At this cold time of year, when you're probably having rows with your housemates about the boiler, spare a thought for the hedgehogs out there that won't have the luxury of a nice warm house.

The Scottish SCPA, an animal welfare charity, were greeted by one such hedgehog who was found with injured legs.

He was named "Phelps" following hydrotherapy, presumably after the Olympic swimmer.

Picture:Picture: Scottish SPCA

Wildlife Rescue Centre Manager Colin Seddon said in a statement:

Phelps arrived into our care back in November and once he uncurled we realised that he was unable to use his hind legs.

Our vet advised physiotherapy and because hedgehogs curl up when scared, we decided to place him in a shallow bath of water. He was closely supervised by Nicola Turnbull, our head of small mammals, and was able to build up strength in his hind legs without having to bear any weight.

Picture:Picture: Scottish SPCA

We continued his treatment over a seven day period and gradually Phelps regained the use of his hind legs and should be ready for release once the weather gets warmer!

Mr Seddon also gave some advice about hedgehog sightings during the winter:

We would be particularly concerned if a hedgehog is out during the day at this time of year and would urge anyone who finds one to call our animal helpline so we can come and collect it.

They should try to contain it by picking it up using gardening gloves or a thick towel and placing it in a secure box. It can then be left with fresh water and tinned cat food until we arrive.

Picture:Picture: Scottish SPCA

Hedgehogs will struggle in the cold, so if anyone spots one during the freezing winter weather they should call us immediately.

A spokesperson for the Scottish SPCA told indy100 about Phelp's rehab programme:

Phelps was always supervised in the water with someone on hand to help him out but hedgehogs are keen swimmers.

Picture:Picture: Scottish SPCA

In addition, it was clarified as to when the conditions are right for his release:

Once he has reached a suitable weight of over 600g and the weather warms up to a consistent night time temp of over four degrees centigrade he will be released.

HT Metro

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