Zoo Medicine is very unique niche in the veterinary profession that requires a fair bit of creativity if you are going to accomplish your goals. Working with patients that cannot be handled for certain treatments, refuse to take standard medications, or have unique anatomy like feathers and shells can all lead to a unique set of chanllenges with each and every case.
We often joke that we have to channel our inner MacGyver to work our way through these unique situations. It just so happens that the past few weeks we faced a unique cast that a little bit of creativity has helped hopfully eliminate the need for major surgery.
One morning, shortly after having moved indoors for the season, one of the alligators was found favoring one of his front limbs. Keepers contacted vet staff and ultimately he was taken to the animal hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured humerus. The fracture was not severely displace menaing that if the two ends could be held together, it could heal without surgery. A special type of bandage known as a stockinette is currently being used to hold the leg tight to the body using the body itself as the splint. Early recheck x-rays show that the leg has started to heal, and if that continues this alligator t-shirt will have prevented the need for major surgery.