A Brave Little Monkey Amputee

The following story was sent to us from Dr. Deepa Katyal in Mumbai, India.

injured monkey being fed by vetThis is the story of a little baby monkey, Choti, with one of the strongest wills to fight. The monkey was only about 1-month-old and weighed 980 grams (a little over 2 pounds) when she was brought to us. She suffered bad injuries on her hand after being badly mutilated by an aggressive male monkey. According to the rescuer who brought her in, the male monkey shook her by the leg several times after ripping her hand and then flung her into a body of water close by. The little girl suffered tears on her shoulder, thighs, face, and back. One leg had a broken femur bone, and the other had sciatic nerve injuries. On top of all that, her left shoulder was dislocated.

The wounds looked really bad and it was imperative to manage her pain, and to make her eat and take medication. After receiving and responding to the pain cocktail, Choti started eating. Emeraid was used as part of her recovery diet. Repeated dressing of her wounds made me concerned, especially with her left hand’s healing progress. The hand was getting gangrenous, so we decided to amputate it.

I want to thank each and every person who saw her and is praying for her recovery. A big thank you to Dr. Someshwar and Dr. Ashit Roa who spared their valuable time. Dr. Roa, thank you for your time for her surgery, which was so impeccable, while I was taking care of her anesthesia. My worries were her weakness and no available vein due to several injuries. Thank you also Stephen Cital and Mary Allen Goldberg for forever being there to guide me through these tough cases that take both a physical and emotional toll on me.

injured monkey wrapped in blanketEven more problems continue to be added to her long list of injuries, including her left leg seemingly losing the ability to feel pain. We have started acupuncture, cold lasers, electronic muscle stimulation, and physiotherapy, along with her pain meds.

Putting her down was an easier option considering her condition and future in the wild, but keeping the following in mind, plus her fighting spirit, gave me the courage to go ahead with her procedure.

  • A good rehab option provided by the forest department
  • Her turnaround with medication just two days after her terrible and painful injuries
  • Her surviving a major surgery such as this considering her weak condition
  • Her postoperative smooth recovery that led to her demanding food a few hours later

With great hopes of her getting better soon and leaving no stone unturned for her recovery, I pray for little Choti. Thank you is a small word for my colleagues Dr. Trisha, Dr. Krish Someshwar, Pawar Kaka, Siddhart, Rohita, Sameer Vohra from Kalote Farms, and Sahu for taking such good care of her, in spite of our crazy schedules.

Choti is now rehabbing in a Kalote farmhouse as she stills bears a slight neurological issue in her left leg. She has 26 dogs, pigs, emus, horses, cows, cats, and birds to keep her company. It is one of the toughest things in life for me to detach from these babies once they have recovered, but for their good and their future, it is a call I have to make.

Dr. Deepa Katyal
Mumbai, INDIA
Masters of Veterinary Studies (Australia)
Master of Veterinary Science (India), deepakatyal.com
Board of Director (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management) USA

Grey Fox Vs. Jar

The following story was shared by Gold Country Wildlife Rescue in Auburn, California.

fox with its head stuck in plastic jarA grey fox got its head trapped in a plastic jar. It was captured by two of our rescue volunteers in Georgetown, California, and brought to our intake center in Auburn, California. The jar was removed, but the fox’s head had suffered some significant damage from trying to get the jar off. It had several wounds around its head and neck that were maggot-infested, and the fox was very emaciated. It weighed in at 1,600 grams (about 3.5 pounds) on intake.

We treated the fox’s wounds and provided the fox with subcutaneous fluids for several days, as well as providing it with antibiotics and pain medication. We also placed ointment on its wounds to help with the healing process. We provided diluted Emeraid Intensive Care Carnivore as a main source of nutrition for a few days until it was more stable and more whole foods could be introduced. We then made the transition from Emeraid to mice by offering both at first, and then offering less Emeraid each time until the fox was able to eat a more natural diet of mice, nuts, veggies, and bones.

The fox made a quick recovery. It was in our care for only three weeks before being released. Upon release the fox weighed 2,600 grams (a little more than 5.5 pounds). It gained 1,000 grams from start to finish in our care.

