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.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2 unfortunate souls in 2 days.

Well Sunday I had the misfortune of coming across a body in the road. It turned out to be what was once a beautiful otter. There was a dead frog near him as well. My guess is he wasn't paying attention to his surroundings very well while catching the frog. What a shame. We don't see much of them around here. The flooding probably brought him in closer to this area...unfortunately.
Our second soul was this young male raccoon found hurt by a tree. Couldn't seem to walk well due to a problem with his back end. Got him to the vet and gassed him down in his carrier.
His left rear leg turned out to be EXTREMELY swollen! While we were setting him up for xrays he quietly died. As soon as his breathing started to seem shallow we took off the mask to check his color. Pale is what we expected, but boy were we surprised!

He was totally yellow. On closer examination of his skin...also very yellow. He was in total liver failure. The anesthesia, processed by the liver, was the final straw. It was just a matter of time...the liver was beyond recovery....but at least this made it a quicker more peaceful end.

We took the xray anyway and no breaks. What appears to have happened is a bite wound or injury that caused a massive abscess. For some reason it never popped and drained and resolved itself like they usually do in the wild. His leg swelled and thickened so badly he couldn't even move the leg. We couldn't even stretch it out straight for the xray. This led to sepsis where major organs stop functioning normally and finally septic shock where they just stop functioning altogether.
Not the way I wanted to start the season....but sometimes it's not always about helping them live....sometimes it's about helping them pass peacefully and humanely instead of slowly and painfully.


  1. Deanna, so sad ..sorry your recent admissions and foundlings were both tragically "unsavable". We learn from these sad finds.
    Sepsis is probably a huge killer in the wild.How often do raccoons fall from trees,tangle with another or a predator,injure themselves accidentally?
    It's those moments when you are blessed with their finding you in time and you are there to save them.Every entry you make of your efforts to foster these kids puts a giant smile on my face. Thank you for being there for the furfolk.Hugs,Annie

  2. Thanks Annie! It helps to know for those unlucky ones we are able to end the suffering sooner. So in a small sense they are lucky I guess.....Kudos to yourself also are there for them don't forget!!