We have been busy with hoggies here lately. Where should I begin......
Harry2 Update..... Harry went for his second vets visit last Thursday. And Gail his vet was really pleased with his progress. Between the visits I had spent the week trying to build him up in case he had to have surgery, but it looks as though that won't be needed. Gail had also called me mid week to let me know about a medicine I was asking about and to see how he was doing. He went from a dehydrated starving and infected little boy at 496grams up to a healthy, apart from his wound, 920gram hedgehog. :) He has a good appetite and is now being wormed against any parasites that might be lurking inside him. I started out cleaning his wound with camomile tea which I drew up into a large syringe and then flushed out the wound and then I would wipe it down with cotton pads and cotton buds. Gail had suggested some aloe vera gel, but I didn't have any at the time so used Camomile cream and vaseline until I could get some. We picked up some gel and found it must really sting. He would buck and poo when I tried to apply it. So I started mixing up the camomile, vaseline and a little of the aloe gel. This seemed to work and wasn't so painful for him. During the time of giving him his meds and cleaning his wound on his head, I found two more wounds. One in his ear and his poor tail. The tail one is proving a bit difficult to treat as he keeps rolling up into a ball. But I am trying and I am very patient. I have also given him a couple of baths to clean him up and to help keep any infections down. I am keeping his bedding super clean and if he makes a mess it is cleaned straight away. He has had a few trips outside to keep his spirits up and to give him a bit of fresh air and exercise. I think he enjoys the wander round the garden. :)
During the week I also contacted a lady from the Hedgehog forum I belong to. I had read where she had taken in a hedgehog that had a really severe Strimmer injury. He had been named NoFace and I know she had helped him, so I emailed and asked for advice on treating Harry. This information I gave to Gail and she is so brilliant. She read the info and we are now treating him with the same meds that Rachael has used on NoFace. This morning his wounds are still there, but they do look better. :) It is going to be a long time before Harry2 will be fully fit again, but he is doing really well.
He is a right little character too. He is a noisy one. And when he hears me he starts chuntering immediately. At first I thought it was a greeting, but now like another Forum member Clayts suggested it means Ohhhhh no here she comes again... Wonder what tortures she will put me through now!!! Poor little boy. I do feel so sorry for him when I put the meds on him or in him. But it has to be done and he is a good little soul, even when he tries to nip me.
Please everyone just look for hoggies when out mowing or strimming. And frogs and other little creatures too!!
Tiny, Benjamine, and Harry1 Update..... Well Spring has arrived. And these three are raring and ready to go.....
We decided to splurge and buy another soft release pen. And the lovely seller on Ebay sent it to us in a few days time. So we are now a 2 soft release pen family. :) I had Harry in the first pen, and had hoped he would have lost a little weight while he was in it. But Harry likes his food too much and doesn't much care for exercise. He is a big boy!!! And while he was in the pen I fixed the doors on the hutch so that they couldn't get hurt on the wire of the door by putting some wood panels across 3/4 of the door. They still get air and light from the top 1/4 and are safe from harming themselves now. And once that was done then Tiny and Ben went into the hutch. After a week of them all being outside and after the new pen arrived, we moved them again. This time Harry went back into the Hutch, because the other two were ready to be released. And then Ben and Tiny have been in the pens, side by side on the patio. Yesterday, Ben went back to his original home with my friend Linda. She had found him back last autumn on her front door step and now that he is well and fit, he will be released in her garden. :) I know she will look after him as she has been super and has been very helpful bringing me papers for the hoggies and finding me gardens for release and taking an active part in my aim to help the hoggies.
Ben and Tiny will both be released tomorrow night. We try to release on a Sunday night after all the weekend gardeners are finished with the mowing and strimming. This gives the hogs a weeks break of getting onto their feet before they have to be on the alert of this danger.
Since Tiny was found last Autumn here in our garden he will be released here tomorrow night. He is definitely ready as he has been leaving his pen a right mess in the mornings for me to clean.
