Friday, February 15, 2008

Choggy's getting better!

We have been treating and looking after a hedgehog for the last 3 weeks and he's really improving. It's so great to see. I need to take a photo of him soon - haven't taken a before photo. He was such a sad sight when we first found him. He had hardly any spikes left, only a small spot right at the bottom of his back and his was all scabby and scaley with some raw areas. Poor little guy and the worst of it was he had maggots all over him and in his ears. Heaps of them! His ears were just a horrible while swirling mass of maggots. UGH! It was horrible, he was getting eaten from the inside out. Chris thought that he was so close to death it was kinder to chop his head off with the spade. It would be quick and he would be out of his misery. It made me sad to think so but I agreed, I wanted to give him some milk first though. Well, when we gave him a drink he gobbled it all up frantically and I said we couldn't kill him, he must be ok to drink that hungrily, Chris agreed and off I came inside to search the internet. After some research I learned that he has mange (a very bloody severe case!) and the fly-blow isn't actually that uncommon, in fact it's common. So I read up on how we should treat him, while shouting out bits and pieces to Chirs - first thing was taking the milk off him and swapping it for water! I always remember being told as a kid to give hedgehogs milk because they like it, well this is true - they love it, but it's not good for them. So while he was frantically drinking water, Chris was cleaning him with a water and savlon solution I'd made and then started the horrible task of picking all the maggots off him and out of his ears. God Chris is a bloody good person! I couldn't get too close because I nearly vomited when I did, I'm not the best with yucky things at the best of times - when pregnant I'm just gonna vomit everywhere. After a long de-maggoting he was washed again and we put a mixture of tea-tree oil and baby oil all over him, the tea-tree oil to kill the mange and baby oil to soften his scaley bits. He's been eating a bowl of cat biscuits a day along with drinking a bowl of water a day - he's put on heaps of weight and looks so much better. Chris had to de-maggot him twice more after that time while the horrid little things made their way out of his ears. He also got a horrible hole in his head that was maggot infested a week or so after we found him. So his box has had a sheet over it and tucked in to keep the bastard flies out. He lives in a box in the woodshed and I'm sure he feels a billion times better. Apparently the spikes can take a month or so to grow back, but his skin is looking good, he's got more condition and he's moving more - horray for Choggy! I'll post a photo of him soon.