Friday, October 21, 2011

Patience in Wildlife Rehab and Baby Howler Spartacus - Part 4

My apologies for the long delay.

In Wildlife rehabilitation we often have to wait for many weeks and months and in some cases even as long as 1.5 – 2 years, before we can release some of our patients. And to then know if we really suceeded in contributing to the conservation of our species, by ensuring that our releasees survived and reproduced and contributed to the genepool takes even more effort and time. So patience can be one of the challenges.

Of course the goal is always to get them out as fast as possible. But sometimes that is really not possible, for example in a severe injury like the nearly severed hand of Spartacus the young howler monkey baby.

Sometimes we fight for weeks, or even months, and then we have to give up and euthanize or just loose a patient, when we already got out hopes up that we could indeed rehabilitate them successfully. Unfortunately I have one of those stories in mind for the next blog.

But fortunately that is not Spartacus story! He came back to see me for a bandage change 3 weeks after the injury. At that time his hand had just started to swell up more again and the bandage was getting too tight. Some drainage was noted on the medial side, which had been left open for drainage.

A day after the bandage change his hands swelling went down more then ever before with only a small increase now over his healthy hand. He is fully adjusted to the monkey rehab routine and no longer stressed, but happy to receive food and medication. The latest news were that he is now starting to show more signs of starting to use his hand!!

So I continue to keep my fingers crossed for Spartacus hoping that he can one day be a free monkey again. The main challenge for now is to keep him, a young and normally active monkey from injuring himself while his hand hopefully completes the healing process. He wants to play with the other babies and he wants to move, understandably.

Next week he will come for another bandage change and for a first time x-ray! We are still concerned about bone infection and sequesters and basically have no idea what the bones really look like. But it „feels“ like it is solidifying...


Emily said...

I couldn't find any updates on Spartacus on your blog after this one. Could you please provide an update? The video and blog posts on his case truly touched my heart, especially since we stayed at Hickatee Cottages this summer and got to see the howler troop that lives near there -- including a baby!

Dr. Isabelle said...

Sorry this blog is no longer working but Spartacus recovered fully, had one more surgery after 1.5 year to improve his use of arm and was released after 3 years. By now he has been in the wild for over 1 year and he has fathered more then one baby! So his story had the best happy end possible :)

Emily said...

Thank you so much for the update on Spartacus. I just love a happy ending! :-)