Macahl Animal Health, manufacturer of Oralade, is highlighting the need to consider the hydration status of wildlife patients admitted to veterinary practices as we head into the winter months.

The company says there is often an increase in admissions of hibernating species at this time of year, particularly hedgehogs, and it is thought that numbers of sick and injured wildlife handed over by the general public may increase this year as people spend more time in their gardens and local parks due to coronavirus restrictions.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society suggests that if uncertain about a hedgehog’s hydration status, it is always best to assume a degree of dehydration.

Macahl regularly donates Oralade to wildlife sanctuaries where it is in widespread use. One such sanctuary is the Wildlife Aid Foundation, based in Surrey, which says: "We frequently use Oralade to help our patients which are suffering from mild dehydration and are reluctant to eat. It works really well for species such as hedgehogs, foxes and badgers as the smell seems to encourage them to lap. It really does give them a boost and can get them eating solid food again which is critical for their rehabilitation."

Macahl says Oralade GI support is suitable for oral rehydration in many wildlife species, including hedgehogs. The suggested maintenance dose is 50ml per kg per 24hrs, with additional quantities needed to correct a hydration deficit. Identifying dehydration is similar to pet species, and includes assessment of skin tent, gum colour, and capillary refill time.

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