'Swimming hedgehog' regains use of hind legs after hydrotherapy

Phelps was found in Scotland in November, unable to use his hind legs

'Swimming hedgehog' regains use of hind legs after hydrotherapy

Image: Scottish SPCA

The Scottish SPCA says a hedgehog has regained the use of his hind legs after a week of hydrotherapy.

Phelps - named after the US Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps - was discovered in Allness in northern Scotland in November, BBC reports.

He was discovered outside during the day, despite hedgehogs mainly being nocturnal creatures that hibernate during the cold winter months.

When Phelps was taken into the care of the SPCA, the team discovered he was unable to use his hind legs.

Wildlife Rescue Centre Manager Colin Seddon explained: "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 [...] 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."

Mr Seddon added that hedgehogs will struggle in the cold, and advised anyone who spots a hedgehog outside during the winter months to contact an animal helpline.