Hedgehog inflates to twice its size
A hedgehog that inflated to twice his size has been rescued - and diagnosed with a severe case of 'BALLOON SYNDROME'.
A concerned member of the public spotted the animal going round in circles, dragging its back leg and with blood on its nose.
They believed that the hog may have just been pregnant.
However, when RSPCA Inspector Sandra Dransfield arrived at the scene, she could see that the animal was suffering from the rare condition 'Balloon Syndrome'.
Balloon Syndrome can be caused by a traumatic event, like being hit by a car, which releases gas into the cavity under the hedgehog's skin.
RSPCA Inspector Sandra Dransfield said: "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.
"I took the stricken animal straight to Peak Vets in Sheffield, where he was x-rayed and they released some of the air from under his skin.
"The vet then started him on a course of antibiotics and pain relief. We found him in the nick of time, and I really do hope he pulls through."
Treatment involves the skin being punctured and a course of medication to deal with the infection.
The enlarged hog has now been transferred to the RSPCA's Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, Cheshire after being found in Doncaster, South Yorks.
He will be put under a general anaesthetic to be thoroughly examined and more air released.
The continue to be treated at the centre for this unusual condition and cared for until he is ready to be returned to the wild.
If you see an animal you have concerns about please call the RSPCA's emergency line on 0300 123 9999.