Aug 19, 2021

Angiostrongyliasis

Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth

Angiostrongyliasis 

 

A big word with big ramifications for small animals.

Angiostrongyliasis is a disease caused by a parasitic lungworm which belongs to the nematode (roundworm) family. It is believed to have arrived in Australia via an introduced rat species.

The adult worms are found in rats which then excrete the parasite’s larvae in their faeces. When snails or slugs come into contact with the infected rat faeces, they become infected. Wildlife such as tawny frogmouths, kookaburras and blue-tongued lizards eat the snails or slugs and – without treatment – they will die from the disease.

It is a difficult disease to diagnose and often we can only look for clinical signs such as ataxia (abnormal gait), muscle wasting and ascending paresis (rapid paralysis moving upwards from the legs). Sometimes it is only possible to confirm the disease post mortem.

In tawny frogmouths the most common presentation of an affected individual is the inability to clench its feet and falling forward onto its head with wings splayed. We also test their ‘righting reflex’ which involves placing the bird on its back and seeing if it can right itself.

This tawny was rescued by John and Kylie who were walking their dog, Jay. He was ‘sniffed out’ by Jay as he lay helplessly on the ground.

They rushed him to Mona Vale Veterinary Hospital where Dr Rikki examined him and began treatment straight away. He was then transferred to us and our Sydney Wildlife Rescue veterinary team for ongoing treatment and care. A combination of 3 different medications used over a period of 4 weeks saw this tawny frogmouth go from moribund to mettlesome! After the 3rd phase of the treatment plan (which was administered to ensure that he didn’t suffer a relapse) he spent some time in our Sydney Wildlife Rescue Rehabilitation Facility to re-build his muscle strength and ensure that he was ‘match-fit’ for his return to the wild. Thanks to the wonderful volunteers at the facility for taking care of all his needs.

We provide free treatment to injured and sick wildlife. 

We can only do this with your support and donations towards our rehabilitation facility.  Thank you for contributing to help our wonderful wildlife.

When he first arrived, very sick.
When he first arrived, very sick.
Unable to sit up.
Unable to sit up.
Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation
Caught for release
Caught for release
Free again! Now healthy
Free again! Now healthy
Aug 2, 2021

Winter Report 2021

Installation of new netting
Installation of new netting

GlobalGiving Report August 2021

We have had a moderately busy winter season caring for around 250 adult and juvenile flying foxes that have come into care for a variety of reasons, including net entanglement or with concussion (from being hit by a car or flying into inanimate objects).  The final group of these flying foxes have been in the large cage for the last 4 weeks getting flight fit and ready for release. Their final catch-up and health check happened this last weekend and fortunately the majority are ready for release – so the hatch was opened on Sunday. It usually takes about a week or so for the bats to disperse and in the meantime we will continue to support feed them until they have all gone. This means we can all have a well-earned break from cleaning, cutting fruit and feeding out a Kukundi for a few months.

I have 3 bats remaining in care with me who, for a variety of reasons, will have to wait until the large cage re-opens again in a few months. All have injuries from net entanglement. One girl had an injury over her 3rd finger bone that has taken twice as long as normal to heal and it is only just now starting to close over and look good. She was removing the wound dressing almost every night (sometimes we managed to stretch it to 2 nights) and not allowing the covering to do its job. One of the other bats – a juvenile female had an injury on her right wing tip that was also not healing. In the end we determined that the bone underneath wound had died and so we had the wingtip amputated. She will be ready for time in the large cage the next time it is reopened.

In between the pups being released earlier this year and opening up the cage for the adults and juveniles, we have had some much needed maintenance work done.  The cutting room and prep room were given a thorough clean and a fresh coat of paint – its amazing how much brighter the rooms look. 

We also had new concrete floors laid in both cages, with the gradient of the flooring done so that the water runoff from cleaning the cages all goes in the right direction. We took the opportunity while the new floor was being laid to add a collection pit to help manage the waste.  Now that the last of the bats have been released, we can look at be painting the concrete floor with a special non-slip paint that makes it easier for cleaning and much safer for our volunteers to move around on.

Another addition to the small cage during this time was a hatch in the internal door of the small cage. This new hatch will make the weekly weigh and measure of pups much easier. In the past we had to curtain off the airlock with a sheet and this was where we would place the pups once they had their weekly health check.  They had a happy knack of escaping the curtained airlock. The new hatch means no more escaping!

We have also had netting in the cages redone, which has been a BIG job – just locating a source of the appropriate replacement netting was difficult. Over time the netting had developed quite a number of holes, which were beyond repair and becoming dangerous for the bats. So this was a much-needed job that had to be done. I would like to give a huge THANKYOU to one of our volunteers, Susan, who projected managed all of these jobs during some very trying times. She is a champion! 

I trust that you all have been keeping safe and well during this global pandemic.  Thank you so much for your generous donations that enable us to continue to rescue and release back into the wild these amazing bats. We could not do it without your help.

One of our beautiful bats
One of our beautiful bats
Susan our amazing project manager
Susan our amazing project manager
New hatch
New hatch
Lauren putting a bat from care into the cage
Lauren putting a bat from care into the cage
New flooring and netting
New flooring and netting
Apr 26, 2021

Wallaby vs Motor Bike

Swamp Wallaby recovering in large enclosure
Swamp Wallaby recovering in large enclosure
On the 13th March, two Sydney Wildlife rescue volunteers accompanied by a national parks ranger went to rescue a Swamp Wallaby that had been hit by a motor bike on one of the national parks roads.  Unfortunately the driver did not stop but a passer by did and called Sydney Wildlife Rescue who immediately went to assess the situation.
On arrival, we found the small joey lying on the side of the road with injuries to its hips and tail. The Sydney Wildlife volunteers collected the joey, weighing only 4.5kgs (9lbs), and took it straight to Terrey Hills Veterinary Hospital.  The vets were fantastic and quickly x-rayed and treated the wallaby who luckily had no breaks but severe bruising and grazes to the whole of its back area.
After the vet treatment, she was taken to the Rehabilitaion facility and put into the quarantine room so we could closely monitor her recovery using our motion activated cameras.  The cameras we have at the facility are worth their weight in gold for situations like this.  It enables us to monitor the wildlife without stressing them further than they already are. In Macropods this is very important as they can suffer Capture Myopathy causing muscle damage due to stress.
As you will see in the photos, the Wallabies posture improves to the point where it can balance on the food bowl.  This shows us the progress from not being able to stand when she first arrived to being strong enough to balance on her own without having to capture her regularly to check her progress.
Sydney Wildlife rescues over 13,000 animals a year and therefore we need to be able to track each of them and fulfill our National Parks and Wildlife license requirements by keeping detailed records of each and every animal rescued. Every rescue is allocated a reference number. When carers have multiple animals, reference numbers become harder to remember and by giving them a name, makes it more personal.  A lot of carers will pick a name that relates to the animals rescue story. For example, Morgan the Swamp Wallaby came from Morgan Road, Belrose. 
Using tail to help it move due to injuries
Using tail to help it move due to injuries
Strong enough to balance on food bowl
Strong enough to balance on food bowl
Well enough to jump up and see other wallabies
Well enough to jump up and see other wallabies
Well enough to join the mob
Well enough to join the mob
 
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