The Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit
Field Report - March 2011
Skin scrapping samples were collected and kept in 70% ethanol for further laboratory analysis. Blood samples were collected in EDTA coated tubes and plain tubes coated with clot retractor and kept in a cool box, tissue and hair samples kept in ethanol solution and ectoparasites such as ticks and lion flies collected and stored in 70% ethanol. These samples are to be processed and stored in KWS lab for further analysis and for health monitoring purposes.
After treatment, the animal was revived from anaesthesia after about 60 minutes using 30mgs of Atipamezole Hcl administered intramuscularly; it took about 10 minutes to rise up. It was to be monitored on a daily basis by security rangers who would report on its progress regularly to the veterinarian just in case it would require further treatment or any assistance to enhance its recovery.
Removal of a snare and treatment of a zebra foal in Hell’s Gate NP.
A zebra foal was sighted with a tight wire snare cutting through the neck muscles near the watering point in Hell’s Gate NP. The wire had cut deep into the muscles causing a very deep and extensive wound on the ventral side of the neck.
The zebra was captured by darting using 3mgs of etorphine combined with 30mgs of xylazine on the left thigh, it became recumbent after about 6 minutes, the wire was quickly removed and the wound cleaned and debrided using 10% hydrogen peroxide, then treated by topical application of tincture of iodine followed by oxytetracycline spray and intramuscular administration of antibiotics.
It was then revived from anaesthesia using 12mgs of diprenorphine hydrochloride combined with 5mgs of atipamezole hydrochloride administered through the jugular vein.
The zebra had good chances of recovery after the removal of the wire and treatment of the wound, the wound was only affecting the soft tissues of the neck and is likely to heal faster after treatment.
Euthanasia and postmortem examination of an elephant in Olare Orok Wildlife Conservancy
This was a case of an adult male elephant that was found lying on the ground and unable to rise up, it kept struggling to come up but could not manage due to injuries sustained on the left front leg. It was suspected that the elephant had been lying down for about 3 days, the leg and shoulder muscles were already fatigued and the animal had developed decubital wounds on the abdomen caused by the prolonged period of lying down and rubbing on the ground. After examination, we realized that no amount of treatment would make it stand up and move, the prognosis for recovery was very poor. The elephant was then euthanized humanely by a single gun-shot on the fore-head and it died instantly without feeling any pain.
The elephant had a deep wound on the left shoulder joint that penetrated deep into the joint cutting most of the joint ligaments. As a result of this the joint became weak to an extent that it could not support the weight of the animal, we also suspected paralysis of the brachial nerves of the affected leg. It had lost most of the body condition after staying with the injury for sometime. Bothe tusks were recovered and taken to KWS stores for safe keeping.
KWS acknowledges the great support received from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust towards provision of wildlife veterinary services in Maasai Mara and other parts of the Central Rift Conservation area.
Report by: Dr. Domnic Mijele