I have been breeding African Pygmy Hedgehogs for 6+ years now and even though I have had some destroyed litters and two abandoned litters, there are things that can still happen as the story of this little girl and his sister goes to show.
This little girl was born to a first time mum along with her other special sister. From day one, her mum made no attempt to build a nest and from the sounds of the babies squeaking constantly, I think I knew that something wasn't quite right.
It is important to remember that disturbing a mother and her hoglets is never encouraged, but with experience, there comes a point where sometimes you have to bite the bullet and check on what is happening.
This fist little one has had three of her four feet bitten off by mum - now, this could be down to over zealous cleaning on birth, or the fact that the babies were wriggling all over the place and mum was simply grabbing them to pull them back to her - pure guess work as to what happened.
You can see from the first photos that the wounds had scabbed over and that the hoglet appears to be well in every other aspect but at this point I was really in a quandary as to what would be best for her.
My options were:-
1. To take her to my vet for a professional opinion on her chances of a normal life - to do this at such an early stage in a hoglet's life runs the risk that mum could abandon/destroy her if they were parted.
2. To monitor her development and make an informed, educated decision as to what would be best for her.
I decided on the latter choice, the wounds were clean and her best chances of survival would be for mum to continue to feed her and look after her.
I have continued to monitor her progress over the last few weeks and although I would say she is behind in her development beside her sister, she is coping very well.
The scabs have started to fall off and she is managed to walk really well on her stumps - I have noticed that her teeth do not seem to have come through as yet as they would have done in a hoglet of her age, but I am pretty confident that she will catch up.
She is a delightful girl and should things continue to go well for her, she will be placed in a loving home with a new mummy or daddy who will give her the time, patience and love she so rightly deserves.
Money is not the issue cases like these, finding the right home that suits her needs is the important factor and I am glad that I made the decision to give her every chance of life x