2011/09 – Sid

Sid (male orphan, infected front leg)
previously known as Sonia !
admitted 9 July 11
pre-release 3 September 11

released 14 September 11
weight on admission 156g, weight at pre-release 3 Sep 11 699g, weight check 10 Sep 11 748g

Sid was discovered in a garden in Sandiacre and was observed from a distance for a day before being brought over to us. He was literally caked in fly eggs, particularly around the right side of his face, but a thorough examination showed no obvious injuries, although his right eye was closed, where most of the eggs were congregated.

A very huffy and unhelpful individual, Sid did at least allow me to clear all the fly eggs off him and syringe some rehydration fluid into his mouth which he seemed to like.

He was then put in a small cage on a heatpad and within an hour he was up and about and ready to eat. His right eye also popped open, which was a relief to see ! He tucked into some prescription diet food glop (Hills A/D mixed with rehydration fluid), and started toiletting correctly.

During the night he removed himself from the heatpad, and again tucked into some food.

Sadly, Sid’s condition had worsened considerably by 12 July, with three consecutive weight losses overnight. He had a very poor appetite, was lethargic, wobbly and had blue/green poo which could have indicated slug pellet poisoning.

A sample of his poo was sent off to our friends at Vale Wildlife Rescue to see whether there is anything else going on, but thankfully the sample was clear. He underwent a course antibiotics as it was clear he had some kind of infection.

The good news is that following antibiotic treatment little Sid started putting on weight, albeit only very small amounts each day.

As he became more tolerant (although he is still very resilient and has taken to biting !)  it finally allowed us to check one of his front legs which was causing us some concern, as he had some mobility issues.

Sadly, his front left leg was very swollen and badly infected – it could have been worse, and been a very small fracture which could have proved to be terminal for him, more’s the pity (hogs cannot survive in the wild with badly injured or amputated front legs).

Ben at Byron Veterinary Clinic knocked Sid out and discovered a huge pus-filled abscess on his leg, which was drained. He was put onto a course of anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics.

Sid returned to the vets on 26 July for a check up with Emma and was admitted for a repeat abscess draining procedure under anaesthetic on 27 July carried out by Kerry. Kerry inserted a slow-release antibiotic capsule, called an antirobe, into the drainage hole, as unfortunately when draining the abscess, Kerry discovered that a small lump of bone came out, indicating a possible bone infection.

Sid returned to Byron Veterinary Clinic on 29 July and again Kerry carried out another draining procedure under anaesthetic. This time it was only pus which came out, no bone, which was fantastic news. The swelling had also decreased slightly which meant it was no longer possible to use an antirobe. In its place, Kerry has put two slow-release Marbocyl tablets in the leg to continue combatting the infection. She was pleased with his progress.

Sid returned for further washouts at the vets on 2 August and 5 August and each time the leg looked a lot better – far less pus came out of the abscess, and Kayleigh, the vet nurse, was only able to insert one slow-release Marbocyl tablet in the leg each time. Sid returned for his last wash-out on 8 August, when Kayleigh declared the infection had gone.

Dietwise, he was feasting happily on puppy food, and rapidly gained weight, with nightly increases of over 20g the norm. He was relocated into a much larger cage to encourage exercise, and was released regularly into the hogspital ward to allow him full workouts – we saw him take his first, albeit very short, run on 10 August, indicating things were returning to normal for him.

He was moved to a pre-release pen on 3 September, to see how he coped with foraging for mealworms and kitten biscuits in amongst the leaf litter and woodland debris in the pen. He initially had access to his favourite puppy food in case he did not feel capable of foraging, but he was more than happy snuffling around for is treats, and the puppy food was withdrawn after a few days.

After a week in pre-release, we were confident he’d cope just fine in the wild – his ‘fat leg’ was completely covered in fur and he was capable of running pretty fast, as he shot headlong into a Chube after we’d weighed him !

He was finally released on 14 September 2011 and spent an hour or so sniffing out new scents and self-anointing like crazy – along the way he munched on a considerable section of the Lodge’s garden fence ! He then beetled off into Snape Wood to explore. We suspect he may hang around for a while yet.

A fantastic turnaround, and one made possible by the devoted staff at Byron Veterinary Clinic, who made Sid their mascot during July and August !