Patient of the Week

All proceeds from Steve Irwin Day go into projects such as the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Australian Wildlife Hospital.

The Australian Wildlife Hospital treats thousands of injured animals each year. Sadly, many of them don’t make it back to the wild. The lucky ones make a full recovery and go on to live happy and healthy lives in their natural habitat. These are their stories…

Saboo and Jemima the Common Brushtail Possums

Saboo and Jemima the Common Brushtail Possums

Age: Saboo - Adult Jemima - Juvenile

Sex: Female Weight: Saboo 2.66kg, Jemima 560gms

Found: Saboo and Jemima were found by a member of the public after being hit by a car, going approximately 70km per hour.

Transported to: The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital late at night, by their rescuer. Caring enough to transport animals to help immediately increases their chances of survival.

Veterinary Assessment: Both Saboo and Jemima were badly injured. Although bright and alert, after examination and x-ray, Dr Amber found very serious fractures in both animals. Saboo had multiply fractures to her face, which was seriously affecting the position of her left eye. She sustained trauma to the soft tissue around her eye but the eye itself was undamaged. Jemima, who would have been on her mothers back at the time of impact, had multiple fractures to her left hind leg. She also had some minor head trauma, indicated by a small amount of bleeding from her nose.

Treatment: Dr Amber prescribed strong pain relief for both patients, antibiotics because their wounds were open to infection and anti-inflammatories for the trauma and swelling. Saboo's eye was repositioned and the major soft tissue injury was stitched. The facial fractures will need time and protection to heal as they are not in a position to be set in plaster. Jemima's leg needed to have a surgical pin inserted to assist healing. Dr Amber performed the major surgery, which took approximately 2 hours.

Future: Saboo and Jemima were re-united after the surgery and Saboo has been seen grooming and caring for her baby, Jemima. They have a long rehabilitation period in their future. Jemima will need to remain at the hospital until her leg is well enough for the surgical pin to be removed. They are both improving and healing well and we hope they will soon be well enough to move into the care of an experienced rehabilitator.

AZWH Fact: Many species of Australian wildlife have an anatomical and nervous system similar to our own. Their bones heal in a similar time frame and they feel the same levels of pain when injured. At the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital we are committed to relieving that suffering for all the animals we treat.

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