This week was certainly less hectic as last week, but busy none the less. On Tuesday we got in a fawn that was abandoned and infested in maggots. Despite my boss and I working on her, attempting to comb out all the eggs and maggots and give her subcutaneous fluids, she did not make it. The person that brought her in was hysterical- which was something I haven’t encountered yet. This was also my first time handling an admission. While it is easy to get emotional when animals are involved, it is also important to understand that we cannot save each and every one of them. Despite knowing this, I reassured her that we would try our best and that bringing her in is her best chance of survival. Sometimes, it is best to let people down easy. On a lighter note, a large amount of cottontails were released in the early afternoon.
On Wednesday, there was much of the usual- feeding skunks and raccoons first, and then preparing the fox food, helping finish feeding the squirrels, preparing food dishes for the inside and outside animals, and cleaning the outside enclosures. One of the groundhogs was released into a larger outdoor enclosure, which we had cleaned and prepared for him last week. We also began doing enrichment with the foxes, which will aid in teaching them how to hunt by hiding mealworms in their enclosure. The female (daisy) caught on to this quickly, finding and eating two mealworms before I left. By the next morning all 30 worms were gone. An extremely young fawn and a fawn that had been hit by a car were strong enough to join the rest of the fawns down at the barn, where they were able to have proper social interactions with other fawns as well as room to run and play. After they were moved, we collapsed their indoor pens and gave everything a thorough cleaning.
While giving him his afternoon feeding, I found a hard mass at the base of our baby skunk’s tail. We found that it was his fur matted with feces and formula, and it had caused a sore on his tail. After we untangled the fur, antibiotic ointment was applied to the wound. After checking on him Thursday, the sore appeared to be healing well, with no signs of inflammation or infection. In a skunk, it is easy to miss injuries on their tails due to the way they are handled- when we take them out to feed, we wrap them in a towel to prevent them from being able to spray us, meaning his tail is normally buried in a towel the entire time he is being handled.