Sadie Tiger Gets A Checkup

A Visit With The Vet

August 6, 2019

At Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, we understand the importance of monitoring our animal residents’ health every day. The apex predators under our care have a natural instinct to hide injury and illness to the best of their abilities. This helps them survive in the wild because it prevents them from appearing weak, which could cause them to go from predator to prey. In captivity, however, their predisposition to cover up their maladies can be highly detrimental to their well-being. Because of this, our animal care team has to become very familiar with each animal resident and keeps a watchful eye for small changes in their behaviors that could be indicative of a problem.

Last week, animal care team members noticed Sadie tiger was not eating. For these carnivores, loss of appetite is a huge red flag. Because the team knows her well enough, they also noted that seemed to be feeling generally unwell. Sadie was promptly sedated and taken to our onsite Jackson Memorial Veterinary Hospital. There, staff veterinarian, Dr. Kellyn Sweeley, performed a comprehensive exam of the tiger, which included blood work and x-rays. All tests results seemed to indicate that Sadie was suffering from constipation; she was given an enema and remained in the veterinary hospital for a few days for continued monitoring and recovery.

Sadie demonstrated improvement during her time in the hospital. Sunday, the animal care team sedated and transported her back to her habitat, where she received another enema as a precaution. Since then, she has begun regaining her vitality and is eating again. We will continue to monitor her to make sure she doesn’t regress, but so far, it looks like this there was a simple solution to her issue.

Due to their past histories, which often included poor breeding, malnourishment, and subpar healthcare, the animal residents of Turpentine tend to be under regular treatment for a slew of ailments and are at risk for many more. Things like tummy troubles and dental issues aren’t necessarily life-threatening at first, but should they be prolonged without proper care, they can lead to widespread systems damages and even death! You’ve heard us say it many times before, but prevention and early detection truly are key; that’s why we provide regular wellness exams, daily checks, and a carefully-curated regime that combines healthy diets, medicine, and enrichment for mental and physical well-being.

You can learn more about how we care for our animal residents by visiting: https://www.turpentinecreek.org/about-us/animal-care/.