Bear the Hedgehog

20th January 2019

When ‘Bear’ was brought into us, his finder wasn’t sure what he was.  At first she thought he was rat!!!

Upon admission we confirmed he was a hedgehog but he was definitely looking a little sorry for himself.  He had hardly any spines, and his skin was very dry and in a poor condition.  He was covered in mites, which would have made him feel very uncomfortable.

After he had been assessed by Claire, it is believed that he had gone into hibernation with an ear mite infection, which had worsened while he slept.  The ear infection continued to worsen, finally causing his spines to fall out from stress, and then he awakened from hibernation.

The dryness of his skin could also have been due to ringworm.  His treatment is going to be quite extensive and expensive!

We don’t name the animals that come in, as contact is very limited and they go back to the wild as soon as they can. But this one will be with us for a long time so Dani has named him ‘Bear’.

We have had hedgehogs with spine loss before, but never on the scale that ‘Bear’ has.  He was given an anti-fungal bath to try and remove all of the mites, and his skin was massaged with aloe vera gel to encourage the re-growth of his spines.

22nd January 2019

This is how Bear was found this morning. Fast asleep on top of his blankets bless him.

He also had his first news article published today in the Daily Mail.  Read it here:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6618717/Bald-hedgehog-gets-daily-massage-aloe-vera-losing-spikes-stress.html?fbclid=IwAR2A7N1pF6hVvKS4D2eJk2Q0g_4AQWrAnsyvbhTkBsqY3AwHe2FlTYWEsZ8

23rd January 2019

Our local Newspaper, The Shropshire Star came to visit Bear yesterday and find out all about him and his treatment.  You can read the story here…

https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/telford/madeley/2019/01/23/massages-mean-stressed-hedgehog-is-bearing-up/?fbclid=IwAR1ikTLgKe8qtMuLmA0LK7O9bQPxIVrgPmGXToq8yOpTQORvUwVfQOhvoD8

24th January 2019

Today Bear was visited by our vet, from Severn Edge Vets.  Bear had a full examination under anaesthesia so he could be looked at fully.  Our vet agreed with our assessment of his skin so we will continue with his current treatment.

Bears’ bones in his back legs suggest poor nutrition through his growing period but they are firm now and just need to strengthen up.

His size on arrival lead us to believe he was a juvenile from last year, however his teeth would suggest 2-3 years old.  There is slight wearing on one side at the top front which could suggest he’s been stuck somewhere.

All in all, all we can physically see can either be improved or is ok. 

He continues to eat well, favouring his biscuits with cod liver oil on.

Being gassed down by our vet.

January 28th 2019

To begin with Bear only wanted to eat his biscuits, but then discovered a passion for cat meat – leaving his biscuits alone!

For this reason we have had to change his diet to ensure he has a good mixture to meet his nutritional needs.

Now that he is eating and drinking well, he is beginning to follow the usual behaviour pattern of a hedgehog, active during the night time and slumbering during a majority of the day.

Here is a video of him having his tea last night.  He certainly loves his food. 

Sorry for the quality of the video, it’s zoomed to the max and through Perspex.

1st February 2019

Bear would like to say Thank you (we know he would if he could) to his many followers who have been so generous sending donations towards his treatment and sending medical supplies and gifts.

Thank you all so very much. Your continued support is so appreciated.

Also today, People magazine in the USA have published a story about Bear.  Read it here…

https://people.com/pets/bald-spineless-hedgehog-gets-massages/?fbclid=IwAR1RQbXM9QoitzHqNapzbBelmiVBci7qqi4DP50sq9tUP58oUanQdJtSPRg

4th February 2019

On the weekend, Bear was visited by the German TV company ZDF, who wanted to come along and find out all about him.

Here is there article…

https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/hallo-deutschland/igel-ohne-stacheln-100.html

10th February 2019

We are happy to say Bear is doing well and has been moved to a bigger area. Many of his initial treatments are over so he now have some quiet time.

His skin is much improved and we have even seen what we believe are two small spines starting to appear, so we are hoping that this will be the beginning of a full set of spines coming back!  He still has Aloe rubbed into his skin if it looks dry, but is looking much healthier.

It’s going to be slow, he has worming treatments to be repeated in time, along with more baths but think the worst is over… and now it’s just time.

Bear has captured the hearts of so many people, and takes it all in his stride!  Our supporters have been incredibly generous donating lots of supplies to help care for Bear, and indeed our other animals and birds.  It is thanks to supporters such as yourselves that we can continue to provide the care that Bear and all our other patients need.

