DCSIMG

Notes from Tiggywinkles: It’s a stitch-up!

Stitched up hedgehog

Stitched up hedgehog

  • by Les Stocker, founder of St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham
 

Tiggy’s is world renowned for its work with hedgehogs.

I believe that we have seen everything that could happen to a hedgehog.

But you never know.

Hedgehogs seem to be the masters of the unexpected and unexplained injuries.

In particular we are regularly presented with casualties where it seems that all the hedgehogs skin has been ripped off.

It may be caused by a strimmer, a lawn mower or even a big dog – we seldom find an answer.

Luckily the makeup of a hedgehog means that the whole skin is so loosely attached to the rest of the body that a massive skin wound would not necessarily kill the animal.

In fact many will plod on as though nothing has happened.

Luckily a hedgehog’s skin is so loosely attached that a good stitch up job once more produces an intact hedgehog.

All right, it’s not that simple.

The cleaning and preparation of the wound and surrounding prickly skin can take quite a time as can the painstaking amount of sutures needed to pull it all together.

But with antibiotics and painkillers the hedgehog can heal and then plod away without a backward glance.

In fact, I so remember my first ‘strimmed’ hedgehog.

Back in the early days in Pemberton Close.

I sat up most of the night putting ‘Patches’ back together. Sadly he had lost some of that mantle of skin and could not roll up after he had healed.

But he did live a full life with us where he did not have to roll up.

We have just today, taken in another ‘query strimmed’ hedgehog from Carrington Road.

A large wound stretching from his nose and all along his side needed cleaning and suturing.

Our vet Viki stitched up this latest ‘Patches’ who could even roll up afterwards.

Whatever happens he will carry on as though nothing has happened.

 

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