Once we get the other pen back, then we will connect the two pens and give Harry a huge pen to get some exercise in and hopefully bring his weight down a bit. I won't release him until he can fully roll up into a ball. At the moment a little bit of his tummy shows. I have been giving him exercise and even taken to let him swim around in the bath to help him loose a bit of weight. But he is such a contented little soul that it is a chore to get him do do much exercise at all. I think he would have done better if he would have hibernated during the winter, but we just couldn't get him to do it. He kept waking up after three or four days time. I will need to look into a food that they can eat but doesn't put on alot of weight. I know once he is released he will definitely be loosing some of this weight and not have a problem. So hopefully all going well next weekend Harry will also be ready for release. :)
Now this brings us to the Garden hoggies. :) Brian and I have been excited viewing the night cams videos in the morning and having countless discussions about who is who and glad they are coming round after hibernation. Though the inside guys have been hibernating, they have ready supplies of food and water and warmth just outside their nest boxes. The garden ones aren't as lucky and upon waking they must seek out these things. We have vigilantly put out food and fresh water all winter long here, just in case a hog woke and needed it. We were finding it difficult to keep the neighboring cats away, but luckily Brian's brother and Sister in-law, gave us some hedgehog food for a Christmas present. We started using a bit of this mixed up with the Iams Kitten biscuits that we use for food, and the cats didn't like this!!! :) So a huge big thanks to them for this super present as we now will be cutting back on the food bills here. Our Neighborhood has some of the healthiest looking cats ever!!
Anyway, as you have seen in some of the previous videos the hoggies have been waking up and giving us great amusement and debate. We use a water based Eco friendly tipex to mark them with and this will wear off in time. And some have worn off to the point we don't know who they are any longer. We kept thinking that one of them was Spikey as he was a feisty little boy and so thought that the one we marked with stripes on his bottom was him with out his S mark. But one morning Brian called me down to look at the previous night's tape and there was Mr. Stripey Bottom and a wobbly Spikey. Spikey had woken up from hibernation that evening. So who is Mr. Stripey bottom???? Well we did have Brutus and Gus last year..... But which one is it? And where is the other one? We are still unsure which it is and probably won't ever know for sure.
We noticed on the video that the older hogs were leaving Spikey alone.... This is unusual behaviour, because for the past few nights we have been watching rumble after rumble. Usually poor Tyler being the brunt of the other two's aggression. He has however done a little bit too. But none of them went after Spikey. So we are unsure if it is his age, not sexually mature enough yet to be a threat. Or if he is ill, or just woken from hibernation and wobbly and they can tell this? But it is very unusual in our eyes at the moment. I guess when we get to know more about them, it won't be so unusual.
Last night I decided to check on a few of them so wanted to stay up and grab them from the garden. I had brought Mr. StripeyBottom in for a check up a few weeks back and marked him. But there was a tick I just couldn't get off him, so thought I would get it last night. It was a good thing I did decide to bring him in. The poor thing had 19 huge ticks!!!! They are all now well and truly dead. And he is a happier hedgehog running around the garden now. I think I will be checking them all every other week to keep these ticks under control. I also give them a light dusting of Ridmite to keep the fleas off them. You do have to be very careful on what products you use on hedgehogs as they can end up doing more harm than good.
I also brought in Spikey. And we got 7 rather huge ticks off him. One thing being outside has definitely toned down his attitude. He was a hissing huffing bucking little guy when we released him, and last night he only huffed once. So Brian and I have decided, partly because he has lost about 200 grams and still a little wobbly to keep him in for a little R&R for the next couple of nights. He put on 60 grams almost over night and this morning was a bit more his old self with the huffing and puffing and bucking.
Tyler is doing really well in the garden and so is First(Collin who we think is Headly). Still no sign of the girls. We do keep hoping we will get a glimpse of them one morning when watching the tapes.
Besides the hoggies, we have seen a few more newts and the mice who we think are a little wood mice have been back a time or two. We are also looking after a few squirrels who visit our garden besides all the lovely garden birds.
Hope you enjoyed the update and there will be loads more to follow in the near future. And I will shortly be posting the video of Spikey's return to the garden. :)