The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit
Field Report - February 2012
Treatment of security dogs in Tsavo east National Park, 15th Feb.
Sniffer and tracker dogs play a big role in securing wildlife within the region but they themselves are not immune to infections. A German shepherd was brought into the clinic suffering from an ear infection (otitis externa). Signs of head shaking, scratching and pain were evident. It was administered with antibiotics and anti inflammatories and referred to Kabete university hospital for ear cleaning.
Treatment of an injured elephant in Taita hills sanctuary,17th February Taita hills remain a vital spotting point for injured and sick individuals from a vast area and as far as Tsavo west due to availability of water. This is where the seriously injured 10 year old female elephant with a big laceration on the abdominal area near the umbilicus was sited. Immobilization was done using 15 mgs of Etorphine and it took 3 minutes for it to go down. Hanging necrotic tissues were cut off; wounds cleaned using antiseptics and water. Other treatments were administered too. A not very favorable prognosis was given.
Treatment of an elephant with a snare around the neck at Sala gate area, Tsavo East; 26th February. Tsavo East gate of Sala remains a hotspot for injuries in elephants especially snares. Several cases were reported within the month but only few were traced and treated, this being among the lucky ones. After about an hour of searching she was found near the river bank. Darting was done using 16 mgs of etorphine in a dan inject darting system. High tensile wire which was tight around the neck and hind leg causing severe injuries was cut loose and the wounds cleaned, disinfected and tincture of iodine applied. Intramuscular injections of antibiotics and pain relievers were administered.
Prognosis The wound is expected to heal without complications.
Conclusion There is a changing trend where cases of elephants with snares are on the increase around Sala gate area of Tsavo East and bullet wounds and fatalities in the group ranches between Tsavo west and east especially Rukinga, Taita ranch, Mgeno and Mwananchi ranches.
Report by: Dr. Jeremiah Poghon
The Mobile Veterinary Unit operated by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust working with The Kenyan Wildlife Service and funded by Vier Pfoten.