THE AMBOSELI MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - August 2014

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Case #1 Treatment of injured elephant at Ithumba (Tsavo East National Park)

Date: 21st August 2014
Species: Elephant 
Sex: Male
Age: 40-45 years
Location: Ithumba - Tsavo East National Park

History:
The KWS rangers at Ithumba reported a case of an injured male elephant to the Veterinary unit based at the Amboseli. N.P. Plans to airlift the veterinary doctor to Ithumba were made. The DSWT availed a helicopter and a light aircraft for easy sighting and darting.
On arrival, the elephant was in a bush thicket and proved difficult to locate and dart him. The elephant was finally sighted after 2.5 hours of thorough search using the light aircraft and helicopter.

Immobilization:

The elephant was immobilized using 16 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride in a 3cc dart toped up using water for injection. Darting was done using the Dan Inject system and was relatively easy from a helicopter despite the thick vegetation. The ground team was well guided from the helicopter to the position of the recumbent elephant. It was on lateral recumbence. The trunk was maintained patent using a piece of stick placed across the nostril entrances. The temperature was high hence plenty of water was doused on the elephant to keep the body temperatures low.  The ears were used as blindfold. 

Examination and Treatment:
On physical examination the elephant had a penetrating wound on the left flank region but close to the hip region. The wound was septic and had lots of pus. The wound is likely to have been caused by a bullet. The dead tissue was debrided and removed. The wound was then thoroughly cleaned using water and Hydrogen Peroxide. It was then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. Topical antibiotic cream and green clay was then applied into the wound to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The elephant was then injected with 100 ml Oxytetracycline 20%, 100 ml Flunixine Meglumine and 4 vials of Clindamycin at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 30 minutes.

The elephants wound  Very infected wound

Treating the wounded elephant

Reversal of immobilization:
Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (48mgs) into the ear vein was used. Recovery from Anaesthesia was regained after 7 minutes. However the elephant could not get up even after 45 minutes with assistance from the rangers. The prognosis and chances of recovery were nil and therefore the elephant was sadly euthanized. The trophies were recovered and delivered to Ithumba KWS office for safe custody.

Continuation of Treatment  After treatment

Having no choice but to euthanize the elephant


Case #2 Treatment of injured elephant at Kilaguni (Tsavo West National Park)

Date: 10th August 2014 & successive repeat treatments on 18th August and 27th August 2014 
Species: Elephant
Sex: Male
Age: 25-30 years
Location: Kilaguni – Tsavo West National Park

History:
The KWS rangers at Kilaguni reported a case of an injured male elephant (lame) to the S.C.M.V.U based at the Amboseli. The veterinary team immediately attended to the case and made a decision to dart the elephant for examination and treatment.

Immobilization:
The elephant was immobilized using 16 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride in a 3cc dart toped up using water for injection. Darting was done using the Dan Inject system from the vehicle. It was initially on dog sitting position but later on his own went to lateral recumbence. The trunk was maintained patent using a piece of stick placed across the nostril entrances. The temperature was high hence plenty of water was doused on the elephant to keep the body temperatures low.  The ears were used as blindfold. 

The wounded elephant  Septic wound

Treating the elephants wounds

 Examination and Treatment:
On physical examination the elephant had a swollen left fore limb and right rear limb. He also had wounds around the limb flank and head region. The wounds were septic and had Necrotic tissue. An incision was made to allow access and drainage of pus from the limb wounds. Those in the flank and head regions were thoroughly cleaned. The wounds around the limb regions were likely to have been caused by a snake bite. The dead tissue was debrided and removed. The wounds were cleaned using water and Hydrogen Peroxide. They were then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. Topical Antibiotic cream and green clay was then applied into the wound to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The elephant was then injected with 100 ml Betamox L.A and 100 ml Dexamethasone at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 30 minutes.

After treatment

 

Elephants head wound  After treating the elephants head

Reviving the elephant  The elephant waking up after sedation

after treatment

Repeat treatments:
Two successive repeat treatments were carried out at different dates as indicated prior to facilitate healing. However during the repeat treatments the elephant was treated with 4 vials Clindamycin each time to take care of bone infection. During each review the elephant showed signs of improvement and on the road to recovery.

After sedating the Elephant  Maneuvering the elephant

Cleaning the wound  The wound

The deep wound after being cleaned

Reversal of immobilization:
Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (48mgs) into the ear vein was used. It took about 10 minutes to be fully awake from Anaesthesia.

Reviving the elephant  The elephant waking up after sedation

The elephant revived


Case #3 injured lion at Amboseli

Date: 7th August 2014
Species: Lion           
Sex: Male
Age: Sub Adult
Location: Amboseli

History:
A male lion (sub adult) was spotted by rangers at Amboseli and reported to have been lame. The veterinary team immediately attended to the case and made a decision to immobilize and examine the lion.

Immobilization:
The lion was immobilized using 3.5 mgs Medetomidine and 280 mg Ketamine in a 3cc dart toped up using water for injection. Darting from a vehicle was done using Dan-inject system. Full immobilization took place after 10 minutes and he fell on lateral recumbence. The lion was blind folded and Opticlox applied to the eyes.

Lame Lion  After sedating the lion

Moving the lion to a cooler area

Examination:
On physical examination the lion had suffered from injuries around the spinal and hind area. There was plenty of pus around the wounds which indicated it being septic. On palpation, the spinal cord was intact.

Treatment:
The injury could have been as a result of a fight with another lion. The dead tissue was debrided and the wounds toughly cleaned using water and Hydrogen Peroxide. It was then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. The lion was injected with 20ml Betamox and 30ml Dexamethasone at different sites intramuscularly. Tropical antibiotic ointment and green clay was then applied on the wound to facilitate healing. The operation lasted 30 minutes.

