Hi all, I haven't dropped off the end of the earth. Honest. LOL Just been busy as I know all of you will be too.
We are still very much looking after hedgehogs here. And just when I thought we were going to have a bit of a break(one should never think that I am learning) we received an older female with some head wounds to look after. When the family brought her here I thought hmmmmm she is rather large. I examined her and found the wound on her ear and the scabby bit on her nose. I thought hey up that could be ringworm again. We just finished up treating two of our rescues for ringworm. :( It is very difficult to get rid of on a hedgehog. Well anyway, it isn't ringworm thank goodness. But instead a puncture wound, the poor girl. I think her wounds are from a dog bite. But from dog bitten hogs I have seen in the past she has gotten off lucky. Usually dogs will keep attacking the thing that hurt them. This one must have gotten a prickle in the mouth and dropped her but not before wounding her. Well I have been diligently cleaning her wounds and Sue and Caroline both advised I get her some antibiotics. So we took her to our vets for a check up and to get the antibiotics.
I have decided I believe very much in serendipity. While we were there and the vet examined her. I mentioned that I thought Lola could well be pregnant. The vet lit up and asked if she could do an ultrasound on her. I was a bit dubious thinking oooooh what will this cost. And my lovely vet said her treat. She hadn't done one on a hedgehog and wanted to give it a go. We managed to shave a tiny bit of fur off her belly and I held her while the vet ran the probe over her stomach. The vet, the assistant and my self immediately started grinning and I told Brian to come have a look. There on the little screen was a wiggly baby hedgehog!!!! We definitely saw one and there possibly was a couple more, but it was hard to see and not stressing Lola, we ended the session. What an experience that was. Well knowing that has helped big time as now I know I can't treat her for worms until after the birth and after the hoglets are bigger. Also it spurred me on to get her a nest box set up in her cage. This was on a Thursday.
We returned home with our precious cargo and I returned her to her cage. And then set about finding a nest box for her and setting the room and cage up as a maternity ward. I had a hard time sleeping that night and kept thinking I was hearing paper rustling about. I got up checked and didn't see or hear anything. Came down and had breakfast. Brian put the dry fleeces he had washed in the room and said Lola was out of her box. So I went up and gave her her meds and treated her wounds. I also cleaned her cage and gave her fresh food and water. In changing the cage I noticed what looked like some sort of fluid and blood. Hmmm I think she has had them or is having them.
I left her alone, making sure the room was cool enough for her. And then went in to give fresh food in the evening. And there she was laying in the door of the nest box with her head propped up like a pillow she looked up at me with sad tired eyes. And I saw it!!!! A tiny little baby hedgehog nursing.
This is a first for us, though I have raised up babies in the past myself this is a first for a female in our care giving birth. Changing soiled bedding outside the nest box this morning(Saturday) and putting fresh food in..... We noticed two babies!!! I told Brian he could come in while I changed the food and bedding and see if he could see one too. He was so happy and excited. :) But we quietly left the room and went downstairs and then grinning said how wonderful!!!!