The wombat of this study had very severe mange but could see, hear, had no serious bleeding areas, was very thin but still very active and was eating happily inside a reserve. The area where it lives is on the rural/urban fringe close to Sydney. Over the last 3 years this area has suffered severe fires and although there is plenty of feed along the riverbank is now in severe drought. REVOLUTION (20.1 – 40kg dose) was applied to his back area but it was difficult to avoid the crusts and absorption may be poor on the heavily scabbed and crusted areas. In dogs, Revolution is applied monthly for heartworm, sarcoptic mange (sarcoptes scabiei) and ear mites. In cats it also works as a treatment for intestinal hookworms and roundworms. The Information leaflet accompanying the medication makes no mention of wombats!
Daily or as often as possible considering the animal is free roaming; a mixture of 5ml tea tree oil to 400ml vegetable oil was applied by spray bottle to the crusted areas, avoiding the face. He was more likely to be found out on sunny still days (15C – 18C) roaming an area no more than about 15 hectares and to identify him from 2 others being treated in the same area he was sprayed with pink antiseptic spray to his left hindquarter. Progress was slow for the first 2 weeks in fact his skin appeared a little more inflamed. At this point a whole 600ml of oil mixture was poured over his shoulders and back.
From day 15 the changes in him become more apparent. New grey hair began as a slight fluff over his face and sides. The neck and shoulder crusts began to come away, and in some areas this left raw bleeding abraded areas. For the most part these were left alone or sprayed with a little antiseptic spray. Thankfully there were no flies and these areas seemed to miraculously heal overnight and new hair began to grow over them within days. His ears began to have some shape again and it was possible to see into the ear canal.
His face remained severely crusted until a few days after the second dose of Revolution. He was treated at an interval of 17 days between doses (not 30 as recommended for dogs) but after discussion with my vet it was decided that it was more important to get the second dose on than have the animal disappear having only received 1 dose, also the first dose may not have absorbed very well through the crusts. I was also assured that there was a good safety margin with this product and that overdosing was unlikely.
Whole sheets of crust now began falling from his face. These left quite large raw bleeding areas for about a day but they healed quickly and were soon covered by wonderful new hair. A faecal check was done at this time to see if he was carrying a worm burden that may be adding to his problems. The results showed him free from all worms. Perhaps the Revolution at this strength is also a wombat wormer although it is not recognized as such in dogs.
He is now slowly gaining weight most of the crusts are gone and I have reduced the frequency of the oil baths as his skin improves. I am hoping to get a third dose of Revolution onto him in the next few weeks. He still has a way to go but while he is improving I will continue treatment. He does not appear stressed and seems to tolerate my visits well, continuing to eat as I spray him until he has had enough and wanders off. Treating an animal in the wild is very time consuming but incredibly rewarding and I would not hesitate to attempt it again if it is at all possible.