THE MARA MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - June 2017

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FIELD VETERINARY REPORT FROM MASAI MARA – JUNE 2017

By Dr. Campaign Limo

Introduction;

The ecosystem remained dry for the better part of the month with forage withering and slowly getting depleted. Advance wildebeest teams have crossed from Serengeti to Mara for their annual migration. Few cases were however recorded but incidences involving human wildlife conflict featured with an elephant seriously injured by spearing and a male common zebra being treated for arrow wound.

The following cases were handled during the month;

CASE#1 INJURED LION

Date: 7th June 2017

Species: African lion

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Lookout area (Masai Mara National Reserve)

History

This lion, christened Caesar, is son to the famous Notch who during his prime took over most lion prides in the Masai Mara. Caesar and his brother are the known remaining sons of Notch but are now advanced in age.

Caesar was seen limping by Matira camp guides who informed the Mara Reserve Management who called the Vet Unit for help. Caesar was found lying close to a small thicket with his brother close by. When agitated to move for further assessment, he did so but was severely limping on his right hind leg.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

Restraint was achieved chemically via administration of 1.5mgs Dexmedetomidine and 240mgs Ketamine delivered in a 3ml dan-inject dart. The vet darted the animal from a vehicle and it took ten minutes for the drugs to take full effect. His brother was very protective and had to be kept away by two vehicles before and during treatment. As Caesar had moved slightly into a thicket, he was brought into an open but shaded place for examination and treatment. Careful examination revealed a swelling on his right inguinal area which appeared warm to the touch. Aspirates from this swelling confirmed this was an abscess.

This lion, christened Caesar, is son to the famous Notch  he vet darted the animal from a vehicle and it took ten minutes for the drugs to take full effect

This abscess was lanced at the most ventral point for maximum pus drainage. All the pus was drained and necrotic tissue debrided with the help of Hydrogen peroxide and gauze swabs. It was then rinsed with clean water before being flushed with tincture of iodine. Cloxacillin ointment was then infused as an antibiotic.

 Careful examination revealed a swelling on his right inguinal area  Aspirates from this swelling confirmed this was an abscess

Other treatments include intramuscular injection of 3000mgs Amoxicillin antibiotic and 80mgs Ivermectin parasiticide.

Reversal and Prognosis

Reversal of the anaesthetic was achieved by intramuscular administration of 15mgs Atepamezole hydrochloride one hour after immobilization. He woke up within two minutes of reversal and moved back to the thicket. Prognosis for a fully recovery is good.

He woke up within two minutes of reversal and moved back to the thicket  Prognosis for a fully recovery is good

CASE#2 SICK CHEETAH

Date: 9th June 2017

Species: Cheetah

Age: Adult

Sex: Male

Location: Sand River area (Masai Mara National Reserve)

History

This cheetah was seen at the banks of Sand River by the reserve rangers on patrol with a severe mange infestation. He is thought to have come from the Serengeti and was trailing the wildebeests crossing from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara on their annual migration. They called the veterinary unit for intervention.

Examination and treatment

This lone cheetah appeared severely affected by mange with evident alopecia on his belly and neck. He walked with an occasional limp because of painful cracks in between his toes thought to be caused by excessive drying as a result of mange.

This cheetah appeared hungry and weak so the team decided to deliver 30mgs Ivermectin parasiticide remotely through a 3ml Dan-inject dart. The animal was darted from a vehicle and the dart fell to the ground as soon as the drugs were delivered. The team felt this was the best way to avoid the stress caused of being anaesthetized. The patrol team were advised to keep track of his movements and report to the Vet Unit any changes in condition. A follow up treatment may be done after three weeks depending on response to the first treatment.

This lone cheetah appeared severely affected by mange with evident alopecia on his belly and neck  The team decided to deliver 30mgs Ivermectin parasiticide remotely

Prognosis

Going by previous cases, good response is expected even with one treatment.

