A glimps into the world of wildlife rehabilitation…the world through a rehabber's eyes.

Theo’s grand adventures


The Theo saga continues with tonight’s terrifying fiasco. A day or two ago, little Theo the klutz managed to cut his leg on something. Who knows what. No big deal, his paw was a bit swollen, but pretty normal, and it looked as if  it had healed up just fine. Tonight, we let him out for his regular play sessions, part of his socialization as a possible education animal. He ran and goofed off and played like kittens do while we had a bit of a staff meeting.

As we were talking, I noticed a few fresh drops of blood on one of the boxes Theo had been playing in. I stopped everyone, and we searched for the bleeding animal. As we looked around the room, I noticed little bloody footprints leading to Theo staring at us, wondering why we are all staring at him.

I grabbed him up, the blood running down his tiny leg very apparent. We rushed him to the kitchen to wash it off and find out where the bleeding was coming from. At this point, we are very worried. That is a LOT of blood for such a little guy. Val took Theo, and I pressed my thumb onto his bleeding leg, while a volunteer rushed to the medical supply room to grab some gauze and a blanket to wrap the now pissed off and screaming Theo in.

Somehow, during his play time, Theo apparently reopened his cut, opening his vein in the process. This is a very dangerous situation for our little bobcat. If we can’t stop the flow, he will bleed out and die. We stop the bleeding just long enough to see exactly where it is all coming from before it starts bleeding again. Quickly, pressure is reapplied; the gauze is now soaked and red. So is my hand. We HAVE to find a way to make it stop! Val takes over applying pressure so I can go find some styptic powder.

His gums are pale, and he is acting faint. We have to hurry.

Lucky for us, Val knows exactly where it is. I follow her yelled instructions across the ranch house, and rush back to our little bobcat. We peel back the gauze just long enough to put a generous amount of powder on the wound, then recover with fresh gauze, and apply pressure again. We peel back the gauze just enough to apply a second layer of powder, then cover and apply pressure again. Not wanting to take any chances, we basically concrete his leg with styptic powder, wrap it in gauze, and then in a quick, temporary vet wrap.

We spent the next hour or so taking turns holding him, and holding his little leg above his heart, basically by having him lay on his back, and sticking his little feet in the air. We doctor him up with a little nutrical to support his now anemic system, and have instant glucose on standby just in case his blood sugar drops too low from the sudden loss of blood. He was very bored with that game after about 30 minutes. He starts squirming and fighting. The pressure on his leg hurts! so we dose him with a little bit of pain-killer (which has the added benefit of calming him down), and ten minutes later, little Theo is good and calm, and most importantly, not hurting.

After sitting with him, carefully watching him, and making sure he isn’t bleeding through his bandage, and giving his body plenty of time to close up that wound enough to do a really good job of wrapping it, we give him a fresh, much more visually appealing wrap in royal blue!

If cats have nine lives, bobcats must have 30. Theo has had so many near misses in his short life. We were lucky to catch this one when we did. For what ever reason, bobcats like Theo who come to WCCR in such critical condition ALWAYS need extra supervision, and a lot of extra support to stay in good health. Lucky for him, he has a team of well trained, observant staff watching over him.

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2 responses

  1. andi

    You guys rock!

    August 29, 2011 at 11:01 am

  2. Wow.. I am so impressed with the work you guys do, and you had my heart stopped and started about 3 times as I read this .. I hope he is still doing good!

    November 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm

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