Phelps the swimming hedgehog uses hydrotherapy to get back on his feet

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A young hedgehog has been receiving hydrotherapy after vets discovered he couldn’t use his hind legs.

Named Phelps after decorated US swimmer Michael Phelps, the animal was found in the Highlands and taken to the Scottish SPCA’s national wildlife rescue centre in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire.

There he has been swimming in a shallow bath of water to help him build up strength in his legs.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: “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.

“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.”

Phelps the hedgehog.
Phelps the hedgehog with Nicola Turnbull (Scottish SPCA/PA)

Mr Seddon added: “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.

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

Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed wild animal should call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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