The Rhino with Glue-On Shoes: And Other Surprising True Stories of Zoo Vets and their Patients

The Rhino with Glue-On Shoes: And Other Surprising True Stories of Zoo Vets and their Patients

Lucy H. Spelman, Ted Y. Mashima

Language: English

Pages: 173

ISBN: 0385341474

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A moray eel diagnosed with anorexia…A herd of bison whose only hope is a crusading female doctor from Paris…A vet desperately trying to save an orphaned whale by unraveling the mystery of her mother’s death…This fascinating book offers a rare glimpse into the world of wild animals and the doctors who care for them. Here pioneering zoological veterinarians—men and women on the cutting edge of a new medical frontier—tell real-life tales of daring procedures for patients weighing tons or ounces, treating symptoms ranging from broken bones to a broken heart, and life-and-death dramas that will forever change the way you think about wild animals and the bonds we share with them. At once heart-quickening and clinically fascinating, the stories in this remarkable collection represent some of the most moving and unusual cases ever taken on by zoological vets. A chronicle of discovery, compassion, and cutting-edge medicine, The Rhino with Glue-on Shoes is must reading for animal lovers, science buffs, and anyone who loves a well-told tale.

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and is standing full height and roaring at you can truly necessitate a wardrobe change. Hondo was no exception, and he greeted me the same way every time I paid the chimps a visit during those first few years. The way to cure him, the keepers said, was to ignore the assault. Just the way we tell our kids to deal with bullies. So year after year, every time a chimp had a runny nose or a cut on its finger, I would approach the enclosure calmly and try to examine the patient with composure while

keepers and these intelligent, sentient close relatives of ours. My bond with him was special, but I bounced around the zoo every day treating hundreds of different mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. His keepers spent every daylight hour with the chimp troop, training, feeding, cleaning, and communicating with them. They were family. I explained to the somber group that Hondo had hepatic amyloidosis, an accumulation of inflammatory protein in the liver. The cause was unknown, and there was no

swollen face, hoping for fresh inspiration. But the weeks slipped by, and instead of finding answers, I was increasingly forced to face defeat. Karen felt that Brass was beginning to go downhill quickly. We found him curled up near the warmth of the heat lamp more frequently, and what appeared to be a sprained pinky finger escalated into a hand so swollen that his skin began to split. Brass also began losing weight, despite special food supplements. As I watched Brass one day, Karen and I

These incredibly dedicated, caring people are essential to the critical care of stranded animals. Over the following weeks, they would nurse Baker D. Initially, Baker D could neither swim nor support himself in the water. So our volunteers fashioned a special sling made of floats and neoprene to help keep him afloat. Two people at a time stood in the water with the dolphin to guide him gently around the pool, preventing him from listing or sinking and injuring himself. On that first day, I also

down to the affected bones without damaging the muscles. This was a painstaking process, and the fact that nobody had ever done it before in a kangaroo made it slow going. In terms of surgical anatomy, we had few bipedal mammals to use for comparison. Dr. Harris frequently asked us what was normal and what was not. He pointed to a place where one of the neck muscles split in two. Was that normal anatomy, or had it occurred when the kangaroo hit the fence? We really didn't know. No textbooks

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