AlphaPet leads the way in wildlife treatment
Above is a link to an article which appears in the March edition of Veterinary Practice, the UK's leading monthly magazine for vets.
AlphaPet has long championed the view that all veterinary practices should do their bit for wildlife casualties.
Sadly, over recent years, we have seen more and more instances where, for various reasons, some practices simply do not seem interested in non-paying patients being presented to their practices. Excuses have ranged from "we don't know anything about wildlife" to "it's too expensive to treat wildlife patients".
The law states that all vets have a duty to provide emergency treatment to any patient presented to them, including wildlife. Unfortunately, at its most basic, such treatments may be confined to euthanasia. This is acceptable if it is genuinely required (and sadly, the statistics are that in around 65% of cases, euthanasia is the correct option to prevent further unnecessary suffering), but increasingly, it seems to be be used as a way of disposing of the problem of having to deal with wildlife casualties. We even recently heard of a practice that has started to refuse to take all bird wildlife casualties, except to euthanase them, citing the risk of "bird 'flu" as the reason!
Similarly, we have seen practices who have taken wildlife casualties in but have then sent them on to wildlife organisations without carrying out appropriate basic clinical examinations. Again, the excuse is that the practice might not be familiar with the species they are presented with. This was the case with an adult roe deer with a broken back that eventually arrived with us after a 50 mile round trip, via Brent Lodge, from the original vets. The giveaway clinical sign (noted on the records accompanying the patient) was that it couldn't use its back legs. Running one's hand down along its spine revealed a noticeable step indicating a displaced fracture. It was irreversibly paralysed. This was confirmed within minutes by us with a conscious xray - something that could (and should) have been done at the initial vets and which would have saved this poor animal a long and stressful journey around the countryside.
So, anyone reading this who is not a member of AlphaPet, please go back to your own veterinary practice and ask them how they deal with wildlife casualties and, if possible, encourage them to take a more proactive approach to helping and treating wildlife.
Public relations can be a strong motivator and can work both ways ......