Tiger brothers Dimitri, Zeke and Griffen neutered

By | March 28, 2017 at 10:54 am | No comments | Animal Care, Blog

When you’re a vet, you’re used to seeing several patients in one day. But when your patients are three rescued tiger brothers, over 400 lbs. pounds each, you really have a BIG workload!

While many people were out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, sanctuary staff and vets at The Wildcat Sanctuary were hard at work. They performed intake exams and neuters on five new wildcat patients.

Tiger brothers Zeke, Dimitri and Griffen were safely sedated for their exam and procedures.  The tigers were microchipped, vaccinated, and bloodwork was run. They received a full physical examination and neuter.

The next patients seen were wild-born bobcats, Copper and Autumn. Though Autumn is the smallest, he was the most apprehensive of people. His caretakers worked with him in advance, playing a critical role in decreasing his stress level before sedation.

Who was involved in this marathon vet day?

In New York, before transport

The marathon vet day was in collaboration with expert veterinarian Dr. John Bergmann and veterinary student Samantha King.  They’re used to working on exotic animals from giraffes and seals to lions. But today, their focus was big cats.

TWS worked with Dr. Bergmann before in New York. He is a veterinarian for Popcorn Park Animal Refuge in New Jersey. He helped prepare tigers Caesar, Logan, Callie, and leopard Shadow for their cross-country trip home to The Wildcat Sanctuary.

Today, Bergmann and King worked alongside TWS’s veterinarian Dr. Ballinger and staff.  This collaboration allowed for continuing education from Dr. Bergmann.  It also enabled all five surgical procedures to be completed in one day!

A marathon vet day like this takes a lot of forethought and planning, far in advance of the actual exam day. To decrease the cats’ stress, staff use positive reinforcement with the cats leading up to vet days. The cats’ voluntarily participation, entering their transfer crates or sitting still for a hand injection, is critical for the success of the day. 

Thanks to all involved, including the patients, the day went smoothly and everyone has recovered well.

You can watch behind the scenes footage from vet day below! The exams and neuters took place safely in the cats’ indoor buildings.  Since these weren’t invasive surgeries, transporting the cats to the Sanctuary’s veterinary hospital wasn’t necessary.

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