Ozark - the Australian Wildlife Carer's Information & Communications Network

Wed - Sep 06


Injury on Eastern Grey Kangaroo Joey

Bundy in his tent

Around the middle of May I picked up an injured little joey, after receiving the call-out from Wildline. ?My only information at that time was that he seems to have an injury. ?As the little chap had wedged himself into a tight spot in their shed, I just pouched him up without any further assessment.

Luckily the vet was not busy by the time we arrived there. ?No-one can imagine the shock and horror we felt after opening the pouch and seeing his injury. ?The photo here shows his wound cleaned up and loose bits of fur and skin trimmed off.

With both vets from the clinic in attendance we discussed the fate of the little man. ?And most of the time his fate tended more to euthanasia than to re-habilitation. ?In the end we decided to give it a go, as one vet had seen a similar injury in a horse which subsequently did recover. ?But she warned me that it would be a lengthy and time-consuming enterprise. ?They kept him in for the afternoon, trimmed and cleaned him up and gave him a long term antibiotic shot. ?That was all. ?And in regards to how he got his injury - well, we believe that he got chased and got stuck in barbed-wire fencing. ?There were 2 deep puncture wounds into his flesh, which supported the theory. ?Those puncture wounds gave us problems, they were the one's that got infected quite often.

At home we faced our first problem: housing. ?As the wound was weeping, a pouch was out of the question. ?Finally we devised a little tent-like structure, which could be pinned-up during the night. ?That worked really well. ?The first 3 weeks he was totally house-bound, as I feared blow flies, germs and hyperthermia due to wind-chill. ?And of course I started to be extremely protective!

And now, after nearly 5 month - look at the little fellow now. ?The wound has shrunk totally. ?There is just one little scab left; the new skin over the wound feels in most places just like any other normal skin - soft and pliant. ?In some spots it feels harder. ?The fur is growing well - maybe a bit darker and more curly.

Wound has healed and fur regrown

My treatment of his horrific injury over these last months was just Manuka honey (which he liked very much), recommended by my vet at the initial visit. ?She also advised against any creams, lotions, bandages etc. ?To stop him licking the honey we sewed him a little cape; that also protected him from getting fly-blown. ?(He was also known then as the "Caped Crusader"!) ?Up until recently I had also vast amounts of washing of his bedding (as he laid on his injured side quite often and the wound kept weeping). ?I wanted to keep his bedding absolutely clean and spotless in case of infections. ?Only one follow-up visit to the vet was necessary, one abscess had to be slashed and washed out.

While the wound was open it wept and oozed clear fluids the whole time. ?Maybe this helped that new skin growth could 'slip over' and keep the injury clean and moist.

The little man is now outside during the day, but at night I still bring him into the laundry. ?Especially when it is cold, windy or rainy! ?Some people might call him spoiled, but as he got a huge amount of love, cuddles and attention during all that time with us, I am rather reluctant to just chuck him out - even if he is a big boy now!

Brigitte Kny


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