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PATIENT OF THE WEEK

THE STORIES BEHIND THE PATIENTS AT THE AUSTRALIA ZOO WILDLIFE HOSPITAL

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Peta the Blue-tongued Skink & her young   - 8th January 2018

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Peta the Blue-tongued Skink & her young

Age: Adult & Newborns   Sex: Female   Weight: 660gms

Found: Peta was found slumped over in a backyard in Elimbah, Queensland after being accidentally run-over by a lawn mower in the long grass.

Transported to: Peta was rescued and transported to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital by a wildlife carer.

Veterinary Assessment: Dr Tania and her team examined the severely injured lizard at the Wildlife Hospital and confirmed that she'd suffered a fractured spine and a large open wound on her tail end. X-rays also showed that Peta was heavily pregnant.

Treatment: Although Peta's injuries could not be fixed, Dr Tania was able to provide immediate pain relief through anaesthesia, and go into emergency surgery to save her babies. Dr Tania and her team performed a caesarean section and successfully delivered seventeen viable young. The hospital team worked quickly to ensure each of the babies were breathing and that their bodies were warm by placing them on a heat pack. Once awake, the young began to eat the placental membrane.

Outcome: After 24 hours in the reptiles Intensive Care Unit, the team found the perfect release location with leaf litter and logs to hide beneath, and let the young independent lizards disperse into the bush.

AZWH Fact: Unlike many reptiles, female blue-tongues do not lay eggs, instead they give birth to live young who are independent from birth.



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