This guy came to us today, the member of the public who brought him said, ” I have a huge hedgehog for you”. We soon diagnosed balloon syndrome which, left untreated is almost always fatal.
The hedgehogs literally inflate, as air or gas is trapped under their skin, they inflate so much that they end up like a balloon, and cannot roll up or even walk. In this condition they cannot move, let alone eat or drink and the internal pressure makes it difficult for them to breath.
Balloon syndrome is a secondary issue, the primary being either severe internal infection causing gas to build up, or damage to the respiratory tract.
The first priority is to deflate him, we did this by inserting a Syringe and literally sucking out the air. Now deflated and the pressure off hi internal organs, we can treat the primary cause with antibiotics. The last picture shows how much better he looks after 30 minutes of deflating.
After 30 minutes of deflating him, he can now roll up in a ball and his breathing is much better, but we’ll have to check him every hour now for the next 24 hours, generally we have had to deflate them 3 or 4 times before they have fully recovered.