Oralade teams up with wildlife rescue centres to highlight importance of hydration - Veterinary Practice
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Oralade teams up with wildlife rescue centres to highlight importance of hydration

Hydration status of wildlife patients admitted to veterinary practices needs to be considered as we head into the winter months

Macahl Animal Health, manufacturer of Oralade, is highlighting the need to consider the hydration status of wildlife patients admitted to veterinary practices, as we head into the winter months. There is often an increase in admissions of hibernating species at this time of year, particularly hedgehogs, and it is thought that numbers of sick and injured wildlife handed over by the general public may be on the up this year as people spend more time in their gardens and local parks due to COVID restrictions. Macahl donates Oralade to wildlife sanctuaries regularly where it is in widespread use.

Anthony Mackle, from Oralade, Macahl Animal Health, discusses the importance: “British hedgehogs are now classified as vulnerable to extinction, so we have been working with wildlife centres to help with the recovery of their rescue hogs, particularly those with dehydration or inappetence. This is a project we are really passionate about, and we are delighted that our donations of Oralade GI Support have been making a difference.”

It is suggested that if uncertain about a hedgehog’s hydration status, it is always best to assume a degree of dehydration. Oralade has put together a useful guide for veterinary professionals.

Wildlife Aid Foundation, based in Surrey, says: “We frequently use Oralade to help our patients which are suffering from mild dehydration and are reluctant to eat. It works really well for species such as hedgehogs, foxes and badgers as the smell seems to encourage them to lap. It really does give them a boost and can get them eating solid food again which is critical for their rehabilitation.”

Oralade GI support is suitable for oral rehydration in many wildlife species, including hedgehogs. The suggested maintenance dose is 50ml per kg per 24hrs, with additional quantities needed to correct a hydration deficit. Identifying dehydration is similar to pet species, and includes assessment of skin tent, gum colour, and capillary refill time.

Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre, Wiltshire has also seen an increase in appetite for individuals treated with rehydration fluids. “We were recommended Oralade GI by another wildlife rescue centre as sometimes we would have hedgehogs refusing to eat. We tried Oralade, and also mixed a little in with some food and even the persistent non-eaters gave it a try. This certainly seems to be far more palatable to our hogs than regular rehydration fluid.”

Further afield, Oralade has helped to make a real difference to the recovery of rescue possums and wallabies at a sanctuary in Australia. Bubbles the pinkie possum weighed in at 48g on arrival, and Milo was extremely malnourished and inappetant. The sanctuary found that Oralade helped to stimulate their appetite, and both are now recovering well.

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