Late last autumn, the GF found an injured hedgehog in her garden. It was missing its left back leg.The reason for this wasn’t clear: a rat bite maybe, or injured by a strimmer in someone’s garden, or perhaps it had got tangled in some plastic netting and got its leg trapped? It was never clear what had happened. Anyway the leg was infected, and stinking (yuk)! This hog was not going to last the winter. So she put the hog in the straw and newspaper-filled rabbit run with water and some food with some antibiotic in it. She’s a vet btw. She kept the little hog fed through the winter, and gradually the wound healed. Of course, the leg didn’t regrow…. so now this was a three-legged hedgehog. The other day it was time to release the hog back into the wild. You can see the hog in the video, scuttling off with a very lop-sided gait, thanks to the missing leg.
In the clinic we see all sorts of lop-sidedness, and you can see this when you are out and about in town watching people go about their business. Look at the lady in the above video swaying from side to side as she walks. This is a typical gait of someone who has wear and tear in both of their hips. She probably needs both of her hips replacing, really. The side to side sway put a lot of load onto the spine and pelvis, quite commonly resulting in the low back pain that brings people in to see us in the clinic. It’s great to see how improving flexibility and strength helps people to function with less pain and continue to do the things that they like to do.
Hopefully our hop-along hedgehog will continue to explore the back gardens of the neighbourhood. We haven’t seen him back in the garden yet, but there are regular visits by other hogs. For more information about how to make your garden more hedgehog friendly, visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s website. Our hedgehogs need all the help that they can get!