Lion's injuries  Treating the lion

After treatment


Case #4 Rescue of giraffe at Amboseli

Date: 19th August 2014
Species: Giraffe
Sex: Male
Age: 1 week old
Location: Amboseli

History:
A young giraffe (1 wk old) was reported abandoned in Amboseli by rangers. Efforts to reunite the young giraffe with the mother proved fruitless after a 2 day trial.
A decision was made to relocate him to the DSWT rescue centre at the Nairobi National Park.

The Giraffe being cared for  Giraffe arriving at the nursery

Disabled giraffe legs

Immobilization:
Physical restraint was used due to the age of the giraffe. Using a land cruiser the giraffe was relocated to the rescue centre for further nurturing and care.
The giraffe is in good health and the chances of survival are high.

The giraffe the next day after arrival  Happy Healthy baby giraffe

Feeding the giraffe


Case #5 Treatment of injured elephant at Satao-Amboseli

Date: 18th August 2014
Species: Elephant
Sex: Female
Age: 20-25years
Location: Satao Amboseli

History:
The Big life rangers based at Satao area while on their routine daily patrols spotted a lame and off feed elephant in the area. They made a report to the S.C.M.V.U based at the A.N.P and the veterinary team immediately made plans to attend to the case. On arrival, the elephant was in an open ground and the extent of immobility could be accessed with ease. However a vehicle could not reach to the elephant due to the rough terrain. A decision to immobilize the elephant for examination and treatment was made.

Tracking the injured elephant  After sedating the elephant

The elephants wound

Immobilization:
The elephant was immobilized using 17 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride in a 3cc dart toped up using water for injection. Foot darting was done using Dan-inject system due to the rough terrain. Full immobilization took place after 5 minutes and she fell on lateral recumbency. The trunk was maintained patent using a piece of stick placed across the nostril entrances. The ears were used as blindfold. 

Examination and Treatment:
The elephant was carefully examined and the left hind limb which was extremely swollen around the femoral tibia joint. The elephant had previously been treated hence this was done to enhance recovery. The injury could have been as a result of a spear injury. The elephant was administered with 100 ml Oxytetracycline 20%, 100ml Flunixine Meglumine, 4 vials Clindamycin and 100ml Multivitamin injections at different sites.

cleaning the wound  The infected wound

Reviving the elephant

Reversal of immobilization:
Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (54mgs) into the ear vein was used. It took about 6 minutes to be fully awake from the Anaesthesia and walk away from the site.
Prognosis:
Prognosis is good.


Case #6 Treatment of eland at Bamburi Haller Park

Date: 24th August 2014 
Species: Eland        
Sex: Male
Age: Adult
Loaction: Bamburi – Haller Park 


History:
A male eland adult was reported to have been lame within the park. The veterinary team immediately attended to the case and made a decision to immobilize and examine the eland.

Immobilization:
The eland was immobilized using 14mg mgs Etorphine and 120 mg Azerperone in a 3cc dart toped up using water for injection. Foot darting was done using Dan-inject system as the elands are relatively tamed. Full immobilization took place after 6 minutes and he fell on lateral recumbence. The eland was blind folded and Opticlox applied to the eyes.

After sedating the Eland  Examining the Eland

Examination:
On physical examination the Eland had suffered from Laxation around the interdigital region and had formed an infection.

Treatment:
The Eland was treated using 50ml Betamox and 50ml Flunixine Megumine. The wounds were also
cleaned using Hydrogen Peroxide, Tincture of Iodine and clean water. The dead tissue was debrided.

Treating the wound  The Eland's injured foot

After treatment on the wound  After reviving the Eland

Prognosis:
The prognosis is good


Case #7 Treatment of injured elephant at Satao Tsavo East

Date: 27th August 2014
Species: Elephant
Sex: Male
Age: 45-50 years
Location: Satao Tsavo East

History:
The Tsavo East rangers based at Satao area while on their routine daily patrols spotted an injured elephant in the area. They made a report to the S.C.M.V.U based at the A.N.P and the veterinary team immediately made plans to attend to the case. An aircraft was availed by the DSWT to fly the veterinary doctor to Satao. On arrival, the elephant was in an open ground and darting from a vehicle was relatively easy.

Immobilization:
The elephant was immobilized using 18 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride in a 3cc dart toped up using water for injection. Darting from a vehicle was done using Dan-inject system. Full immobilization took place after 14 minutes and she fell on lateral recumbency. The trunk was maintained patent using a piece of stick placed across the nostril entrances. The ears were used as blindfold. 

Examination and Treatment:
On physical examination the elephant had a penetrating wound on the right flank region. The wound was septic and had pus. The wound is likely to have been caused by an arrow but had fallen off with time. The dead tissue was debrided and removed. The wound was then thoroughly cleaned using water and Hydrogen Peroxide. It was then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. Topical antibiotic cream and green clay was then applied into the wound to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The elephant was then injected with 100 ml Oxytetracycline 20%, 100 ml Flunixine Meglumine and  at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 40 minutes.

The wound on the elephant  Cleaning the wound

Treating the elephants wound  After reviving the elephant

Reversal of immobilization:
Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (54mgs) into the ear vein was used. It took about 5 minutes to be fully awake from the Anaesthesia and walk away from the site.

Prognosis:
Prognosis is good.
      
A special thanks to:     
The Southern Conservation Area Mobile Veterinary Unit is grateful to all individuals and organisations that played a role in assisting us towards achieving our goal. Many thanks to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, The Samuel J and Ethel Lefrak charitable trust and The Kenya Wildlife Service for their continued support to this unit which aims at immediate response to clinical intervention, wildlife rescues and alleviating wildlife suffering.

Report by: Dr. Michael Njoroge.

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