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Hedgehogs go large!

If you’ve read the fourth book in the Hedgehog Hollow series – A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow – you’ll have come across an unusual case for one of the hedgehogs.

Samantha is called out to a pub where the landlord has found a rather large hedgehog. Poor Bauble is suffering from a rare condition called ‘Balloon Syndrome’, called this because they do quite literally inflate like a balloon. It’s usually caused by a trauma which causes damage to the lungs resulting in them breathing in air but not being able to dispel it.

Thankfully it’s rare but hedgehog rescuers who do encounter it find it disturbing. As well as the shocking sight of a hedgehog so blown up, there’s the disorientation of it looking as though it would be heavy but actually feeling quite light. After all, that extra size is all air.

It’s treatable although time is of the essence in being able to deflate the hedgehog to release the trapped air and give the hedgehog antibiotics. Without treatment, the hedgehog would continue to inflate and potentially suffocate.

If you search online for ‘hedgehogs with balloon syndrome’ or any variation of that, you’ll find loads of articles and photographs. I’ve selected a couple here that you might like to check out:

This article from the LiveScience website about a rescue by the Scottish SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the one which inspired me to write about Balloon Syndrome and shows the most enormous hedgehog, poor little thing. The X-ray is really interesting to see:

A BBC news article about the syndrome following an RSPCA rescue shows some great before and after photos:

I was specifically looking for a rare or unusual condition when I came across Balloon Syndrome and it definitely ticks both of those boxes.

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow is out now in all formats: eBook, paperback, hardback, large print, physical audio, audio download and via streaming services. Something to suit all reading or listening preferences!

Big hedge-hugs
Jessica xx

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