April is Injured Animals Month

As Spring is getting ready to be sprung

As all the lambs have arrived in the barn next to us, I thought some advice on what to do with orphaned or injured wildlife may be useful.

The first thing to say is that most ‘orphaned’ birds and animals have not been abandoned by their parents at all. Their parents are normally close by and ready to defend them but cannot be seen by us as we are too big a predator.

Birds

Generally if you find a baby bird in your garden then there will be a nest site somewhere nearby. They have to have fallen from somewhere. Generally the parents will still be feeding it. If the young bird has been attacked by a cat or a fox and is injured then it is best to take it to the nearest wildlife centre or local vets. If you’re not able to do this keep them in a dark area with water until you can get them to one of the above.

Bats

Generally these are adult bats but people tend to think they are babies as they are so small. When handling bats be very careful and either wear soft gloves or use a soft towel or blanket. It is best to contact the Bat Conservation Trust on 0845 130 0228.

Deer

These are prey animals and therefore when mum is she tends to leave the fawn on its own in order to keep predators away from it. Either watch from afar or leave it alone and come back and check on it in 24 hours.

Foxes

These are very rarely abandoned and therefore should ideally be left alone. Once they have been brought into contact with humans they are hard to rehabilitate.

Hedgehogs

Young hedgehogs are often found in autumn. This is the time when they are trying to eat the most to put on weight in order to survive the winter hibernation. If they are over 500g in weight they should be ok unless a very cold snap is coming. You could help them though by offering them some food. The best thing to feed them is adult dog or cat food. NOT BREAD AND MILK, this causes life threatening Diarrhoea.

If they are under 500g or injured or unwell then it may be best to get them to a carer or a vet. There is a list of carers on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website here.

Rabbits

Baby rabbits are normally in a burrow and if they are above ground it is generally because they are old enough and are just exploring. If you are not sure try and keep an eye on them in situ as if you disturb the nest then the mother is more likely to abandon the kittens.

Injured Wildlife

Try and watch it to establish how injured it is and then either contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or find a wildlife habitator or vet

REMEMBER: These are wild animals and when injured or scared they may well peck, scratch or bite. You must take your safety, welfare and health into consideration first.

Chocolate

With Easter fast approaching, at least the little people in our lives will be thinking mainly about chocolate. Because of this we thought it may be a good time to re-iterate the warnings about chocolate and its poisonous nature to dogs in particular.

Chocolate contains a substance called THEOBROMINE. This is a stimulant found not only in chocolate but also tea and cola drinks. Dogs and cats metabolize it much slower than humans and therefore gets to toxic levels more easily. Cats are extremely sensitive to theobromine but are less likely to eat it.

The percentage of cocoa in the chocolate does make a difference to how toxic it is. If in doubt telephone us for more specific advice if your animal has eaten chocolate but as a rough guide;

Size of dog                                          Toxic level

10kg dog                                              175g milk chocolate – 1 small Easter egg

75g dark sweet chocolate – 1 small bar of Bourneville