Baby season is upon us
The time has come to return from the realm of relative competence, and become the bumbling, know-nothing intern once again. The learning process makes for waaay better reading anyway.
We had our first bunny come in yesterday, and as I held the tiny ball of fur in my hand, I realized I had no idea what to do. For babies all the rules change. Feeding, rehydration, and treatment all need to be adjusted not only to the species of the patient, but the age as well. I wandered through the infirmary like a toddler who had superglued his fingers together and didn’t know what to do about it. Fortunately Linda was there to bail me out, and we got the little one straightened out.
The bunny had come in after being attacked by a dog, with two neat puncture wounds through the skin. She was otherwise alert and awake, and there were no immediate signs of internal injury, so we got some fluids in and set her aside to be picked up by one of our volunteer foster parents.
Later on in the day, we had a family bring in a baby red fox. The little fox kit was a little over two weeks old. Its eyes were still blue and pointed (comically) in opposite directions, and its fur was still dark. Since its eyes were open, we could give it solid food, but his sniffling gave us cause for alarm. All members of the Canidae family (as well as a few others) are susceptible to canine distemper, and this disease often presents nasal discharge before the uglier neurological symptoms develop. Because of this possibility, the tiny red fox had to be treated very carefully, to avoid contaminating our surfaces and tools with the virus. I didn’t handle the little fox this time around. Being more of a bird guy anyway I let the interns deal with the little fluffball, wrapping him up in a towel and getting some food and water into him.
Here is a little video to give you an idea of what she looked like.
(NOTE: This is for illustration purposes only. That is not me, and those are not our foxes. If you find baby animals like this man did, you should get them to a rehabber AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Raw chicken is is very low in nutrition for infants, and their health will suffer if he keeps them for too long...)
Once they were done, it went into a warm, dark crate to rest, where it spent the rest of the day barking like a sad puppy. :(
So we now begin weathering the storm of cute and cuddly...
Updates as events warrant.