THE MERU MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - February 2014

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CASE #1 TREATMENT OF INJURED ELEPHANT

Date: 8th February 2014

Species: Elephant

Sex: Female

Age: 12 years

Location: Samburu National Reserve

History:

On the 7th February, Game Rangers on patrol reported a female elephant showing lameness which required veterinary attention. This animal was immobilized for treatment on 8th February 2014.

Immobilization and treatment:

The elephant was found near the old Larsens camp site at the bank of Ewaso river with limited movement. The elephant was immobilized using Etorphine Hcl 12mg in a single 3cc Dan Inject dart and a 2.2 × 60mm needle.

Examination revealed a slightly swollen distal left hind limb, but no other injury was observed. Palpation and joint manipulation ruled out a fracture. However, joint injury was suspected to be the cause of lameness. Anti-inflammatory drugs, 0.1% Dexamethasone Hcl 50ml, and antimicrobial drugs, 30% Oxytetracycline 100ml, were administered intramuscularly. 

The vets examine the injured limb  Joint manipulation ruled out a fracture

Anti-inflammatory drugs were adminstered

Reversal:

To revive the animal Diprenophine Hcl 36mg was injected intravenously through the superficial ear veins.

Prognosis:

Prognosis for recovery is good. 

The elephant is expected to make a full recovery

CASE #2 TREATMENT OF INJURED LION CUB

Date: 8th February 2014

Species: Lion

Sex: Male

Age: 2 Months

Location: Buffalo Springs Reserve

History:

On 8th February, the Officer in Charge of KWS Isiolo Complex reported an injured lion cub and requested the Meru Vet Unit to examine and treat the cub.

Immobilization and treatment:

Locating the pride was easy because they had killed a zebra on that particular day. The pride consisted of 4 adult lionesses, 3 sub adults and an injured 2 month old male cub. It is suspected that its litter mates had been attacked and killed by an invading male during territorial fights. 

The lioness's feeding on the Zebra kill  The injured cub is within this pride of lions

The older lions were chased away using a vehicle. The injured cub was captured by throwing a towel around it and restraining it by hand. 

The cub is restrained by hand

Examination revealed penetrating wounds dorsally into the muscle of the left shoulder. The wounds were not infected. The wounds were cleaned thoroughly using water and savlon and the hair around the wound was clipped. Topical antimicrobial Opticlox ointment was administered to prevent bacterial infection. The anti- parasitic drug, Ivermectin 0.5 ml, was also administered by subcutaneous route for prophylaxis.

Prognosis:

The cub is expected to make full recovery. 

The wound is cleaned and treated  The cub is expected to make a full recovery

CASE #3 TREATMENT INJURED ELEPHANT

Date: 12th February 2014 and 1st March 2014

Species: Elephant

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Sangare Ranch

History:

The injured elephant was first reported by the management of Sangare Ranch on 8th February 2014 and subsequently treated by Dr. Kaitho on 12th February. Although significant improvement was reported after the initial treatment, a follow up treatment was made on 1st March to evaluate its progress.

Immobilization and treatment:

The animal was located in a mud pool at a swamp near a dam in the ranch. He was darted on foot using Etorphine Hcl 18mg in a 3cc DanInject dart. The dart was placed at the left gluteal muscles, following which the animal limped 200 meters away to a higher ground. Induction time was 25 minutes before he fell onto sternal recumbency. He was tipped onto left lateral recumbency so as to examine the injured right forelimb. 

The elephant is immobilised  The wound on the foot

There was an infected penetrating wound into the metacarpus at the right forelimb which on probing with a forceps showed both proximal and distal pus sinuses. A small quantity of pus discharged from the wound. The wound was lavaged and 100ml of povidone Iodine was infused into the wound. The elephant was then given 30% Oxytetracycline 200ml and 5% Flunixin Meglumine 2500mg intramuscularly. 

The wound needs to be cleaned  The vet cleans the wound

Reversal:

To revive the animal Diprenophine Hcl 54mg was administered intravenously through the superficial ear vein and the animal was standing within 3 minutes.

Prognosis:

Significant progress was noted since the last treatment with the animal ambulating easily. This elephant is expected to make a full recovery.

CASE #4 TREATMENT AND POSTMORTEM OF SICK LIONESS

Date: 27th February 2014

Species: Lion

Sex: Female

Age: Adult

Location: Meru National Park

History:

An emaciated lioness was reported recumbent and unable to move at the Mulika river circuit on 27th February by the research team during routine patrol in Meru National Park. This was an old lioness which had a collar, believed to have been fitted in the year 2006; however, the collar had malfunctioned. 

This old lioness is unable to move

The condition of the lioness deteriorated rapidly and she died within two hours, before any treatment was performed. A full post mortem was conducted on 28th February. 

Unfortunately the lioness succumbs to her injuries

General Examination:

The carcass was positioned on dorsal recumbency and carefully flayed taking note of any pathologic findings on the sub cutis.

A ventral cranio-caudal incision was made on the sternum through to the abdomen to examine the thoracic and abdominal organs insitu.

Systemic examination of the carcass was performed and all pathologic changes were recorded. Samples were taken for laboratory analysis.

Postmortem findings:

  • Body condition score 2 (poor) on a scale of 1 – 5.
  • All four canine teeth were worn out.
  • Pale mucous membrane suggestive of anemia and skin tenting indicating severe dehydration.
  • Bruises on abdominal skin with a penetrating wound at the right abdominal flank with blood tinged and viscous peritoneal fluid with fibrin.
  • Stomach and intestines were empty suggesting that this animal was off feed and may not have been able to hunt.

Conclusion:

Immediate cause of death is suspected to have been traumatic injury. This may have been sustained from a kick during a hunt. However, the age of this animal may have played a role. 

A postmortem reveals she was likely injured during a hunt

CASE #5 POSTMORTEM OF A WHITE RHINO

Date: 19th February 2014

Species: White Rhino

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Solio Ranch

History:

A rhino carcass was reported by the Abedare’s Senior Warden following a poaching incident in Solio ranch on the 16th February. A post mortem examination was conducted on 19th February to document the cause of death and collect tissue samples for forensic analysis.

General Examination:

The rhino carcass was found on right lateral recumbency, both horns had been excised, allegedly by poachers. It was extensively decomposed and partly eaten by scavengers at the left scapula area and the neck. There was a single penetrating wound suggestive of bullet injury into the left thoracic area at the 8th intercostal space.

Because the carcass was decomposed, examination of internal organs was not feasible.

Skin tissue samples and a sample of the hoof was collected in a RHODIS kit and submitted to forensic laboratory for analysis.

Conclusion:

Based on history, postmortem picture and the missing horns, this rhino died of injuries sustained from a bullet wound. The circumstances highly suggest poaching as the motive behind the death of this rhino. 

The postmortem reveals a bullet wound and the horns have been removed by poachers

                       

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