Removing the damaged cast cover
Less than a week after Dingle Dell was treated, the curator noticed that Lion’s Den cover no longer looked the same and that there was wound exudate (discharge, including pus etc) around the dressing. Dr Rogers came out to examine her, and the decision was made to dart and anaesthetise her and treat her wound.
As the previous two treatments had shown little improvement, the whole team was dreading to see what the wound looked like. Thankfully, it was a wonderful surprise for all, as the wound had at last shown good progress in healing.
Note the improvement from the previous treatment, there is now a firm, healthy bed of granulation tissue and the sinus is almost completely sealed
Dr Rogers noted that the dressing was changed just in time as the pus had once more attracted the pesky flies. In fact, they had already begun to lay eggs, but thankfully no damage had been done to the wound. In addition to this, the edges of the wound had just begun to heal over the edge of the cast which is not ideal.
Injecting local anaesthetic to block the nerve supply to the horn
Antibiotic powder placed on the wound
The whole team is needed to roll the rhino onto her other side to allow blood supply to the leg she was lying on
Moulding the cast material over the horn
Placing swabs to protect and pad the wound
So the wound was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with F10 Wound Disinfectant before being treated with an antibiotic powder, and sealed with a cast. The cast used covers the whole horn area and not just the wound, as this will give greater protection from the flies and allow skin to heal underneath the cast and not over it. As the rhino is so heavy, it cannot be allowed to lie on one side for extended periods as it prevents blood flow to the leg underneath the body. For this reason, Lion’s Den had to be rolled on to her other side in the middle of the procedure.
Placing one of the last screws in the cast
Staples being placed at the base of the cast to reduce the risk of the cast covering loose prematurely
The team was ecstatic for Lion’s Den and for her unborn calf, and are holding thumbs and praying that her wound only gets better and healthier from here on out.
Lion’s Den is up quickly from her anaesthetic and is soon off to re-join her companions