CASE#3 SNARED ZEBRA

Date: 15th June 2017

Species: Common zebra

Age: Adult

Sex: Male

Location: Naboisho conservancy

History

This zebra was seen by the Conservancy Rangers with a wire snare around his neck. The Vet Unit were contacted and they found this zebra grazing with a small herd. The wire was relatively tight on the neck and he repeatedly stood on the loose part as he dragged it along which made him restless.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

Immobilization was achieved by use of a combination of 5mgs Etorphine and 50mgs Azaperone delivered through a 1.5ml dan-inject dart from a vehicle. The zebra was fully anaesthetized after seven minutes. The plain wire was removed and further examination revealed no injury had been caused and this zebra was reversed.

This zebra was seen by the Conservancy Rangers with a wire snare around his neck  The plain wire was removed and further examination revealed no injury

The plain wire was removed and further examination revealed no injury  He woke up two minutes after reversal to join the rest of the herd

Reversal and Prognosis

The anaesthetic was reversed by administration of 18mgs Diprenorphine given intravenously through the jugular vein. He woke up two minutes after reversal to join the rest of the herd. Prognosis is good.

CASE#4 INJURED YOUNG ELEPHANT BULL

Date: 16th June 2017

Species: African elephant

Sex: Male

Age: Sub-Adult (10 -12 Years)

Location: Olare Motorogi Conservancy (Near Kempinski camp)

History

This elephant was seen partially submerged in a pool of water close to Kempinski camp and reported to the Vet Unit by Olare Motorogi Conservancy Manager.

General observation and management

This elephant was found on left lateral recumbency with much of his left side submerged in water. He appeared to be in great pain and any attempt to agitate him to move was fruitless. He could only move his head, trunk and forelimbs but could not use his hindquarters. With the help of a tractor, he was pulled from the water for further examination. He had a fresh bleeding injury to the left side of his flank, just to the side of the spine, which appeared to have been caused by spearing. Several attempts to make him stand by repositioning and pulling him were also ineffective as both his hind legs appeared paralysed. After several hours, it was obvious he was not able to stand and to avoid further suffering, euthanasia was advised and effected. Post mortem revealed a deep penetrating wound caused by a spear which could have severed the nerve supply to the posterior part of the body including the hind limbs.

This was a grave prognosis and there was no way this elephant could have survived  This elephant was seen partially submerged in a pool of wate

This elephant appeared not to have moved as soon as he was injured but fell down on the spot. This was a grave prognosis and there was no way this elephant could have survived with this.

CASE#5 INJURED ZEBRA

Date: 18th June 2017

Species: Common zebra

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Olarro conservancy

History

This zebra was seen by the Conservancy Manager limping severely on his right front leg with an arrow lodged in his shoulder. He sought the Vet Unit’s help to intervene. The Vet team found this zebra grazing with other zebras. The arrow had since fallen but a discharging wound was evident on his right shoulder and he was limping.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

Restraint was achieved chemically by use of a combination of 5mgs Etorphine and 50mgs Azaperone in a 1.5ml Dan-inject dart placed into the right gluteal muscles. It took eight minutes for the drugs to take full effect with this zebra assuming right lateral recumbency. He was flipped over to lie on his left for better exposure of the injury.

This zebra was seen limping severely on his right front leg with an arrow lodged in his shoulder  Examination revealed a penetrating wound deep into shoulder muscles caused by an arro

Examination revealed a penetrating wound deep into shoulder muscles caused by an arrow. The arrow had fallen out and no foreign body was detected inside the wound. This wound appeared septic and had to be cleaned thoroughly with the help of Hydrogen peroxide, gauze swabs and clean water. Tincture of iodine was applied as a disinfectant and Cloxacillin ointment infused as an antibiotic. Oxytetracycline antibiotic spray was then applied topically. Additional treatments include parenteral administration of 4500mgs Amoxicillin antibiotic and 20mgs Dexamethasone sodium anti-inflammatory.

