A hedgehog who ballooned up like a football due to trapped gas is on the road to recovery after being “popped.”
The critter inflated to three times his size due to a rare condition called “balloon syndrome,” where gas, usually caused by bacterial infection secondary to trauma, gets trapped under the skin. Without immediate treatment, hedgehogs can go into shock from the condition, which can prove fatal.
A concerned member of the public recently found Bubbles the hedgehog, named because of his condition, wandering around a busy road and realized something was amiss. The Good Samaritan brought the prickly patient to Henlow Veterinary Centre in Bedfordshire, Inglaterra, where vets “popped” the animal three times with a needle and syringe as he kept re-inflating to the size of a melon.
Bubbles’ skin was so tight from constantly blowing up that he was also given pain relief and antibiotics to treat the underlying infection. Now eight-week-old Bubbles is under the watchful eye of veterinary nurse Laura Bernal who runs The Little Hog Hospital from her home in Arlesey, Bedfordshire.
“Once the antibiotics started to work, we saw a huge improvement by the next day, and he was able to stay his usual size. He was given an x-ray to rule out any underlying injuries, and luckily that came back all clear. Ele fez, no entanto, test positive for lungworm, so parasite treatment was given,” Bernal said of Bubbles’ recuperação.
“He is responding well to all his medication and is eating like a little pig, so is doing very well. He is one lucky hog,” ela adicionou.
Bernal told SWNS that the veterinary practice she works at regularly receives wildlife brought in by worried passers-by. When local rescues are full, she regularly steps in and takes home any patients that need extra love and care.
“Hedgehogs have always had a special place in my heart as they are full of character, extremely cute, harmless but also so vulnerable. They are iconic in British wildlife, and it’s easy to see how they are a favorite in people’s gardens,” the wildlife lover said.
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“It’s so rewarding nursing them back to health so they can be released back into the wild. The Little Hog Hospital officially started just over a year ago. Contudo, I was taking home the occasional hedgehog to nurse a long time before that,” Bernal added.
Bernal’s efforts to help hedgehogs in need started with a few cages inside her home. Agora, she has a “posh shed” in her backyard equipped to help up 20 hedgehogs at once.
“Infelizmente, hedgehog numbers are dropping due to gardens becoming poorer homes for wildlife with increased paving, decking, and reduced plant life. With more roads and housing developments being built, we’re seeing a huge loss of connectivity between green spaces, leaving hedgehogs isolated,” Bernal said.
You can learn more about The Little Hog Hospital and donate to their efforts here.