By Sophie Sparrow, Head Vet Nurse, ZSL London Zoo
We were delighted to be contacted by Sophie in March 2018 to help provide a Vetcare device which was to be used for Pangolin wound healing prior to her volunteer work at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife Centre:
“I was lucky enough to win a grant through ZSL London Zoo which covers my travel to Save Vietnams Wildlife (SVW) a non-profit organisation based in the Cuc Phuong National Park, in Northern Vietnam, about 3 hours south of Hanoi.
The work of SVW in collaboration with the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP) focuses on all aspects of conservation and care of small carnivore and pangolin species, to include the rescue, rehabilitation and release of those confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade,as well as the development of global conservation breeding program for the threatened carnivores and pangolins. With an overall aim ‘for all rescue, rehabilitated and captive born carnivores and pangolins to be released back to the wild, provided there is sufficient protection and adequate habitat for their survival’
SVW have successfully been rehabilitating and caring for pangolins for over 7 years with the health and welfare of the animals under their care paramount. With wildlife keepers caring for the animals on a daily basis and now two vets responsible for the provision of health care and treatment.
The Vetcare machine has gone down so well with the team out there, both the vets and keepers alike were so keen to see it used and see some of the benefits and also as a new technology. Wound healing in Pangolins is tricky and usually slow healing so they were all, and still are super excited about it! Not sure how it translates to Vietnamese but as a lot of the keepers only speak and understand very limited English it has been affectionately termed the ‘ping ping’ machine!
Below is a photo of myself with the center manager (Maddie on the left), and one of the vets (Hai in the middle) and all of the donated bandage materials I took along as well as the vetcare unit- you can see the excitement in Hai’s face- we went to use it on a wound straight away!! Also is a picture of myself and Hai doing one of the treatment sessions with a juvenile pangolin.
We saw some great improvements in wound healing, the types of wounds they deal with such as tail injuries/infections and resulting amputations seem to be the most common.
It is difficult to appreciate the huge change in the photos, but I can say 100% the smell, infection and necrotic tissue was significantly less after treatment.”
Healing improved so much in 10 days while Sophie was volunteering, the Centre Team have updated their standard wound care protocol to include Photizo Vetcare application at every treatment where-ever possible.
To see more from the Save Vietnam’s Wildlife Project, see their Facebook page here.
An account of Sophie’s visit and some of the cases was presented at the AZEVN (Association of Zoo & Exotic Veterinary Nurses) Conference at West Midlands Safari Park on 2nd & 3rd June 2018.