12th February 2019

Bear has had a visitor today, one of our fabulous patrons, John Challis.

John is very passionate about animals, with a huge soft spot for Hedgehogs. He helped give Bear his massage today, with the aloe Vera gel which is helping his skin so much. 


John and his wife Carol also brought some goodies for the animals too.  Thank you so much to you both.

John Challis and Bear
John Challis and our hospital manager Fran

27th February 2019

Lots of Bears’ followers having been asking for an update on him.  We have been waiting for some good news, and it has finally arrived.

This is bear when he arrived.

This is bear last week.


We are delighted that all of Bears’ treatments are starting to prove worthy.  It has been what seems like an age, waiting for any spines to show… 

slight panic…

but between his aloe gel, vet visits and medications, he’s definitely looking much better. He’s doubled in weight too!!

Thank you to everyone who has donated towards his care . His meds will continue for his skin, along with his evening primrose oil on his food.

We think you’ll agree, he’s looking so much better.

8th March 2019

A lovely video of Bear from the German news site stern.de

https://www.stern.de/panorama/video/ins-netz-gegangen/tiergeschichten/igel-verliert-seine-stacheln—tierretter-helfen-bei-der-regeneration-8611836.html?fbclid=IwAR3SKu7CuDClTcCFasBshnAsH0sKQ5991ZozPOPlYps3z0YU5isEdrY4-pg

9th March 2019

A new post in our local newspaper, the Shropshire Star, with some lovely photos of Bear with spines.

https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/bridgnorth/much-wenlock/2019/03/08/bear-the-hedgehog-not-so-bare-anymore-as-spines-return/

19th March 2019

Here’s Bear having a ‘soak ‘ in the bath 😁
Of course he’s not just putting his feet up… while his skin was exposed when he was ill, it’s clearly upset it. Our vet has said it may take time to return to its normal state, so in the meantime he can have the occasional moisturising bath to help ease off some of the nasty bits.
It’s been quite a journey for him bless him. 😍

As you can see he is now a good weight. He has a very healthy appetite.

22nd March 2019

‘Bear’ is in the Times newspaper today!

9th April 2019

UPDATE ON MR BEAR

Over the last couple of weeks, Bear has been ‘hogging up’… returning to normal hedgehog behaviours, along with his spiky look. His weight seems to be his comfortable weight, his spines are continuing to grow and his skin has healed well . The damage from being exposed for so long means it regenerates , appearing like a sunburnt peal but my vet says it will take time to be perfect .

Bear was moved to a hog house outside , 10 days ago . He’s been doing well. We rarely keep hogs alone , so with Claire’s help , we started looking for a housemate for him. 
After one meeting that neither hogs were happy, we tried this hog who he was very pleased to see…… and they have been together ever since. 
We had put two houses in the enclosure so if they wanted to separate they could…. but they haven’t .. they are always snuggled up together…
So may I introduce what could be Mrs Bear ❤️
Fran 😍

16th April 2019

The last post on Bear explained how he had moved to an outside enclosure, along with another hog . Both have done so well, things have changed again.
The other hog has now gone for release and Bear is now in a good size fully enclosed garden. 
This is now his time to fully harden up before his release . 
From that first day , I’m not sure any of us expected him to survive. But he’s proved to be a fighter, a long with good care, good advice and lots of public love… this is going to be a wonderful ending. 
Not long now Bear and you’ll be free once more 💕💕


26th April 2019

Today was such a sad day for us, and I know this may come as a shock to some of you. Our beautiful Bear, the once-bald hedgehog whose progress I know hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been following, finally lost his struggle to live. He had grown back a full set of new spines, and had been making a good recovery – to the point where two weeks ago, he went to a small walled garden of one of our very loyal supporters. He spent a happy time there, emerging at night and rooting around amongst the plants.

However, all was not well; 10 days later, he went off his food so he came back to “Cuan” for re-assessment, but two days later developed another unusual condition. Our vet was called who came straightaway. On examination, it became clear we had to let him go. We had given him so much, and so many of you out there had been wishing him well, it was a hard decision to take, but it was very evident that to have kept him alive would have caused him suffering and distress.

He was put to sleep, and it was done gently, quietly and with dignity. We firmly believe that in the end that was the ultimate gift of mercy we could give him. Goodbye our beautiful Bear. RIP.