This week we have been trying to keep an eye on one of the zebras as he has been walking with a limp. The vet has been called in to have a closer look as the limp is pretty bad. When she gets here we drive off in search of the zebra. Sadly after a day of driving around we don’t spot him and fear the worst. The next day we head out a drive early in the morning, but this time we also take the telemetry kit with us to listen out for a male Sable who needs his collar removing.
We drove round the reserve at least twice when finally we find the zebra we were looking for. Just hanging out at the restaurant at reception! We call the other car team to come through as Hezy the vet prepares her dart gun so she can sedate the animal and take a closer look at the injury causing lameness. Once the dart goes in, it takes a good few minutes before the drugs take effect and so we keep a close eye on the animal and follow it. As it goes off into the bush some follow on foot.
We find the animal down and proceed to get him in a comfortable position for Hezy to inspect the injured leg. She finds a wound on his front left foot which had cracked the hoof wall and disrupted the coronary band (which the hoof grows from). The wound wasn’t healing because of exuberant granulation tissue, or ‘proudflesh’ in horsie terms. The matrix of cells which fill the wound and allow skin to close the defect are too prolific and form a bulging mass that the skin can’t close over. So she cleans the wound, removed the excess tissue, and dressed it with corticosteroids to suppress regrowth.
(Words of last paragraph taken from Hezy the Vets Instagram post, where you can read more about the vets side of the story and how she treated him).