats don’t tend to cause problems for hedgehogs.

The best way to prevent dog attacks and dog bite wounds in your garden is to ideally keep the dog out of the garden at night. If you do need to let it out, then keep it on a lead. Always check for hedgehogs first. Turn an outside light on before you go out, which will also help to encourage any hedgehogs to move away.

You need to be particularly vigilant if your dog has attacked a hedgehog before. It will likely do so again.

If your dog does pick up a hedgehog when you are out on a walk, it is always best to get the hedgehog checked over by a rescue, particularly if you see any blood on the dog or hedgehog.

As well as attacking adult hedgehogs, dogs can also disturb hedgehog nests so it is particularly important to be vigilant around the breeding season from May to September. You may have a hedgehog nest in the garden that may be disturbed by a dog even during the daytime….

If you have an injured hedgehog, there is information about what to do here

I run a hedgehog hospital in York, England. My work is entirely self-funded. You can support my work by making a donation or purchasing my handmade silver jewellery that raises funds for my hedgehog work.

I am pleased to say that both the hedgehogs featured in these images have made a good recovery.

Hedgehog courtship behaviour

Wild hedgehogs courting
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It is that wonderful time of year when hedgehogs are courting. You’ll hear them before you see them – they make a really loud ‘huffing’ snorting sound that can keep your neighbours awake at night! Courting generally happens between April and September but, milder weather means that litters are now sometimes being born even in Winter.

David Attenborough sums it all up perfectly

Hedgehogs normally have four to five babies. They stay in the nest for around 4 weeks and then will accompany mum on foraging trips for around a fortnight, before leaving to go off on in their own directions.

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A female hedgehog with her baby on my patio

It is very important to avoid disturbing a hedgehog nest because mum may kill or eat her babies. Avoid garden maintenance, such as removing sheds or outbuildings, during the nesting season. If you do disturb a nest accidentally, cover it straight back up. Do not touch the babies. Check from a distance to see if mum returns. If she does not and you hear ‘peeping’ (like a baby bird noise) from the nest, the babies are in need of rescue. Seek advice from a hedgehog rescue urgently. Do not touch the babies with your bare hands and you need to keep them warm.

I run a hedgehog rescue in York, England. My work is entirely self-funded. To support my work please visit www.littlesilverhedgehog.etsy.com. You can also follow my hedgehog rescue stories at www.facebook.com/littlesilverhedgehog