When to help a hedgehog;
If the hedgehog is out during the day (at any age)
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, sleeping during the day and foraging for food at night. They will only come out during the day if there is a problem. Any hedgehog found out during daylight must be taken to a wildlife rescue centre. The only exception to the rule are large female hedgehogs in the summer and autumn. Pregnant or nursing hogs may come out to find more food but generally you will not be able to catch them as they will be moving fast and obviously large and healthy. If you are unsure about the condition of a hedgehog, please ring your nearest rescue centre for advice.
If you see a wobbly "drunk-looking" hedgehog out either in the day or the night
Dehydration can cause hedgehogs to look "drunk" when they walk. If you see a hedgehog staggering, or wobbling around either in the day or night, pick it up, place it in a softly lined, secure box and call a wildlife rescue centre.
If the hedgehog is asleep away from its nest or "sunbathing"
Hedgehogs only sleep and hibernate in specially built nests; they do not usually sleep out in the open, and they do not sunbathe. If you find a hedgehog lying in the middle of a garden or path, pick them up immediately and put them in a softly lined, secure box. Hedgehogs are in danger of fly strike when lying out in the open (Fly strike occurs when flies land on the hedgehog, lay eggs, and the eggs hatch into maggots, which begin to eat the hedgehog alive). Fly eggs can look like tiny grains of rice, or grass seeds, and are often in clumps around the face or back end of the hedgehog. Do not wait to see if it gets up and moves on. Pick it up immediately and call a wildlife rescue ASAP.
A single baby hedgehog out at night
Juvenile hedgehogs live in family groups in nests. Tiny babies will only leave a nest if there is a problem. Young hedgehogs may make a very loud, squeaking noise if they are in distress. Quietly watch the little hedgehog to see if it is alone, or if has just wandered off from it's family. If it appears to be distressed, or no other hedgehogs can be located, pick it up, place it in a softly lined, secure box and call a rescue centre for advice.
If the hedgehog has been hit by a car
Hedgehogs are often hit by cars, and can suffer a variety of injuries, they must have medical assistance immediately.
If a leg appears damaged
Injuries to the legs can present in different ways. The hedgehog may struggle to walk, or be unable to fully roll up. The hedgehog may drag a leg behind it as it walks. Injuries to legs can often be treated, including fractures. Pick the hedgehog up carefully, place it in a softly lined, secure box and contact your local wildlife rescue as soon as possible.
If the hedgehog has open wounds
These can become infected and will not heal without assistance. In the summer months it is extremely common for hedgehogs to suffer from fly strike. An injury places the hedgehog in even more danger of this. (Fly strike occurs when flies land on the hedgehog, lay eggs, and the eggs hatch into maggots, which begin to eat the hedgehog alive). Fly eggs can look like tiny grains of rice, or grass seeds, and are often in clumps around the face or back end of the hedgehog. If you find an injured hedgehog it is important the it receives care as soon as possible. Call your nearest rescue centre ASAP.