The arrow had fallen out and no foreign body was detected inside the wound  This wound appeared septic and had to be cleaned thoroughly

Reversal and Prognosis

Reversal of the anaesthetic was achieved by intravenous administration pf 18mgs Diprenorphine hydrochloride through the jugular vein. He woke up two minutes after reversal to join the other zebras. The prognosis is good.

Reversal of the anaesthetic was achieved by intravenous administration  e woke up two minutes after reversal to join the other zebras

CASE#6 INJURED CHEETAH

Date: 19th June 2017

Species: Cheetah

Sex: Female

Age: Adult

Location: Double Cross (Masai Mara National Reserve)

History

This injured cheetah was reported to us by the Mara-Meru Cheetah Project Team together with the Masai Mara Reserve Management. She was reported to have collided with a tourist car whilst in pursuit of an impala. It was reported that she momentarily lost memory and went into shock for a few minutes after the impact before finally picking herself up and moving to a nearby shade.

General observation and treatment

The Vet Unit found her in the open in a fair condition moving with an occasional slight limp of the left front leg. No open wound could be seen and there was no evidence of fracture because she could place weight on the affected leg. The leg injury was thought to be a soft tissue injury and 6mgs of Dexamethasone sodium anti-inflammatory was introduced remotely through a 3ml Dan-inject dart. The vet darted the cheetah from a vehicle and the dart fell out as soon as the drugs were discharged.

This cheetah was reported to have collided with a tourist car whilst in pursuit of an impala  The vet darted the cheetah with medication from a vehicle

The patrol team were advised to monitor her over the next few days and report the progress to the veterinary team. The latest report indicates she has tremendously improved and on her way to full recovery. She has begun hunting which is a good sign.

CASE#7 INJURED LION

Date: 25th June 2017

Species: African lion

Age: Sub adult                                                                                                       

Sex: Male

Location: Mara North Conservancy

History

This lion was seen with severe injuries by the Mara North Conservancy Manager. He had picked a fight with other lions in an attempt to acquire and protect a territory. The fight left him severely wounded and recumbent. The Vet Unit found this lion lying down and unable to move. He could only raise his head. When agitated to move he could stand, but with difficulty. He had an obvious injury to his spine at the lumbar region.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

Immobilization was achieved by use of a combination of 1.5mgs Dexmedetomidine and 240mgs Ketamine delivered through a 3ml dan-inject dart from a vehicle. It took seven minutes for the drugs to take full effect and closer examination was conducted.

This lion was seen with severe injuries  The Vet Unit found this lion lying down and unable to move

This lion had suffered severe injuries as a result of the fights. It appeared he had been attacked by several other lions with injuries inflicted on almost every part of his body and he had lost a lot of blood. The Injury of concern was a spinal injury at the lumbar region which rendered him almost immobile. Treatment involved debriding all the wounds of necrotic tissues, rinsing with clean water and disinfecting with tincture of iodine. Additional treatments included infusion with Cloxacillin ointment and topical Oxytetracycline spray application.

This lion had suffered severe injuries as a result of the fights  t appeared he had been attacked by several other lions

He received parenteral administration of 3000mgs Amoxicillin antibiotic and 16mgs Dexamethasone sodium anti-inflammatory.

Reversal and Prognosis

Reversal of the anaesthetic was achieved by administration of 15mgs Atepamezole hydrochloride one hour after immobilization. He woke up four minutes after reversal but did not make an attempt to move. His prognosis is guarded due to the severity of the injuries.

He had injuries inflicted on almost every part of his body and he had lost a lot of blood  His prognosis is guarded due to the severity of the injuries

Conclusion

The Mara Mobile Veterinary unit appreciates the help given by various stakeholders within the ecosystem during the period. Some reported cases requiring intervention while others assisted during handling.

Thanks to Minara Foundation through The DSWT for their continuous facilitation. Thanks too to KWS for their technical support and guidance.

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