Wildlife center plans to build a hydrotherapy pool for hedgehogs

THE success of a 2021 video showing a disabled hedgehog receiving hydrotherapy has prompted a wildlife rescue center to come up with a plan for a permanent pool.

The RSPCA Oak and Furrows near Cricklade still care for a wide variety of British wildlife, they are also home to many hedgehogs, some of whom are injured.

The one the staff named Hydro was able to return to the wild after his unusual treatment.

Read more: Hydrotherapy helps injured hedgehog walk again

Hydro, a hedgehog at RSCPA Oak and Furrows, who couldn’t walk properly but was saved by hydrotherapy (Image: RSPCA Oak and Furrows)

Now, building on that success, the charity is looking to build a permanent facility to offer other little victims the chance to rehabilitate themselves in the water.

The center asked people to donate pallets so it could build its own hydrotherapy pool.

In a social media post, he said: “We need your help. The wildlife center team would like to build a Hedgehog Hydro Pool to help injured pig patients recover.

“You may have seen a while ago that we had great success with one of our pigs recovering well from his injuries following hydrotherapy. A real success story.”

Hydro was taken to the center in May 2021 after he was seen struggling to walk and dragging his hind legs.

An x-ray showed nothing was broken and the vet recommended physiotherapy.

Weekend volunteer Jools Janisch-Howe, a qualified veterinary nurse and animal physiotherapist, suggested trying it in water, as hedgehogs like to swim.

She documented Hydro’s progress and after weeks he showed major improvement. Eventually he was able to walk well enough on all four feet to be freed.

She then edited a video and posted it on Facebook where it was shared nearly 1,000 times and received nearly 10,000 reactions and likes.

Anj Saunders, time center manager, said: “It’s gone crazy. It’s really encouraging, and I hope it puts a smile on a few people’s faces. It shows how hard our volunteers work, and there’s hope if they see a hedgehog looking tough it’s not always catastrophic We give everything a chance and try everything to help any animal get better.

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