Spud the hedgehog Photo: JEFF MOORE
Spud was found wandering in a garden and taken to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Aylesbury, Bucks, last August. Experts are baffled by his condition, which has caused his skin to dry and his spines to fall out. The hospital is asking practitioners of alternative medicine to suggest possible remedies.
The bald animal was christened Spud by hospital staff because, when curled up into a ball, he resembles a potato. He cannot be released back into the wild because hedgehogs are defenceless without their spines and he has no insulation against the cold. Every day, he has a warm bath and a massage with baby oil to keep his skin soft.
Les Stocker, founder of Tiggywinkles, said: "He's part of the family here and very much a character, but we would love to help his condition and release him. When he was brought in he seemed pretty cheesed off with life, but now he's a normal hedgehog in everything but appearance. I don't think he realises he hasn't got any spines."
Spud is one of more than 500 hedgehogs currently receiving treatment at the animal hospital, which also cares for badgers, foxes and injured birds.
Mystery condition leaves hedgehog with no spines - Telegraph