THE AMBOSELI MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - January 2016

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MONTHLY REPORT - VETERINARY CLINICAL INTERVENTIONS FOR THE SOUTHERN CONSERVATION AREA (MVU) – JANUARY 2016

Introduction

The Amboseli ecosystem is experienced heavy rains during the months of December and early January. This lead to fewer cases especially those caused by human wildlife conflict especially in elephants. However, during the month we experienced a vast number of cases from different species. The team also participated in collection of elephant biopsy samples for the forensic laboratory. This saw collection of 60 samples from elephants in Amboseli for DNA analysis.

 CASE#1 TREATING INJURED ZEBRA IN AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

Date: 8th January 2016

Species: Zebra               

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Amboseli National Park

History

A male injured zebra was spotted injured by the veterinary team while on routine patrol. The veterinary team immediately made a decision to immobilize, examine and the zebra.

Immobilization

The zebra was immobilized using 7 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride and 60 mg azerperone in a 2cc dart toped up using water for injection. Darting from a vehicle was done using Dan-inject system. Full immobilization took place after 6 minutes and fell on lateral recumbence. The zebra was blind folded and opticlox applied to the eyes to avoid damage.

Examination

On physical examination the zebra had a swelling, a septic injury distal to the left hock joint and tail which could have been caused by an attack from a predator.

Examining the wound  Wound on the left hind leg

Treatment

The wounds were thoroughly cleaned using clean water, hydrogen peroxide and normal saline for rinsing.

Cleaning the leg wounds  Treating the leg wounds

The dead tissue was debrided and removed. It was then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. Topical antibiotic cream and green clay was then applied onto the wounds to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The zebra was then injected with 30 ml Betamox L.A and 20 ml Dexamethasone at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 20 min.

Applying tincture of iodine on the wounds  Packing the wounds with green clay

Reversal

Reversal of immobilization was done using 18 mg diprenorphine HCL and took about 4 minutes for complete reversal.

Prognosis

The prognosis is good.

 

CASE#2 TREATMENT OF INJURED ELEPHANT IN AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

Date: 12th January 2016

Species: Elephant

Sex: Female

Age: 16 yrs

History

The adult female elephant was spotted within the park by the Amboseli rangers whilst on patrol.

The elephants wound visible on her back

The vet team attended to the case and a decision was made to immobilize and treat the elephant though she had been previously treated. Darting was achieved relatively easily from a land cruiser.

The elephant cow with her herd  Safely darting the elephant

Immobilization

The elephant was immobilized using 17 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride in a 3cc dart toped up using water for injection. Darting was done using Dan-inject system from the land cruiser. Full immobilization took place after 6 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.  Plenty of water was doused on the ears (pinnae) and the entire body to help cool the elephant during the operation.

Examination and Treatment

On examination, the elephant had a septic wound was on the spinal region but about 5 cm from the spine. The wound was deep (approx. 30 cm), with a clean cut. It is likely to have been caused by a spear thrown from a platform. Signs of good healing were obvious as the wound had greatly improved since the previous treatment.

Examining the site of the wound  Cleaning and treating the wound

The wound was thoroughly cleaned using water and Hydrogen Peroxide. It was then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. Topical antibiotic cream, spray and green clay was then applied into the wound to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The elephant was then injected with 200 ml Amoxcycillin L.A 20% and 100 ml Dexamethasone HCL at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 20 minutes.

Packing the wound with green clay  Elephant injected with medicine at different sites

Reversal of immobilization

Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (54mgs) into the ear vein was used.

Recovering from the anesthetic   Walking away to rejoin her herd

Prognosis

Prognosis is good.

 

CASE#3 POST MORTEM REPORT OF AN ADULT LION

Date: 12th January 2016

Species: Lion

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Brief history

A report was made to the Amboseli National Park headquarters of a speared male lion. The lion was carried from the scene to the park HQ for post mortem.

Transporting the dead lion from the site  Lion arriving for post mortem

General examination

The lion had severe spear injuries to the head, abdominal and thoracic region. Several spear penetrations were clearly visible and it was evident that the lion had succumbed from the fatal spear penetrations into the vital organs of the thoracic and abdominal cavity.

Observation

The head had a severe spear injury leading to skull fracture. The lungs, gut and heart had been severely punctured. The spear injuries had penetrated into the abdomen and lungs.

The lions wounds and inflicted injuries  Post-mortem on the lion

 

CASE#4 TREATMENT OF AN INJURED ELEPHANT IN AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

Date: 16th January 2016

Sex: Male

Age: 50-55 yrs

History

The adult male elephant was spotted within the park by the veterinary team while collecting biopsy samples. The vet team decided to immobilize the elephant for examination and treatment of a wound on the head. Darting was relatively easy from a land cruiser.

