Author Kelly Huitson, BSc (Hons), RVN, APVN (small mammal, herpetology)

Kelly held a BSc (Hons) in animal behaviour and welfare before qualifying as an RVN in 2017. She has since worked in first opinion, emergency and referral practices, and currently works as a veterinary nurse in Alderney in the Channel Islands. Kelly’s clinical interests include wildlife, exotics, analgesia and dental. She has completed the BVNA oral care nursing course and the Advanced Programme in Veterinary Nursing in small mammal and herpetology. In her spare time, she volunteers for British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), pampers her three cats and enjoys beach walks with her two dogs.

ABSTRACT Over 160,000 wild animals are brought into veterinary practices each year, with half of veterinary surgeons wanting to know more about treating these patients[1]. Treating wildlife in a practice has many challenges, from the availability of suitable drugs and equipment to knowledge, confidence and costs[2]. Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) guidance states that veterinary surgeons should be able to ‘provide first aid and facilitate the provision of pain relief for all other species’, until the animal can be transferred to a veterinary service responsible for wildlife patients[3]. A survey from the University of Plymouth found that the majority of veterinary surgeons were willing to provide more than just basic triage and first aid for their wildlife patients[4], but the practice environment is not suitable for a wild animal in the long term so, once it has been assessed and treatment has been provided, it should be passed to an appropriate rehabilitation centre[5]. This article discusses assessment, triage and first aid for coastal and marine wildlife, and provides appropriate information for practices located near the coast and those who may be involved in the rehabilitation or transport of wildlife to and from rescue centres in the UK.
Keywords wildlife, pinniped, cetacean, seal, dolphin, whale, marine, rescue

DOI: 10.56496/ADDM6955

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