Electrocuted Monkey

The following story was sent to us from Dr. Deepa Katyal in Mumbai, India.

human holds burnt monkey in armsI have seen several monkeys electrocuted when they travel from forested zones to city limits due to live wires. They enter human space in search of human food and get electrocuted and burnt. Such victims ideally require intensive care facilities, which, unfortunately, the city cannot provide. The forest department then sends these horribly burnt victims to the hospital or the monkeys are rescued by kind volunteers who want to save wildlife.

A baby macaque was rescued with several burn injuries late in the middle of the night, and I received a call from a wildlife rescue volunteer. I just love and admire these monkeys. Despite so much pain and many injuries, they never give up their struggle to survive. A little love, affection, and a lot of good pain management sets the path to recovery. This little baby, Babulal, is now back to its normal monkey business. I especially want to thank the following: Dr. Lobo for urgent treatment of this monkey’s eyes; Emeraid for supplying us with intensive care food, because those first two days of pain were a nightmare to make him eat and sustain — the food really helped him pull through; Johanna for the Vetramil cream samples, which worked like magic to heal the impact wounds; my own animals (including Chichi, my cat), my tolerant neighbours, and especially my dear husband, for tolerating the cacophony in the house during the early morning. Babulal likes to call with his baby monkey whistles at 5 AM and Poly, my grey bird, responds in the most jungle-like calling fashion.

This macaque baby was in so much pain from his injuries and losing half of his tail that he self-mutilated to try to ease the pain. His lower body had several other electrocution impact areas, including his anus, which made him cry with every defecation for the first two days. I can’t imagine the horrific incident that led to all this. I believe only those with strong genes that are destined to procreate survive this kind of trauma. I’m happy that the Thane SPCA gave me yet another opportunity to meet and treat this now naughty Babulal, who still has at least a week more of traumatic medication time, several full wound dressing sessions, enjoyable massages, and cold laser time — and yes, lots of caring hugs, kisses, head massages, and grooming sessions. We can’t bring his mother back and fill the void, but we can at least try to make his journey towards adulthood a comfortable one. I love you, Babulal, and I love being a veterinarian.

Dr. Deepa Katyal
Masters of Veterinary Studies (Australia)
Master of Veterinary Science (India), deepakatyal.com
Board of Director (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management) USA.

Egg-Bound Monitor Lizard

The following story was sent to us from Dr. Deepa Katyal in Mumbai, India.

A monitor lizard was found by some passersby in the scorching heat of the city of Thane, in a corner of a pathway. It was almost dead due to dehydration and a huge belly.

The case was presented to the Thane SPCA and directed to my practice for medical help. Exotic animal medicine is still in the beginning stages in India, and not every veterinarian handles these cases.

large monitor lizard on a towelAfter correcting the dehydration and taking X-rays, we discovered the huge abdominal bulge was due to her being egg bound. She was extremely listless and was in chronic pain with her eyes shut for almost two weeks. As days went by, painkillers daily, calcium intake, and other supportive treatment kept being given. The hope was that the lizard would slowly gain the strength to get the eggs out.

It took the lizard mom a total of four weeks to respond, which is when she finally protested her injections and opened her eyes. With the right knowledge, pain medication, and a full course of treatment, Lizzy graced us with her first egg, and this made us witness a beauty in labor. After one week she was a mom to 21 infertile eggs. Totally exhausted, Lizzy would not accept food, so she was tube-fed with Emeraid Intensive Care Carnivore.

She was still consistently motionless, but now her eyes were open when awake. We saw this as a great sign of recovery, but one week after delivering her eggs, her intestine prolapsed; the gut and stool content showed the presence of roundworms and tapeworms. After a safe sedation, we got the intestines where they belonged and dewormed her. We continue our feeding with the life-saving Emeraid Intensive Care Carnivore.

After three weeks of being unresponsive, Lizzy surprised us with her graceful and fantastic “catwalk.” This was possible after a total of two months of tube feeding and recovery from egg binding and intestinal prolapse due to worm load.

I kept her under a few more weeks of observation. Once she began eating and became active, she was released by the forest department into the wild after three months of total recovery time.

I’m now left wondering how the universe in its intelligence puts help at the right place, at the right time. How it connects with the right people, instrumental to save a life. I’m simply speechless after this experience. Thank you to Emeraid for the food supply, without which it would have been very difficult to get Lizzy back to being strong enough to go through all this.

