Hedgehog stuck in Christmas bauble

trevor's week - injured hedgehog
trevor's week - injured hedgehog

A baby hedgehog had to be rescued after being found stuck in a Christmas bauble at Isfield near Lewes.

Kathy and I were called out by staff at the Laughing Fish Pub after they discovered the baby hedgehog in distress with something attached to its back.

Despite being our day off, we are always on call for emergencies and those incidents which need more experience. Being the closest ambulance we attended as the condition sounded fairly serious over the phone. We soon found that the object on the hedgehog was actually a Christmas bauble in the shape of a little red apple, with a hanging loop for attaching to Christmas trees.

The loop of the bauble went round the hedgehog’s back and belly, clearly the young hedgehog must have managed to get its head and left leg through the loop at a very young age and as she grew it became more and more tight. You could smell the infection and it was clearly in need of urgent help. There is no doubt that this would have killed the poor little creature sooner or later.

We rushed the 186-gram hedgehog to Henley House Vets in Uckfield where Veterinary Nurse Jenny Pike RVN and Vet Chris Hall MRCVS attended to her. She was given a general anaesthetic in order to clean and treat her wounds better. I have never seen such an unusual cause of a ligature wound and pressure necrosis on a wild animal before.

We see similar wounds caused by elastic bands, snares and netting but not caused by a small Christmas bauble before. We have now named the hedgehog “Izzy” after being found at Isfield, and she has been admitted to WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith, Izzy will need daily monitoring and her wounds cleaning.

Luckily there is already granulation tissue developing. We just hope she is strong enough to survive the treatment and that we can get on top of the infection.

We now have three foxes in care and two others came been in care last week too. This poor little mange covered fox came into care after a call from Sussex Police reporting a fox trapped in a basement courtyard in St Leonards. Rescuer Dave attended on site and managed to catch the fox. The poor creature is being treated for sarcoptic mange and hopefully will make a full recovery.