Tag Archives: deer

Just Another Day

Baby season is in full swing at the rescue and rehab center.  Things are kicking off a bit late this year because of our cold winter and cold spring.  But the cold ain’t gonna stop Mother Nature now, is it!  We currently have abandoned baby squirrels, abandoned baby bunnies, baby opossums who’ve lost their mom, even 2 little owlets being raised by our resident foster owl mama… and I just received my very first fawn call of the season today.  (“There is a fawn sitting in my yard that has been abandoned.” “No, it hasn’t been abandoned.  Please leave it alone.”)

That being said, I also received a call today that sent my blood pressure to stroke level.  If I could’ve gone through the phone to slap some sense into this a-hole, I would have:

HIM:  My dogs were in a fight with a raccoon a couple of days ago and they chased it up a tree. It’s been up there for 2 days and I would like it removed before it dies.

ME:  The raccoon is in the tree because he’s afraid of your dogs.  Where are the dogs now?

HIM:  Barking at the raccoon in the tree.

ME:  Can you place the dogs in their kennel?

HIM:  The kennel is right underneath the tree.  Should I put them in there?

ME:  No.  Can you bring the dogs inside for a few hours?

HIM:  No.  They’re outside dogs.

ME:  Can you put them in the garage to give this raccoon a chance to come down out of the tree?

HIM:  No.  I’m not willing to do that.

I had to put him on hold after that answer.

“No.  I’m not willing to do that.”  

Are you f’n kidding me?!  I was so not prepared for that response.  You can’t lock up your dogs?? To let another living being, one of God’s creatures, who is scared to death, come down out of a tree and have a chance at survival?? Then why the f*** did you call me?!!  Do you really think I’m going to track all the way out to your drug-infested meth-lab ‘home’ and remove a raccoon from a tree when you won’t even put your hell hounds up?? 

I was now done with this phone call.  I had to pass it off to my director as the veins in my head were frantically pulsating.

The director then proceeded to calmly explain the risk of diseases that a dead raccoon would pass onto his beloved outside dogs who were never allowed inside, if he didn’t remove his dogs from the area to let the raccoon down.

Alas… we will never know what happened to this poor raccoon, whether the above idiot decided to put his dogs up for a couple of hours or not.

I guess I’ll chalk it all up to another “day in the life of…”

Baby season is upon us.  Time for me to step up my game and get ahead of all that’s about to come…

 

 

Capture Myopathy in Wild Animals

wpid-18241.jpeg

Photo courtesy of 50 in 50 Marathon Quest

It’s been a strange week.  The Motivator has been in Wisconsin at an EPIC convention all week, and our son AJ and I have been left to our own devices.  Needless to say, this has not been a heavy volume running week for me.  I managed my treadmill workout on Tuesday, but I’m missing a 5-miler and a 3-miler in there somewhere.  AJ and I have been occupying our spare time watching You Tube videos that he enjoys.  He has favorite You Tubers that he watches daily, and I thought I’d check them out with him.  Oh… my…  I should’ve been running.  And oh yes, first day of school was Wednesday.  The child has gone from “I hate school” to “I love school” because the teacher announced there would be no homework this year.  Woo hoo!  AJ’s not the only one celebrating!!  But I digress… tonight I’m here to talk about wildlife…

We’ve been getting a lot of calls at the facility this week about deer.  They’re sick, have broken legs, and/or mom doesn’t seem to be around anymore.   Realistically, deer can only be rehabbed when they’re fawns.  Once they hit about 6 weeks of age, the fear of humans and everything else sets in, and treating deer older than that can do more harm than good.

Bambi-Thumper-3

Deer (and wild bunnies) are food in nature. And they know this.  Therefore, everything terrifies them.  If we were to contain a deer that has a broken leg to try and fix it, it could then develop a very real condition called capture myopathy.  Capture myopathy is a white muscle disease to where instead of oxygen being used in muscles, stored energy is used, which then leads to a buildup of lactic acid, which in turn enters the bloodstream.  If the heart doesn’t pump enough oxygen through the bloodstream, the muscles start to die, leading to all kinds of complications. There is no coming back from this.  Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it draws out for a couple of weeks.

Imagine this… when you, as a person, get scared, your body starts producing adrenaline in order to give you the “fight or flight” response necessary to survive.  We’ve all felt this and know what it’s like.  Now imagine being in a constant state of “fight or flight” for 24 hours or more. How taxing do you think that would be on your heart?  This is what happens when a wild animal is captured.  They don’t realize you’re trying to help them.

As for the deer issues I mentioned above… if it has a broken leg, determine if it can still get around on its other 3.  There are many 3-legged deer out there who survive just fine.  If it can, then leave it alone and let it be.  If, however, it’s laying down on its side and actively dying, the absolute best thing for it is to either let nature take its course or to call a state trooper or sheriff to put the animal out of its misery.  To think a broken leg on an adult deer can be fixed is just being naive (think what a horse goes through when it breaks a leg, then think about a deer going through that with the added stress of capture myopathy).  And at this time of year, if you don’t see mom around anymore, it’s okay.  By the time fawns are weaned, mom has taught them enough about survival and foraging that they can survive on their own, without mom.

As well, wild bunnies are so high stressed and fragile that you can look at them wrong and they die if they’re in captivity.  A lot of good-intentioned people think they can “rehab” bunnies on their own.  After all, they’re just bunnies.  No, actually, they’re not.  They’re wild animals.  When you think the wild bunny has finally relaxed and “allowed” you to touch it… in reality they’re frozen solid with fear.  It’s cruel and inhumane to keep a wild bunny in a cage and to treat them like a domestic… they will eventually die from capture myopathy.  Guaranteed.  If you come across a hurt bunny, please take it to your nearest rescue center.  It’s their only hope of getting back to the wild where they belong.

My hope here is to educate people that every hurt animal cannot necessarily be rescued, nor does it need to be. Nature is very cruel, but sometimes it’s just best to leave well enough alone. If you are unsure as to whether an animal should be rescued or not, please call your local rescue center. And please don’t be surprised if their answer is to just let nature take its course. Sometimes it’s the kindest thing for the animal.

wpid-20150303_134113.jpg

The clinic manager’s bunny that I love babysitting and spoiling… this sweetie is a domestic, but he still hates being caged…