Cornwall

Inflated 'balloon' hedgehog saved from 'rupturing' by vet

Inflated hedgehog
Image caption Vets feared the hedgehog would starve or suffocate

An inflated hedgehog has been saved from "rupturing" by vets who pricked it with a needle.

The animal, which was suffering from a rare condition in its belly called balloon syndrome, had swollen to twice its normal size.

Vets in Bude, Cornwall, think the animal swelled up after picking up an infection and gas was produced by bacteria.

The hedgehog is now being fed worms before being released.

Adam Revitt, of Locke and Preston Vets, who looked after the hedgehog when it was brought to them in early May, said: "If it had continued to blow up it could have ruptured.

"More concern to me was that the air was putting pressure on the hedgehog's chest so it couldn't breath or move, therefore there was a danger of it suffocating or starving to death.

"I used a needle and syringe to drain the air. It took about five minutes to drain all the air out."

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