2010/09 – Harald

Harald (male)
rescued 13 Aug 10

admitted 14 Aug 10
pre-release 25 Aug 10
released 2 Sep 10

last update Friday 27 Aug 2010, 10.45 am

weight on admittance 495g, last weight (24 August) 800g

Harald (not a mis-spelling – we called him Harald, the Norwegian spelling, to avoid confusion with little Harry !) was discovered by the side of the road in Clifton on 13 August and was given access to rehydration fluids and food, both of which he took to, following advice from Snuffle Lodge.

However, the rescuers were concerned that Harald was circling and they suspected he may be blind as he bumped into things a lot. This has since been ruled out.

Harald munching away on 19 Aug - the camera makes him look a bit smaller than he is in real life !

He was brought over to Snuffle Lodge the following day and was assessed – he was found to be underweight and was sneezing regularly. He also circled which taken together pointed towards either a head injury or an infection. Further observation by us and by the vet led to the conclusion it was an infection, probably respiratory.

He was put onto antibiotics (Baytril) and a small dosage of anti-inflammatory (Metacam) after taking advice from two experienced carers. The vet agreed with this level of medication and instructed us to continue.

At first Harald was very reluctant to feed, and it took putting a blob of prescription diet food (Hills A/D) onto a finger for him to perk up (cue much biting of fingers !).

For the first few days, he needed assistance with his feeding as he was unable to manoeuvre himself around the bowl properly. He would only eat if handled and his nose physically stuck in the bowl – it was then necessary to turn the bowl as he was unwilling to move his head around.

The order of the day was initially ‘little and often’ – regular two hour feeding sessions. At first, he would only eat a little then want to go back to bed but as each session passed he became stronger and more independent.

His energy levels increased markedly over time, and he began taking a more active interest in his surroundings, sniffing everything in sight.

The antibiotics successfully cleared up the sneezing and the head-pulling-to-one-side.

Harald graduated quickly to kitten food on its own and by Tuesday 24 August was getting through two pouches per day !

So impressive was his rehab in the last few days that he went into pre-release on Wednesday 25 August, which was incredible considering how flat he was when he was rescued. He was busy nest-building on the morning of 27 August and by 2 September was scrabbling at the side of the cage, desperate to get out. He eventually left the pen to hassle a visiting female, before disappearing into the woods.

Marking : two white lines across the middle of his back