A hedgehog blown up like a BEACH BALL has been rescued after it was diagnosed with a severe case of balloon syndrome.
The male hedgehog — which had inflated to twice its size — was found wandering beside a road by a concerned member of the public.
Shocked animal welfare officers said the animal “resembled a beach wall” after being discovered near Shotts, Lanarkshire, on Sunday 23 July.
The hedgehog was eventually diagnosed with the rare “balloon syndrome”, caused by gas collecting under the skin.
And he was thankfully deflated by staff working for the Scottish SPCA who have since named him Zeppelin – after a type of rigid airship.
Colin Seddon, who manages the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire, said: “Zeppelin, as he’s now been named by staff, is currently being looked after.
“Zeppelin is suffering from ‘balloon syndrome’.
“It’s likely that he’s been clipped by a car, puncturing a lung and causing air to become trapped under his skin.
“Our Animal Rescue Officer Louise Hume got a bit of a shock when she went to pick him up.
“He’s certainly one of the largest hedgehogs we’ve taken into our care.
“He’s been seen by our vet Romain, who is hopeful that Zeppelin — now deflated — will make a full recovery.
“He’ll be closely monitored at our centre to make sure infection doesn’t set in before being released back into the wild once he’s fully recovered.”
Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed wild animal should call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
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