Tracy and I put the rescue part of the name to the test late this afternoon when we received a call from a concerned member of public about a hedgehog trapped between a foot bridge over the river Allen and the concrete edge of the bank.
On arrival, we saw the hog had his right front leg caught in a gap that was no more than 5mm, and he was hanging by the leg. We tried to lift him straight up, but it was apparent his leg was not going to move, so we re-appraised our plan.
I made a loop in a USB charging lead we had in the car, and I looped this around the hogs front leg, he was gently lifted from below and I pulled his arm up at the same time via the lead.
Once free, it was apparent that he had ‘pop-off’ syndrome, where the orbicularis muscle that runs around the hogs skirt and enables him to roll up pops over their body and bunches the spikes up over the top of their body.
This causes restriction and also gives them difficulty in breathing. You can see how deformed this made him look in the photos.
We rushed him home where he was placed on a heat mat while he was given warmed subcutaneous fluids and an anti-inflammatory pain killer. As he warmed up on the mat, I was able to manipulate his skin back in position by popping the orbicularis muscle back in place.
Though very swollen, his leg does not appear to be broken, which I am very surprised about. He has some scrapes, and is in a bad way due to cold and severe dehydration. He will have tendon and ligament damage from hanging by his leg as his whole bodyweight was being supported by his trapped leg.
He is now in one of out ICU’s and we will be keeping a close eye on him.