Notes from St Tiggywinkles: Mac under the knife

Mac with his legs stabilised in Robert Jones' bandages
Mac with his legs stabilised in Robert Jones' bandages

Tiggywinkles is world renowned for its work and innovation in dealing with thousands of hedgehogs.

Each hedgehog is a character in itself often prompting admiration for its stoic courage in the face to terrible trauma. It is often a mystery how some of these hedgehogs sustain their injuries but over the years we have grown used to expecting the unexpected.

Mac who has just arrived for life saving treatment has two broken back legs.

And still he was trying to walk on them. The pain must have been excruciating but, just like other hedgehogs, he soldiered on regardless.

Luckily he was brought into us. We can provide effective pain killing and heavily padded bandages to prevent further movement and crepitus.

After X-rays our vet could operate on Mac using the latest techniques to attempt to heal the fractures.

Mac’s hind right leg had a simple fracture of the tibia, the equivalent of our shin bone. This the vet fixed with a straightforward intramedullary pin, down the central cavity of the bone, joining the two fragments together.

The left leg was more serious. It had a compound fracture of the tibia allowing infection into the wound. This meant that as well as stabilizing the fracture the wound had to be kept sterile while healing.A technique known as extracutaneous fixation, where horizontal pins are put through both bone fragments, was decided on. This method would allow the open wound to be treated while the fracture healed.

Knowing hedgehogs Mac will show every resolve to get better and be released.