Immobilization

The elephant was immobilized using 18 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride in a 3cc dart toped up using water for injection. Darting was done using Dan-inject system from the land cruiser. Full immobilization took place after 8 minutes and he fell on lateral recumbence. The trunk was maintained patent using a piece of stick placed across the nostril entrances. The ears were used as blindfold.  Plenty of water was doused on the ears (pinnae) and the entire body to help cool the elephant during the operation.

Preparing to examine the elephant  Taking measurements

Examination and Treatment

On examination, the elephant had a septic wound was on the head region. The cause of the wound was not well established.  The wound was thoroughly cleaned using water and Hydrogen Peroxide. It was then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. Topical antibiotic cream, spray and green clay was then applied into the wound to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The elephant was then injected with 100 ml Amoxcycillin L.A 20% and 100 ml Dexamethasone HCL at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 30 minutes. Samples for DNA analysis were collected for development of the forensic laboratory data.

Cleaning the wound  Reversing the anesthetic

Reversal of immobilization

Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (54mgs) into the ear vein was used.

Prognosis

Prognosis is good.

Recovering from the anesthetic  Elephant bull after treatment

 

CASE#5 TREATING AN INJURED HIPPOPOTAMUS IN AMBOSELI        

Date: 22nd January 2016

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

History

A male hippo was spotted by the veterinary team at Amboseli National park while on routine patrol.

Examination

On physical examination from the land cruiser, it was clearly visible that the hippo had sustained a severe injury on the left flank region. The injury was possibly from a serious bite of another hippo possibly while fighting. The ribs were also fractured and the wound was seriously septic.

Injured Hippo in the water  The full extent of the injuries shown

Treatment

It was evident that the hippo was undergoing a lot of suffering and pain. The prognosis was nil and therefore a decision was made to euthanize the hippo. It was retrieved from the swamp and disposed accordingly within the park.

Removing the hippo from the water  Examining the hippo's injuries

 

CASE#6 TREATING AN EMACIATED LION IN AMBOSELI

Date: 24th January 2016

Species: Lion          

Sex: Male

Age: 2 years

History

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

Immobilization

The lion was immobilized using 4.0 mgs medetomidine and 295 mg ketamine in a 3cc dart. Darting from a vehicle was done using Dan-inject system. Full immobilization took place after 7 minutes and he fell on lateral recumbence. The lion was blind folded and opticlox applied to the eyes.

Anesthetizing the lion

Examination

On physical examination the lion had no injuries but was highly emaciated and anemic.

Examining the lions mouth  Further examinations

Treatment

The lion was injected with 20 ml Betamox and 30 ml Dexamethasone at different sites intramuscularly. 4.5 ml Imizol (imidocarb dipropionate) and 10ml catasol was also administered. 7.5 ml Ivomec was also administered to take care of the external and internal parasites. The operation lasted 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Revival

The lion was then revived using 12 mg atipamizole and was fully recovered after 30 min. The young lion was fed on some goat meat for two days as he could not hunt.

Recovering from the anesthetic  Being fed some goat meat

3 days later, the lion attacked a young buffalo but was seriously injured in the fight. He suffered from punctured lungs and G.I.T hence had to be euthanized to alleviate the pain.

The lion on p.m was seen to have an enlarged gall bladder, seriously anaemic and emaciated. He was later traced to have borne of a lioness with poor mothering ability.

The lions fatal injuries  Post-mortem of the lion

 

CASE#7 TREATMENT OF AN INJURED OSTRICH AT ILBISSIL-KAJIADO

Date: 27th January 2016

Species: Ostrich

Sex: Female

Age: Adult

History

The female ostrich was reported lame in Ilbissil area at a ranch. The vet team attended to the case for treatment. On observation, the ostrich had a swollen left limb.

Immobilization

The ostrich was fairly domesticated and hence was physically restrained using nets and ropes. Mild sedation was administered using 1 mg etorphine HCL and 2 mg medetomidine for easy examination and treatment.

Examination and Treatment

On examination, there was no physical injury but the left limb was extremely swollen. The ostrich was injected with 30 ml Amoxcycillin L.A 20% and 20 ml Flunixine meglumine at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 20 minutes.

Reversal of immobilization

Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (3mgs) and 6mg atipamizole i.v. was used for reversal. It took about 5 minutes to recover and walk away from the site.

Prognosis

Prognosis is good.

 

CASE#8 RESCUE OF AN ELEPHANT CALF IN AMBOSELI

Date: 30th January 2016

Species: Elephant

Sex: Female

Age: 1 month

History

A young female elephant (1 month old) was reported abandoned at a swamp in Amboseli ecosystem by rangers. The veterinary team attended to the case for rescue.

Rescue

The calf had been stuck in the swamp for sometime an the mother was at a distance. The mother was kept away from the calf by use of a landcruiser as efforts were made to retrieve the baby from the swamp.

Elephant calf stuck in the swamp

Success was finally achieved after about 25 minutes. The mother and calf were reunited and pushed to an area further from the swamp where the baby was safe.

Elephant calf reunited with its mother

The Southern Conservation Area-Mobile Veterinary Unit is grateful to all individuals who 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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Team Reports:

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