Saturday, January 23, 2010

Greybok with sores

Skinproblems are quite common in wild animals. Treating skin problems reminds me of the small animal surgeries, as domestic dogs and cats often suffer from various skin problems, e.g. mites, fungal infections and allergies. The approach is similar. The only problem is that a wild animal needs to go under anaesthetics each time you want to examine it: luckily this is not the case with your pets. This small antelope (Grijsbok) showed crusts and sores on the nose and on the ear shelves. I darted the animal with a low dosage of Etorphine and treated it for mites, fungus and a bacterial infection. At scrapings I could not find any external parasites, but I treated the animal for it anyway, because not finding them does not guarantee they are not there. Another big difference between working in the bush and in a city veterinary clinic is the logistics: here it's not always easy to get samples to a lab. In this case it would have been nice to do a fungal culture, but because of the isolation here I decided to first treat it and see whether the treatment worked. I darted the animal after 2 weeks again to treat it a second time and since then the sores are healing. We are keeping a good eye on it, because skin problems can return easily when a treatment is stopped too early. When the improvement does not continue, I will dart the animal again to do skin biopsies to investigate it for other skin diseases, such as allergies. Will keep you posted. The Etorphine anaesthetics (mainly used for big game) was amazing. The antidote of this drugs works within a minute, so after injecting it into the vene, the animal run off, completely awake, within 45 seconds! Really impressive. And it was great to get help from 2 good friends visiting from the Netherlands and Ireland, Pieter and Claire.

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