Strimmed hedgehog
Helping hedgehogs

Hedgehog strimmer injuries

The sound of people people using a strimmer sets my teeth on edge. I hate them! They do so much damage to wildlife including hedgehogs, frogs and toads.

This is the story of Holly and her journey to recovery from a terrible strimmer wound. She was found at the end of July with her head sliced open, underneath a Holly bush. You can see from the pictures where the strimmer blade has cut deep into her head.

Holly is lucky – a few mm closer and the blade would have entered her skull.

When Holly was found, it was Summer and flies had laid eggs in the wound and hatched into maggots. These had to be painstakingly removed one by one and then the wound washed out with antimicrobial wound treatment and saline.

You can see where the blade has cut across Holly’s head. Note that the finder gave mealworms but these should be avoided as foods for wild hedgehogs.
Flies had laid eggs in the open wound, which had hatched into maggots.

Holly was put on a course of antibiotics and pain relief. The wound was cleaned daily to stop infection and a special wound gel was added to aid healing.

Holly’s wound after around 10 days of treatment. It has scabbed over but needed cleaning daily to prevent infection.

Eventually, the wound healed and new spines started to grow through where the wound was.

New spines starting to grow though – around a month after treatment started
Holly fit and well and ready to go back to the wild.


Holly is incredibly lucky. Sadly, injuries like Holly’s are far from uncommon. Many hedgehogs are not so fortunate and strimmer and mowing injuries are a major cause of suffering and death. It also took me 6 weeks of intensive care to nurse her back to health.

Since Holly came into the rescue, I have also treated other hedgehogs with strimmer injuries. Below is Harry when he arrived.


Harry upon arrival. He had a huge strimmer wound on his back. Flies had laid eggs on him but they had not yet hatched into maggots.

I had success treating Harry with a combination of antibiotics, manuka honey and veterinary wound powder mixed with intrasite gel. Here is Harry upon his release. The wound fully healed after around 3 weeks.

Harry following treatment. The strimmer injury fully healed.

To help prevent injuries and suffering please:

  • Check all areas of long grass carefully before mowing or strimming. Hedgehogs nest in long grass.
  • Ideally keep areas of grass long for wildlife and don’t strim at all.
  • Encourage everyone you know to check before they mow – a simple check can save hedgehogs as well as frogs, toads and other wildlife that loves to nest or forage in long grass.

I run a hedgehog rescue in York, England and have nursed hundreds of hedgehogs back to health. You can find out more about my work here and also how to support it.

I am a member of many wild hedgehog rehabilitation forums and I also follow the Vale Wildlife Hospital protocols for treating hedgehogs. I don’t put detailed information on my pages about the treatments I use but, if you are a hedgehog rehabilitator and would like to know more or would like any help please contact me.

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16 thoughts on “Hedgehog strimmer injuries”

  1. I have just treated one with the exact same injury, I was hoping that new spines would grow back, I can see a few around the edges but nothing in the middle yet. After reading what you have said I am hopeful.

  2. Great that you have one visiting but sad to hear that it might have a scar. No chance the neighbours will change their activity? I can send you a leaflet that you could amend to post round to neighbours. I tend to leave out mainly cat biscuits – kitten biscuits are good. They contain all the nutrients they need. If cats steal the food, see my blog to build a cheap hedgehog feeder! x

  3. This is really sad to see. Our neighbours opposite have a big untended garden and strim it brutally once a year. We have been feeding our hedgehogs for three years now. Last year we would see two at the back door feeding pot at once, but this year only one, though I am almost sure there are two feeding at different times (I saw three in the garden one night). A few weeks ago the very big regular one missed a few nights and then reappeared briefly, possibly with a scar, then disappeared when the temperature fell and I assumed he had tucked himself up for the winter. I kept putting out the food and a very small hedgehog began to appear regularly. He is still coming, though we rarely see him, but he picks out the dried mealworms and sultanas and leaves much of the rest. The RSPB changed the feed mix and they don’t like it as much.

  4. What a transformation after a long period of care and healing. Thanks for all you do in caring for these animals and also for the educational work you do inspiring others to help hedgehogs in the face of ever-diminishing habitats in a world of ever-increasing dangers. Your rescue work must be heart breaking at times and very demanding, but so rewarding when rescues like Holly’s turn out so well and her health is restored. I fancy there is even a twinkle in her eye.

  5. A lovely story about what you do for the hoggies and hope it helps more people become aware of the dangers of strimming to wildlife if you don’t check the area first.
    Before we do any strimming, grass or hedge cutting i always walk around the area first not only looking for hedgehogs but the other wildlife, afterall that 5 mins checking the area could save a hoggy’s life.

  6. I hope you don’t mind Emma, I’ve reblogged this to my site; it’s a great story about Holly and it also gives some really good info too! 😀

  7. Reblogged this on Twainwall and commented:
    Please have a read of this post from Emma; she does a wonderful job of helping some of these poorly hedgehogs and there’s a lot of useful information in her other blogs too! 🙂

  8. Oh poor little thing! She must have been in so much pain. I’m so glad she was one of the lucky ones, and I hope people are beginning to be more aware of checking for wildlife before hacking into their habitat.

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