Dr. Deepa Katyal
Companion Animal Veterinary Practitioner
M.V.Sc (Mumbai), M.V.St (Aus)
Board of Director (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management) USA. ivapm.org,
Website: www.deepakatyal.com


Helping a Wounded Porcupine

porcupine surrounded by woodThis adult male porcupine arrived at Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation on June 20, 2017, with a large wound on his dorsum that was suspected to be caused by a dog attack. He was in good body condition, weighing in at 11.4 kilograms.

He was sedated, and the wound was cleaned and sutured. He was treated with pain medications and antibiotics, but it is difficult to get medication in a porcupine twice a day. They found, however, that porcupines like the Emeraid Intensive Care Herbivore diet offered in a dish, and the rehabilitators were able to hide his medications in this dish of Emeraid.

He ate the medication twice daily and was released on July 13, 2017.

American Coot

coot with black feathers and white beak looking at the cameraThis coot arrived at Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation on April 24, 2018, weighing 480 grams. He sustained a trauma to the right side of the body, including a right corneal ulcer, a right radius fracture, and a right tibiotarsus fracture. His eye was treated with antibiotics, his wing with a wing wrap, and his leg is being treated with a shin-pad splint.

These birds are waders and like to walk along the shoreline and forage for food. In captivity, we normally give them a shorebird platter that they can walk through and pick out insects and plants. The splint makes it difficult for him to perform this natural behavior. To help maintain his weight, we have been tube feeding him Emeraid Intensive Care Omnivore three times a day. His current weight is 512 grams and his fractures are healing well. Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation anticipates he will make a full recovery and, once the splint is removed he can start to self-feed again.

Posted on August 16, 2018.

Healing a Northern Saw-whet Owl

owl standing in dark crateThis adult Northern Saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) was brought into the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah by a Good Samaritan from Magna, Utah, after a traumatic injury — likely due to hitting a window.

This bird presented slightly underweight with a decreased body condition score and neurologic signs with an intake weight of 86 grams. We started the owl on oral analgesics and esophageal tube feeding of Emeraid Intensive Care Carnivore on the day of intake and offered a mouse to determine appetite.

After the first day, we knew that the bird had little to no appetite and the Emeraid Intensive Care Carnivore was continued. A few days later, this Saw-whet was back on its feet (literally!) with an increased weight of 90 grams and was eating on its own.

We know that without digestible nutrition for those first few days, the outcome for this owl may have been different. The patient now eats whole prey on its own, weighs 92 grams, and should make a full recovery. We hope to release it back into the wild this year.

owl being fed Emeraid

Rescuing 10,000 Radiated Tortoises In Madagascar

healing turtle next to large bag of EmeraidOn April 10, 2018, more than 10,000 critically endangered Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) were discovered in Toliara, Madagascar and confiscated by local police. The tortoises were moved to a nearby facility in Ifaty called Village des Tortues, a private tortoise facility run by the French organization SOPTOM. It was here that the arduous process of treating and caring for the tortoises began by local Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) Malagasy staff. Following this confiscation, TSA began organizing an international response effort in partnership with the Directeur Regional de l’Environment, de ‘Ecologie et des Forets (DREEF). On April 23rd, the first team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, husbandry specialists, pathologists, and communications specialists arrived at Ifaty and continued the critical work required to care for the 10,000 tortoises.

Meeting The Need For Tortoise Veterinary Exams
I was sent by Shedd Aquarium’s Animal Response Team and arrived with the second wave of volunteers on May 4th. Once in Ifaty, I worked with other members of the veterinary team in SOPTOM’s clinic. Every day we evaluated new tortoise cases presented to the clinic and administered prescribed treatments to hospitalized patients. Ill tortoises were housed outdoors in sick pens or more critical cases were housed indoors in a temporary intensive care unit (ICU). Upon physical examination, we evaluated the tortoise’s eyes, mouth, skin, and shell for signs of infection and assessed its demeanor and body condition. The biggest issue we faced was poor body condition; tortoises that died had zero fat stores and felt like empty shells when you picked them up. Medically, we mainly encountered mouth infections, weakness, lack of appetite, eye injuries, and some shell damage. With limited diagnostic capabilities in the field, we were unable to identify a cause of the mouth infections.

