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Education

Saving wildlife can be a daunting task

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Examining a hedgehog casualty. Author’s own image

Hedgehogs are tough little creatures but they aren’t indestructible. Apart from natural predation in the UK from badgers, rats; and unnatural predation from domestic dogs there are a multitude of other things that can cause them serious, as well as fatal injuries.

Hedgehogs forage, and this often brings them into close contact with man made dangers such as plastic netting, garden or baler twine, or toxins such as slug pellets. Lactose (milk) put out by well meaning people is highly toxic to hedgehogs.

Plastic is often discarded without a thought of the consequences. Apart from the vast continent of it floating in our oceans, much ends up along roadsides, or footpaths. One common type that hedgehogs end up attached to is the plastic rings that hold cans of beer together. Young hogs will often end up wearing one after inadvertently sticking their heads and necks through the ring. Due to the angle of the spines of their coat these work their way backwards until firmly snagged if a hog is unfortunate enough to poke it’s head into one of them. As they fight to get it off it can work its way further backwards, getting tighter. As the hog is still growing this can end up digging into and cutting through spines, flesh, and muscle. Fly strike and infection then follow, along with necrosis of the affected tissues, and ultimately a slow and painful death. …


Animal Advocacy

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Image by Benjamin Ilchmann on Unsplash

With increased life span expectancy of our best friends it should come as no surprise to see that osteoarthritis is becoming a common companion for dogs in later stages of their lives. It doesn’t only affect the elderly animal either. Many breeds can suffer from congenital orthopaedic conditions, which predispose them to accelerated wear and tear to particular joints such as hips, elbows and carpus (wrists to you and me).

What can we do to help?

First of all we must recognize that osteoarthritis is a fact of life. Then we need to look at how we can delay its onset, and if already present, how we can reduce its affects on our beloved dogs. Their owner controls every aspect of a dog’s life. Where they live, how much exercise they get, what they eat, and where they sleep. …


Education

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Safe handling whilst treating a Bearded Dragon. Author’s own image.

Osteopathy is often referred to as a science and an art. Nowhere is this more relevant than when applied to the treatment of reptiles. This branch of the animal kingdom presents many unique, and at first glance baffling aspects that can easily put off the manual therapist.

Reptiles come in many shapes and sizes. Some are easy to handle whilst others are not. They all require specific knowledge to care for them properly, and many make excellent pets. However they are a world away from your average soft, furry friends when it comes to assessing and treating.

Before I get ahead of myself now is probably a good time to look at some of the problems reptiles can get and how osteopathy may help. To do this we also need to understand the different aspects of their anatomy, physiology, and locomotor systems when compared to the mammalian model. …

About

Tony Nevin

BSc (Hons) Ost, DO / Osteopath, Lecturer, Speaker, Broadcaster (The Missing Link on Corinium Radio and Zoo Ost on YouTube), Author and Writer

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