All Puffed Up

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All puffed up
11th July 2017

By Karen Pickwick

A hedgehog found wandering around in circles ‘blown up like a beach ball’ has been diagnosed with an extreme case of balloon syndrome.

A member of the public discovered the animal, which had doubled in size, in Toll Bar, Doncaster. She called the RSPCA and told them the hedgehog was dragging its back legs and she thought it might be pregnant.

RSPCA inspector Sandra Dransfield said she quickly realised the animal had the rare ‘balloon syndrome’, when gas collects under the skin of the hedgehog making it inflate like a balloon.

It can be caused by an injury or infection, which releases gas into the cavity under the hedgehog’s skin.
“It’s the worst case of balloon syndrome I’ve seen,” Sandra told The Evening Standard. “This poor chap was almost twice its natural size – blown up like a beach ball.”

The hedgehog was X-rayed and air was released from under its skin.

This was followed by a course of antibiotics. The RSPCA said the hedgehog will continue to be treated at its centre in Cheshire for the unusual condition until it is ready to be returned to the wild.