An echidna lies on a blanket on newspaper. His right hand has a bandage on it.

Vets adapt strategies normally used for canines and cats to repair damaged leg of echidna

A younger echidna within the New South Wales central west has lived to see one other day after vets utilized abilities normally used on canines and cats to repair a damaged leg.

Dubbed “Lolo”, the younger male was introduced into the Blayney Veterinary Clinic a number of weeks in the past by a member of the general public who had discovered him significantly injured on a close-by freeway.

He had a fractured beak and a damaged femur, or thigh bone.

Dr Lyndsay Dean mentioned the whole operation offered distinctive challenges.

“The fracture restore itself appeared to be comparatively simple. It was no more difficult than a small canine or a cat,” she mentioned.

However the bone construction of an echidna which is “mainly only a massive strong ball with prickles” made it tougher.

Dr Dean dealt with the anaesthesia for the surgical procedure and mentioned that meant monitoring Lolo’s respiratory charge — which was sometimes between 4 and eight breaths a minute.

Draping used to take care of hygiene across the surgical website meant she couldn’t regulate his respiration.

Dr Dean mentioned that meant it was “a bit difficult, and moderately worrying to be on the different finish of the desk”.

A plate, a pin and a number of other screws have been inserted within the damaged leg – a process that might price within the vary of $2000 to $3000 in a canine or cat.

She steered Lolo was “formally the most costly echidna within the Central West”.

An xray shows an echidna leg with a metal plate, pin and several screws holding the bone together.
Fixing Lolo’s damaged leg took a plate, a pin and a number of other screws.(Provided: Blayney Veterinary Hospital)

After a number of days in hospital, Lolo was discharged into the palms of “fantastic” WIRES carer Marea Julian, who supplied post-operative care like antibiotics and took him to check-up appointments.

He recovered effectively and started to dig himself out of his pens.


“So, he was clearly utilizing the leg effectively, and he was feeding effectively, and he’d truly placed on weight while he was in captivity in order that was nice,” Dr Dean mentioned.

Being a younger male, Lolo had “large breeding potential” and the main focus moved to releasing him.

He was taken a blooming canola paddock close to the place he was discovered on the street, and the place the farmer had reported seeing three different echidnas not too long ago.

Dr Dean mentioned it had been a rewarding expertise, however typically requires some moral debate

“it is such a weigh up for a way lengthy you may feasibly preserve them boxed up in a cage, feeding them an irregular food plan, feeding them one thing that’s moderately international to them, in a international surroundings that is received to be worrying for them as a result of on the finish of the day they should be releasable and so they should be a wild animal,” she mentioned.

However finally, she mentioned, it was a win for native wildlife to have the ability to assist Lolo, moderately than be left with no choice apart from euthanasia.

“Once in a while you do get one in every of these wins, and also you do get them by means of that rehab section, and also you do get them again on the market.”

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