Friday, February 26, 2016

They aren't domestic!

We humans have become so dependent on chemicals to survive that some believe it really is the only way TO survive. 

It amazes me how often we take in an injured wild animal and receive a multitude of questions wondering if we are treating them properly. Are we giving fluids?  Are we medicating?  The problem is, what most humans believe is proper, and what might be proper for a human, really isn’t proper and can be harmful to wildlife. 

Of course, if an animal comes in with an infection, we do give antibiotics.  Or if an animal comes in so dehydrated that they cannot drink on their own, we will give fluids under the skin, using a needle.
But, for the most part, we allow the animal to tell us what the animal needs.  If they are able to drink on their own or eat on their own, we are not going to take extreme measures to force them to eat or drink, we are going to take a much more hands off approach and allow them to eat and drink on their own.
This does not mean animals are allowed to suffer.  Of course, if the pain is so bad that they truly need pain medication that is always done.  But it isn’t done as often or as freely as it would be with a human or even a domestic pet.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:

Being in captivity is stressful for any adult wild animal (babies don’t yet know the difference), doing things like poking them with needles is only going to be that much more stressful and stress can lead to further complications and eventual death.

Giving certain types of pain medication might actually make an injured animal feel ok enough to further injure themselves because they fight being captive.  If it hurts to fight, they will stay calmer and more healing can take place.

Pain medication can often reduce appetite, depriving the animal of nutrients that are much more important than pain relief.

Mother Nature has given animals an amazing ability to heal on their own.  Often what they need is just a place to do that and food while they do.  This is what CLAWS provides.

And honestly, animals adapt to change and even pain much easier and more quickly than we humans do.  If you have ever seen a cat right after having its leg amputated, they are typically up and running before they are even fully awake.   That is nature, that is how they are designed.  And let’s not forget, humans were once this way as well.  Back before science advanced to the point that we now have the “luxury” to sit around and allow ourselves to recover without the fear of being eaten by a predator or having the neighbor take over our homestead because we aren’t working our own land.

The best advice I ever received as a rehabber was:

“Please do not raise them in a sterile environment.  Don’t sterilize bottles after every feeding.”


The same reason parents don’t keep their children in a bubble as they grow up and those that do end up with the first two years of school being very sickly years.

These animals are going back out to the wild where nothing is sterile.  If we raise them in a sterile environment being dependent on chemicals for survival, they won’t be able to survive in the wild.  They’ll get sick as soon as they are released and die.

The goal of every rehabber is to get these animals to the point where they can safely survive on their own in the wild.  The best way to do this is by not making them dependent on things they can only receive in captivity.

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