In something that feels like it’s straight out of a cartoon, a real-life British hedgehog had to be popped with a needle after he blew up like a balloon!
The wild hedgehog in question was brought to a veterinary clinic earlier this June, since he had been unable to put all his legs on the floor due to the bloating. His condition was later diagnosed as the rare “balloon syndrome.” A condition that involves an infection that leads to gas collecting under the skin, requiring the victim hedgehog to be “popped.”
The hedgehog, who would was soon named Monty after his condition, a play on the Montgolfier brothers who invented hot air balloons, was found with blood on his snout, and stumbling around in circles, when he was eventually taken to Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Nantwich, Cheshire.
Monty had to be put under anesthesia while being treated.
According to the BBC, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Inspector Sandra Dransfield released the following statement: “It’s the worst case of balloon syndrome I’ve seen. This poor chap was almost twice its natural size, literally blown up like a beach ball with incredibly taut skin.”
The animals was taken to a veterinary clinic where he was X-rayed and the air from under his skin was released. Monty was then given antibiotics and pain relief. He was lucky to be found at that point in time, since the pressure from the built up air could have been fatal for the little fella.
After being treated, which involved being pricked by a needle, Monty is back to his old self again, and is currently expected to be put on a diet of cat food, mealworms, and dry biscuits. It is hoped that he will be released back into the wild sometime in two to three weeks.
According to Metro, Lee Stewart, who works as a manager at Stapeley Grange, explained that the hedgehog looks much more normal than when he first came into the clinic.
“It is rare that we get hedgehogs with balloon syndrome, particularly this severe, so it has been interesting to watch his progress. It will be great to see him returned to the wild,” Stewart said.
Cover Photo: Brinsley Animal Rescue, Jon, via Wikimedia