North East Wildlife Animal Rehabilitation Coalition is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization. We are a group of licensed wildlife rehabilitators, and these are the tales of the injured and orphaned animals we care for until they are able to be released back into the wild.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Red's trip to the vet.

Today was Red's turn to see the vet for her leg. She was so good for her exam! As long as I held her in my arms, she let the vet poke, prod, bend and squeeze her foot and leg without a struggle. I couldn't believe it and was thrilled we didn't need any anesthesia!

The outcome....most likely a bad sprain. There are no wounds, doesn't feel like an abscess and no sign of a break. She was walking on it much better as well. So right now she is going to get cage rest so I can keep an eye on her for a couple of days. She certainly doesn't seem unhappy about the forced visit!

Dandy will be heading in Thursday morning for her checkup and will hopefully get a clean bill of heath and her wish to go home! Maybe by then both girls will get to go home together.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dandy & Red

Well here she is....13 days after surgery and Dandy is looking good! She is anxious to go, pacing all night in her pen. She'll be getting her check up this week and as long and the Dr. thinks she's ready she will get to go home finally!
Good morning mom! You got my egg with ya!
Look at that cute little scrunched up face! She's looking rough, but I don't think she cares about that.

See how well my mouth works! Tongue still stretches to get all the right spots and the teeth are still sharp and pretty! I can yawn big and wide without any pain too!

Yummy!! Thanks for the egg mom!

Of course now that Dandy seems to be getting ready to go, I find Red in a predicament! Was out late last night feeding the overwinters and when I checked the feeding station no one was there at first. As I started to leave a lot of chattering stopped me. Red was on the top platform trying to get my attention, but wouldn't come down...although she was acting like she wanted to really badly! So I climb up to her and of course, she's not using one of her back legs. She couldn't get down.

So I head up to the house to get a carrier to grab her. She ended up making it down because on my way back to the feeding station she met me half way, chattering up a storm and gimping right up to me and into the carrier.

So I have her settled in a pen now. She did start using the leg and she let me get a better look at it. Her right ankle is swollen and painful, but she is bearing weight on it now so I don't think it is broken. Possibly either an abscess or swelling from a bad sprain or trauma to the ankle. I am not overly worried about it, but being Sunday I have no way of getting it checked. I'll get an x-ray and a closer look tomorrow when I have access to the vet and some helping hands!

Needless to say she is actually pretty happy to be getting mom's attention since she's still in her very friendly mood. She settled happily back into the pen she grew up in and is not the least bit stressed about the whole thing. Her attitude will be a big help when it comes to checking the leg. Anesthesia may not be necessary with her desire & willingness to be handled by me.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring...where are you?!

It was a busy night for the coons last night! Looks like the gang is still getting along with each other so far. Look at them all behaving and sharing out there. They make me proud! hehe

We went from a nice, beautiful, spring day yesterday to a cold, miserable, wintry mix type of day again here! Aaagggghhhhhh! I just want the nice, warm weather to get here and stay here!
Not to jinx myself or anything, but so far all is quiet on the baby front. This years rehabs have not started to trickle in yet......KNOCK ON WOOD!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pool Party

Today was a balmy 51 degrees. The ice in the coonie pool finally melted enough for me to remove the big chunk of ice! So I emptied and cleaned the pool, and gave the kids a little springtime pool party. They were THRILLED!! First a few moments to calmly test the waters......

Then watch out! The fun began! Splashing around like maniacs, wrestling and jumping and just plain ole' goin' crazy!! I think this face says it all. Look at that mischievous grin! You just know he's getting ready to start something!

Getting pummeled in the pool was fun, but hiding in here is fun too! No one will find me!

She doesn't need anyone else in the pool with her to have fun! She makes her own fun!

Oh YUCK! This doesn't taste as good as it looked!

It was so much fun watching them enjoy their little treat today. It's been a long winter without any water to swim and play in. Hopefully that's all behind us and spring is here to stay at last! Pretty soon the gang will have a big pond to play in, not just a little coonie pool, once they are released.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Daytime raccoon appearances.

Dandy roused herself during the day for a brief moment to say Hi while I was cleaning her pen. I got this quick look from her as if to say "why are you disturbing me?" then she went right back to bed. She's looking good!

The rest of the overwinters also seemed happy with the sunny weather today. Whitey, Screech, Daisy and Buddy all popped out to say Hi and check out the food I was leaving.

Whitey was the first to check it out.

Daisy made an entrance next and they both played with their food for a few.

Daisy decides to pass on the food I think! ha ha

Screech and Buddy find out the hard way they can't both fit through the hole at the same time.

It was a brief visit since everyone quickly decided they would rather be sleeping and went back to bed. Popeye and Foxy never even bothered to emerge!

With the weather starting to get nicer it's going to be time for this gang to start their next adventure and get released soon!

Seeing Red!

Well I ran into Red when I went out back to feed the overwinters. There is a big storage container out there with all their treats etc. in it and while I was in the pen Red must have heard me and came over to check things out. She scared the crap out of me when I heard something rummaging in the container. Luckily it was just her helping me out! She is still in the very clingy mood she has developed within the past couple months. (she wasn't like this initially after her release).

