This poor guy came to us all blown up like a puffer fish. This condition is quite rare, we have only experienced it once before, many years ago, it’s called balloon syndrome due to the hedgehog inflating like a balloon.
This condition is the symptom of something more serious, such as respiratory tract damage or a gas build up from a gangrenous wound. The balloon condition is caused by gas building up under the skin.
The first and foremost treatment we have applied is to release the gas, hedgehogs have been know to literally explode from a gas build up. We have achieved this by venting out the gas via a hypodermic syringe, we have now had to do this four times. The last venting was at midnight last night, this morning there has been no further build up and so we can move on to bring him back to health. As we do not know what the cause is, it is now antibiotics, anti-inflammatory painkillers and a waiting game.
This photograph was taken at midnight last night, just before we vented him for the last time. You can see the extent of the expansion of his body, the darker skin should actually be his underside, here you can clearly see how expanded he is, so much that he could not roll up into a ball.