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Title: Factors affecting the rehabilitation and release of adult badger (Meles meles) casualties
Author: Mullineaux, Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2011
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Free-ranging wildlife casualties are commonly presented to veterinary surgeons who have a professional responsibility for their immediate care and welfare. This thesis reports why 123 badgers (Meles meles) were presented to a wildlife rescue centre and veterinary hospital in Somerset, and the factors influencing their release to the wild. The seasonality and demographics of admissions were greatly affected by the ecology of the badger. Common reasons for presentation included road traffic accidents and the presence of conspecific bite wounds. Clinical triage and diagnostic tests, including blood biochemistry and haematology and radiography, identified both primary and concurrent clinical problems. Bite wounds occurred most commonly in male animals found in buildings but only impacted upon release when present with another disease. M. bovis infection diagnosed in four badgers created potential zoonotic risks whilst the badgers were in captivity and ethical issues associated with potential disease transmission to cattle, although all were identified on clinical examination; none was released. Approximately one third of badger casualties were released after a period of veterinary treatment and rehabilitation, the remaining animals were euthanased for welfare reasons although a small number died unexpectedly; body condition score was the best prognostic indicator for release. This study provides information and guidance regarding the clinical examination, treatment and care of badgers presented to veterinary surgeons.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.V.M.&S.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available