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Last Updated: Tuesday March 17 2009 11:41 GMT

Hedgehog Spud has no prickles

Spud the hedgehog

Hedgehogs are known for being prickly little creatures, so imagine what life's like for poor spikeless Spud.

He's got a very unusual problem as he has no spikes. A skin problem means all Spud's spikes have fallen out.

Experts have done lots of tests on Spud, and say everything else about the hedgehog is normal and they don't know why this has happened.

He was found roaming a back garden and had to be taken to a special animal hospital for treatment.

Hedgehogs need their spikes to keep them safe and warm.
See Spud close up

Les Stocker, from the St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire where Spud is staying, said: "We want to let him back into the wild, but without his spikes, he won't have any protection.

Skin care

"Other than his balding exterior, Spud is like any other normal hedgehog and doesn't appear to be in any pain."

The hedgehog now has to be given a warm bath every day followed by a massage with baby oil to keep his skin moisturised.

There is hope for Spud. Doctors say there is a chance the spikes will grow back.