Hog needs boot to protect stitches

This week I can help you catch up on things that are happening at the Rollo Centre in Berwick as I am just back from holiday, the past three weeks' jottings having been sent in before we left.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 10 February, 2016, 12:14
Our injured hedgehog.

The swan that had an awful bite wound on its side is very much improved.

Before I went away, we needed to clean and dress the wound daily.

Now, it is being done three times a week, which is much easier on the swan – and on us as we hate having to make the bird uncomfortable.

She is a very well-behaved swan, and we are able to clean the wound and apply gel to encourage the healing without anaesthetic, which makes the process much less traumatic.

She also is having antibiotics and painkillers daily. She would very much love a bath, but we are having to keep her in a dry pen to prevent infection.

Hopefully, a few more weeks of treatment will mean she can go into one of the ponds.

Before I went off, we were treating one of the hedgehogs that developed an ear infection.

The animal’s right ear was very swollen and full of pus.

It turned out to be an abscess. We were treating it by bathing and cleaning it daily.

The hedgehog was also given painkiller and antibiotics.

It was taken to the vet later as there seemed to be no improvement, and the vet had to operate as the infection was deep in the ear.

When she returned to us, Kay was concerned that the hog would scratch the stitches and rip them open.

Sure enough, the following day, the stitches had been ripped out, together with the drain the vet had put in to keep the wound clear, and the wound was gaping open, so back up to the vet we went for slightly thicker sutures to sew up the wound.

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These thicker stitches lasted two days, I think.

The vet then used good strong sutures, and for the third time the hedgehog was returned. Kay was ready this time.

She fashioned a little bandage boot for the hog’s hind leg.

This has to be replaced quite often as she tries to pull it off herself. It also gets very messy.

The wound has stayed together, however, so the boot is doing its job. None of this seems to bother her, although she does not like being anaesthetised when her new boot is fitted.

She is eating very well and putting on weight.

She is due to be seen by the vet again this week, so I will report on her recovery next week.

Sadly, she will have no hearing on her right side, but she should be able to cope in the wild.

The photograph shows the less pretty side of the hog.

We currently have 31 hedgehogs at the centre.

At the moment, we have 14 hibernating. The rest are inside still awake.

Further updates on how they are getting on will follow in next week’s Swan Notes.