rescued 3 July 2010
released 7 August 2010
This little bundle of mischief was discovered in a car park in Grantham during the day, but was in danger of either falling down a drain or getting run over.
Harry was severely underweight and dehydrated. He was approximately 4 weeks old and weighed just 74g (about 36g light for his age). His eyes were open, and he had a full set of prickles and fur. He also had a flea infestation, but a very light dusting of Rid-Mite soon sorted that annoyance out for him.
He was able to lap for himself on admission, so no syringe feeding was ever required. At first he was fed every three hours, then this was decreased to four hourly. From 12 July, supervised feeds were halted all together, as he was able to search out food for himself, and help himself as required.
He was on rehydration fluid for the first 24 hours of his stay, which he took to readily. He graduated to a mix of milk replacement powder/rehydration fluid by the afternoon of 4 July, and was happily guzzling down 4ml at a time.
From 5 July his diet was changed to a mix of fennel tea (to prevent bloat, a common problem in hoglets), milk replacement powder and Hills A/D (a convalescence food for poorly cats and dogs). From 7 July, the fennel tea was removed and replaced with boiled water, as he was toileting successfully for himself without any signs of complications.
From 10 July he started lapping water from a jamjar lid and from 11 July he discovered a passion for dried mealworms. He was weaned off the milk replacement powder on 22 July and quickly progressed to kitten food on its own, after two days of having it half and half with A/D. He also started feeding on IAMS kitten biscuits.
Despite increasing to 88g within 12 hours of arriving, his weight dropped over the course of the next 24 hours to 73g. This was due to his stomach having to deal with food, and then expelling most of it again !
From 6 July onwards, his weight started to increase by approximately 10-20g per day. His weight on 30 July was 528g, prior to going into pre-release.
He quickly became lively when put on heat for the first time. He was being kept on a heatpad, but decided from 7 July he no longer needed its services, so this was removed. He was very lively and inquisitive – he started to huff and puff, and to curl up when approached. He was caught self-anointing on 6 July. He did have a furry stuffed mummy hedgehog for company, but he booted her out of his hidey-hole on 9 July. As each day passed, his independence increased markedly and, as mentioned above, he no longer required supervised feeding, as he would help himself as required (his daily weight increases indicated he was doing rather a good job of it too !). He stopped coming out during daylight hours, and would run a mile when his cage was cleaned, which was brilliant to see. He hissed every time I went near him, which boded well for his future life in the wild.
Harry moved to pre-release on 30 July 2010 and was released back into the wild on 7 August 2010, so excited was he that he forgot to eat his tea ! He now lives in Snape Wood and continues to visit the garden.