The Secret Eater!

We have a secret eater! Food is prepared and served and when checked later it has gone but the eater has not been observed and is nowhere to be seen. A secret eater!

It’s nothing very dramatic but interesting nonetheless – I have a hedgehog in residence. It’s a case of enforced residence for this poor hedgehog unfortunately. I was walking around the garden on Saturday last and came on it lying in the grass. It had quite a gash in its head – an attack by a dog or a fox, perhaps! – and was unable to react to my presence; it simply lay there and tucked in its head defensively.

Hedgehog (4)
Rather lifeless and unresponsive with an injury to his head. This is after it had been cleaned. 

Flies swarmed around its head – bluebottles or greenbottles, I’m not sure – but they had already laid their eggs on the wound. I cleaned the gash as best I could as the patient was not very cooperative and I removed as many of the eggs as possible though I found maggots in the wound in following days and, though they are unsightly and unpleasant to our sensitivities, I wonder if they have a good function; eating the dead and diseased tissue and so keeping the wound clean.

A box with hay became Hedgehog Sick Bay and hopes rose when I managed to coax it to drink a little water from a syringe. I left cat food in a small bowl and some was taken and more and more on following days though I never saw it come out from under cover – the secret eater!

Hedgehog (3)
Home for the time being!

The wound is healing, the appetite is improving and he took a few steps when I took him out onto grass today. It would seem his leg was also injured as he is walking with a limp and is still generally weak. However, on return to his box and being presented with more food it was apparent that his appetite has certainly returned as he tucked in with gusto – this time in full view!

Hedgehog (1)
A little more alert today  when brought outside for a little while 
Hedgehog (2)
And he went for a little walk, with a bad limp, but it’s a start! 
Hedgehog (5)
After that fresh air and exercise he had a good appetite.

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “The Secret Eater!

  1. Lovely story Paddy and delighted that the little Hedgehog recovered so well. I’m sure he is delighted with life now and lucky that it was you who found him. I rescued a baby Cockatiel years ago, hand reared it and it lived for 12 years! Great feeling 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Fiona, There has been great improvement – good appetite and head wound healing very well. However, as he has opened up I can see that his legs are also very badly injured, very swollen, cut and infected. As he curls up it is hard to clean these but I did manage to clean it up yesterday. One learns tricks to make a hedgehog uncurl. LOL

      Like

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