Hedgehog: Pop-Off Syndrome

We had a hedgehog come into us early in the morning after someone called when they found him on a busy road. As soon as we saw him,

we knew that he needed medical attention and he was in a lot of pain. We think he had been attacked by something which had caused the obicularis muscle (the muscle underneath the spines) to be pulled upwards. This is known as an obicularis muscle prolapse or Pop-Off Syndrome. The muscle cannot correct itself, so it is a case of anaesthetising them so we can pull the muscle back into place. 

Because there was quite a bit of blood too, we were worried about the wounds but didn't want to fiddle with him too much. Our vets immediately looked at him. Unfortunately, we found that he had 2 puncture wounds on his abdomen and side, one of which had gone straight through his gut. He also had a spinal injury, which is commonly seen in conjunction with the muscle prolapse, so he had lost the use of his rear legs. 


What started off as a simple procedure to return the muscle to its normal place, ended up in us having to make the hard decision to end his suffering. The pain must have been excruciating and we didn't want to put him through any more. His gut wounds were irreversible and even if we could have fixed it, he would have never been able to have a good quality of life without the use of his back legs.

Not a great start to our morning but we are satisfied that we made the right choice in this case!



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