This is unusual for them once they are free....they usually do not want to be handled once they are released....but will tolerate my presence if I run into them. Yet once again she just jumped into my arms and wanted to be held. I was getting some serious coonie hugs this night, much to my surprise. I think she is pregnant and her maternal hormones are at work here and it will ware off soon as she prepares to have her kits. Right now she's just happy to see mom and say Hi when she gets the chance.

I also feel better knowing this is specific to me and she's not like this towards other humans. The last time I ran into her and she was like this, Laurie came by to feed the overwinters. When she came towards me and Red, Red immediately took off and even my presence didn't prevent it. I teach them to fear other humans before releasing them, and I feel better witnessing that behavior in action so I know it was reinforced enough to make her dissappear even if I am around.

Dandy is doing great. She is healing well, eating fine and keeping the wound clean. She is taking her antibiotics and worming meds without a problem and being an excellent patient. I know she is restless and just wants out so she can return to her home in the wild. I feel bad keeping her penned up but it is for her greater good and it will be great to see her go free again when I am sure she is healed completely and ready to go.

I'm sure Siren misses her too since the two of them were always hanging out together. It will be nice when and if they can reunite depending on their "maternal situations" this spring.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 5 after surgery.

Where's my egg mom?

Dandy is getting better every day. Here she pokes her head out to say hi when she realized I was in her pen cleaning up.

Awwww she looks so cute now....just like before the accident.....

....until she tilts her head up a little! ha ha! Poor girl is going to have a permanent scowl on her face, but I still think she's cute! Looks and feels a lot better than it did when I found her!

She will always be beautiful to me!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Priscilla the Porcupine's Story

This is Priscilla. Obviously not a raccoon, but a very sweet porcupine whose story needs to be told! She was found curled up in the road, hit by a car after searching out the salt she craved there.

The people who found her were kind enough to pick her up off the street and bring her home, setting her up in a crate. They offered her food that she wouldn't eat, and a bowl of water. She kept tipping over the bowl of water so they just stopped putting it in the crate. They were going to get her to someone to help her, but they just "never got around to it." Finally after 10 DAYS! they contacted a fellow rehabber and brought her in.

She was immediately brought to a vet for an exam and treatment. It was discovered she had a broken pelvis. She was started on fluids and the usual process of re-hydrating then slowly introducing food again. She wouldn't eat at first so she was patiently hand fed baby food & veggies to get her started. Applesauce was her favorite! She started doing well and hopes were high for her recovery.

Porcupines eat sitting up like squirrels but with her broken pelvis she was having a difficult time of it. She kept trying to push herself up to eat. So a special "desk" was made just for her so she could sit up and eat in comfort. She loved this! She was a sweetheart and did great for almost 2 weeks until she started to go downhill.

Unfortunately the damage had been done after 10 days without fluids, food and care. The damage to her kidneys was irreversible and despite every one's best efforts she did not pull through. It was a terrible blow.... and a death that most likely could have been prevented.

If nothing else is learned from this....anyone who finds an animal and wants to help...PLEASE take the half hour or so to call around and get it some help. If you care enough to start to help it, follow through until you get it care instead of adding to it's suffering. They are living things just like us. Can you imagine if you were hurt, locked in a room and have no food or water or anything for any length of time??? Imagine 10 days without anything! In pain to boot! Putting it in a box and forgetting about it isn't going to make the problem go away, and the animal suffering through that would probably be better off having died on the road instead of that type of prolonged suffering.

Thank you to all those who care enough about our wild friends to give them aid when they need it! I know most of the kind hearted people who want to help have no idea what to do. It's a foreign situation to most! In this age of the computer finding a number is an Internet search away and I have made it even easier by having the links to various wildlife rehabilitator organizations listed. Help is just a click away......for all the Priscilla's out there!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A smile for the camera!

Well here she is with her beautiful new smile! It will probably be a permanent smile by the looks of it.Wow! What a difference a couple of days makes!

Dandy is doing great! What a trooper. The nose looks great, no gunk caking it up, and she is breathing almost normally out of it. I started sneaking her antibiotics into some raw egg so she's a happy girl getting treats like that. She is being a wonderful patient and she is definitely grateful to be feeling so much better.

Tomorrow I'll be adding another patient to the clan. The squirrel I brought to Tufts last week is recovering well and is ready to come here to finish his rehabilitation. Some time in the big cage where he can climb on trees and run around will help get his injured leg back in shape so he can be released eventually. Lucky Cutter (I can officially name him now!) He's going to get a second chance ....out of the dangers of city life and into the good country life! Boy is he gonna love it here! Lots of pretty young ladies out there for him to meet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The recovery begins.....

I am happy to report that Dandy is doing well after her surgery. She appears very comfortable and not bothered by her nose which is great because it means she is leaving it alone and not clawing at the stitches in her mouth.