man tube feeding a turtle some EmeraidDelivering Nutritional Support, Antibiotic Therapies, and Other Treatments

Emeraid, a division of Lafeber Company, graciously donated several containers of Emeraid Intensive Care Herbivore to TSA. This product proved invaluable when we needed to supplement thin and weak tortoises with oral nutrition. Several of the tortoises affected by the mouth infections were also unwilling or unable to eat. We would supplement these tortoises as well by gavage feeding the Emeraid Intensive Care Herbivore until they showed interest in leafy greens and began eating on their own again. In addition to the nutritional support, sick tortoises were treated with antibiotic therapies and individuals with mouth lesions were debrided and given an injection of pain medications (anti-inflammatories). By meeting the nutritional, health, and husbandry needs of the tortoises, we were able to keep mortalities to a minimum (10% for the entire operation).

Looking To The Future Of These Radiated Tortoises
Recently, the 8,900 remaining tortoises were moved to a newly built TSA facility in Itampolo, Madagascar. The tortoises will continue to be monitored by local TSA Malagasy veterinary and husbandry staff to make sure they have enough energy/fat stores to last through the lean winter months. Once again, the Emeraid Intensive Care Herbivore diet may prove useful for tortoise cases that require critical nutritional support. The tortoises will be housed in Itampolo until they have completed a quarantine period and regained their lost fat reserves. It is TSA’s goal to eventually release and reestablish this group of critically endangered tortoises to protected wild reserves in Madagascar. Thanks again to DREEF, SOPTOM, the Malagasy Government, the U.S. Embassy, and all the zoological institutions, charitable organizations, NGOs, private donors, and the Lafeber company for helping make this unprecedented, monumental Radiated Tortoise relief effort a success.

This story has been shared by Dr. Matt O’Connor, Staff Veterinarian, Shedd Aquarium.

close up of hands caring for and tube feeding Emeraid to turtle

Double-Crested Cormorant

Double crested Cormorants standing on rocks next to a man-made shallow poolRed tide, a harmful algal bloom, was confirmed around Sanibel Island in September 2017, and with it brought many ocean birds suffering from red tide toxicity. One of the ocean birds was a double-crested cormorant admitted to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) weighing just 1.08 kilograms. The cormorant was emaciated, ataxic, neurologic, unable to walk or fly, unable to eat on its own, and had minor head tremors.

Most double-crested cormorants with red tide toxicity present very similarly, seemingly forgetting how to be a bird until they are too weak to try. Emeraid Intensive Care Piscivore was used as the nutritional base for this patient until the head tremors disappeared and the patient could stand on its own. Being able to offer a non-toxic food option was vital for this patient to recover. Once the neurologic symptoms resolved, the cormorant was offered finger mullet along with a liquid diet force fed until eating on its own.

As the patient started eating and gaining weight, it was moved outside to CROW’s Pelican Compound to monitor its flying and hunting abilities. After just a few days outside, the patient was eating and flying well enough to be considered for release. Just a few weeks after intake, the double-crested cormorant was successfully released with no remaining symptoms of red tide toxicity.

Common Raven

raven in an enclosure on a branchA common raven came to the intake center of Gold Country Wildlife Rescue in Auburn, California, after having been attacked by a rescuer’s dog. The raven was in poor condition when it arrived. It was very thin, dehydrated, and weak, with many plant stickers on its body and missing many feathers. There were also stress bars present on the remaining feathers. The raven even tested positive for tapeworms and lice, making this little one in need of definitive care.

The raven was treated with anti-parasitics, lice medication, and a fluid therapy to help it heal. It was too weak to be able to eat very much when it first arrived though so it was tube fed with Emeraid Intensive Care Carnivore once a day as a supplemental diet. After supplementing for a few weeks, the raven gained weight and was able to eat completely on its own. It stayed with Gold Country Wildlife Rescue for two months while it healed from its injuries, molted, re-grew feathers, and regained its body condition. When it arrived it weighed in at 454g and when it was released it had reached a weight of 720g. This raven beat the odds and was able to have a second chance back in the wild.