December 22nd, 2004

bats

In which a Vet asks Me for help

One of the local PetVets rang me this morning, asking for advice. Some people had found a little red flying fox entangled in barbed wire and had extracted it, then brought it to the vet. The bat was badly injured and had to be euthanased, but Duncan was dead scared of being bitten and wanted to know if I'd do it for him because he hasn't had the rabies innoculation. Then he said the lady who picked up the bat had been bitten, and what advice should I give.

"Rabies shots! As soon as possible! And Tetenus boosters!" was my answer. Duncan had already spoken to the local area heath people and told them what had happened, and the Health Experts told him not to worry because it's unlikely the bat is carrying anything, and "we'll worry about it when the symptoms show." Um... People? Lyssavirus is like Rabies. When the symptoms show IT'S TOO LATE. When the symptoms show no amount of vaccine will treat them. This disease has a list of symptoms that reads "Mild flu-like symptoms, followed by encephalitus, coma and death."

I told Duncan to ignore the experts and to speak to the Zoovets, because they have to deal with exotics all the time and have all had their rabies shots. They gave him all the advice I did, plus more.

He brought the poor little bat up to me and I euthanased her with ether. Her wing was a a mess and had lost all membrane from her "little finger" right up to the armpit. We were going to use letho-barb but it got lost on the floor of Duncan's car. Rattling around on the floor of his car, with papers and empty coke cans, is a 5ml vial of lethal barbituates. He hoped he'd left it at the surgery. He was rather impressed with my Dr Death kit, which sort of make me feel better. At least I know I'm doing it the proper way.

I'd always had my doubts.
  • Current Mood
    sad sad