She has been moved outside into the recovery cage and feels right at home seeing as it is part of the same cage she was raised in! Aside from being a little restless at being cooped up again, she is very cooperative with me allowing me to treat her without a problem.

It's just amazing how trusting they can be when treated kindly and when they know you are helping them! It also helps that she thinks of me as Mom, remembers that bond despite being on her own for over 6 months, and recognizes that I mean her no harm. They never fail to amaze me!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dandy's Surgery

Today was the day of reckoning for Dandy. She had surgery on her very damaged and broken nose. It had pretty much been evulsed..the whole nose was forced up and back exposing the nasal cavity as you can see in this before picture. That is the actual position the nose was stuck in.

A big dead section of the nasal septum was removed. The right side damage was less than the left. Here the Dr. is stitching the nose back down over the nasal cavity, securing it to the gums to hold it down.

The left side was worse. Here you can see the nasal cavity still exposed. Where his finger is part of the jaw had chipped off, like a flake of ice, so there was no gum tissue to secure the nose to. He got creative and actually stitched the nose down with a mattress stitch down around and between the teeth (like flossing).

And finally after it all, she still has a permanent snarl, but much better! You can actually see her eyes with the snout pulled back into place!

We have to hope the stitches hold, and a lot of other things too! But the Dr. is optimistically hopeful. So now we wait and see, and hopefully with a lot of TLC she will pull through and be well enough to release back into the wild again. As long as everything works well, the deformity is not an issue. She was still eating and drinking perfectly well before the surgery which is a good sign as well.

I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL to my vets for taking the time and putting the effort into helping her....words cannot describe! THANK YOU!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Capture accomplished!

Well I spent another night out in the woods last night. I spent 6 hours sitting under a tree waiting for my injured coonie kid to come down! I am officially the crazy coon lady in this neck of the woods!

She finally did and I managed to snag her this time. It is Dandy and her injury is horrific. My wonderful vet had a look at her today, and had she not been eating, drinking and getting along as well as she has been, euthanasia might have been recommended. But since she has been coping, tomorrow she will go into surgery and another vet will get a closer look at the damage and we'll assess it from there. I am hoping for the best, but trying not to get my hopes up too high.

Look what a cutie she is. Is it any wonder why I have gone to such lengths for her??!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Night without sleep.

Spent Friday night searching the woods at regular intervals looking for my injured raccoon. All to no avail of course. Apparently last night was one of those few nights when none of them really came out. I only ran into Belle all night, and the coon cam had very few pics on it. Lets hope I have better luck tonight....because yes, I am going to keep searching until I find her!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Worried sick!

Got this picture on the 6th and have been wondering about this one since. It is not the angle, the face is "pushed in" like a boston terrier or something.

I was out last night and finally ran in to this raccoon, and now I am worried sick about her. It is definitely an injury. I think it is Dandy, but I couldn't tell because of the way her face is pushed in. It's like her snout got pushed in then up and to the side a little. I failed at 2 attempts to catch her! Once she was on to me and knew I was trying to get her it was all over. Up the tree she went and wouldn't come down again.

She appears to be coping with it...she's not starving and I think the actual jaw/mouth structure is intact. She just looks awful and sounds like a kid with a stuffy nose when she breaths. And she certainly had no problem evading me!

I waited for 3 hours for her to come down out of a tree, even though I should know better than anyone that you cannot out wait a coon in a tree. All I can do is keep trying and hope for the best.

While I was out there fretting over Dandy (?), Red and Paleface popped over to say Hi! Lots of others looking on from up in the trees, wondering what the hell I was doing but no one came down to visit. They probably though I would try catching them too!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Raccoons & Squirrels & Sarge! Oh my!!

I haven't seen Sarge since the end of December and I was so excited to see him last night! He had a couple battle scars on his muzzle, but nothing major and he looked really good. He was a little skittish, but did come over and say hi briefly before snatching a treat and running off with it! He was one of my "mamma's boys" from this past summer. Goofball was the other mamma's boy and I haven't had any confirmed sightings of him in a long time either, not since the end of November. I hope he is OK. This is Sarge on the right, Goofball on the left... (Goof is also the baby holding the bottle on a blue fleece in the pics in the right margin,)

And another of Sarge....such a handsome boy!! It's amazing how different they look as time goes by.

Here one of the gang says "Cheese!" for the camera before heading home to bed.

I ran into Sarge around Midnight. I ended up with an adult squirrel that had been hit by a car while working, and by the time I got him home and stabilized it was about Midnight and decided since I was up.....I might as well check it out. I'm so glad I did or I wouldn't have run into Sarge. So I have a poor injured squirrel to thank for that.

I brought the squirrel to Tufts Wildlife center in Groton this morning since he did well overnight and seemed stable. He's in good hands, getting x-rays and pain meds and treatment. They will let me know tomorrow if he is in any condition for rehabilitation or if he has to be euthanized due to head trauma and a shoulder injury. I'll take him back to recover here should his injuries be such that he will be releasable eventually. Lets all give lots of good thought out to him and hope for the best!