NOTES FROM TIGGYWINKLES: Herbie is a survivor

I know we are world-renowned for our work with hedgehogs and I apologise for keep going on about our little prickly neighbours.

But every now and then a hedgehog comes along with the courage, strength and fortitude, in spite of the most overwhelming odds, that has me telling the whole world why I am such a supporter of hedgehog care.

Herbie, as I have named him now that he seems to be out of the woods, came into the hospital as a horror-show with some of the worst injuries we have ever seen.

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It really did appear to be hopeless, but after some first aid and painkillers Herbie was trying to run off the table.

At first we had thought that he might have to be put down but we know how stoic hedgehogs can be, willing us to give him a chance.

The massive wound around his neck looked like his head was only held on with one slither of skin.

But hedgehogs are lucky; their outer skin with all the spines is quite loose over their internal body.

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Thankfully Herbie’s main body had not been injured so after a thorough cleaning with povidine we could pull the loose skin forward over his back and re-attach it to his head with sturdy stitches.

That was enough for now, only a quick x-ray that showed, would you believe it, Herbie had a broken leg.

Surely only a hedgehog would be tough and resolute enough to carry on.

A quick plastering to hold the fracture allowed Herbie to tear across his warm ICU pen to eat every Whiskas kitten biscuit he could find.

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Herbie was now the intense concern of everybody at the hospital, all of us quizzing the night duty nurse: “How is Herbie?”

Every morning brought the encouraging news that Herbie was fine, eating well, showing no sign of discomfort from his bandages and sutures.

He is eating like a mini-horse but is losing a bit of weight, I suppose only to be expected in the circumstances. But I know that Herbie is a survivor, a true hedgehog. 
I am glad we gave him that chance.

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