Every case that needs medical assistance creates new challenges on how to diagnose and treat a patient who can’t talk, doesn’t want to be touched or even be approached by humans, and who instinctually tries to hide its symptoms so it won’t be recognized as weak and easy prey by a predator.
We examine and treat our wildlife patients with minimal handling so we don’t add more disease producing stress to an already injured animal. Sometimes our patients make our job more difficult by refusing to take the medication we’ve hidden in their food or by working relentlessly to remove their bandages or splints.
Unlike domestic pets who can count on their owners for food and shelter, wild animals must be able to fend for themselves once they are released from our care. Any disability that makes it difficult for them to find and catch food, or avoid predators, is reason not to release them. In spite of all these challenges we are generally successful rehabilitating a wide variety of wildlife species.