Cedar Creek Wombat Rescue – Case Study

“Cheeky” an 11kg female wombat came into care after suffering head trauma probably from being hit by a car.  She had severe swelling to her nose making breathing through it impossible, a fracture cheek bone and a non-displaced fracture near the hinge of her jaw that was painful and prevented her from closing her mouth properly.  “Cheeky” was very distressed and had to be placed on oxygen to help her breath with less effort.  It really looked like she might not make it through the first night. Wombats are obligate nose breathers and only breathe through their mouths if forced to. When they breathe through their mouths it makes it difficult for them to eat.  This along with the injury to her jaw was adding to “Cheeky’s” distress.  After she was treated for shock, she needed nutrition to allow her to heal but obviously couldn’t eat grass or grain since she couldn’t breathe and chew at the same time and her jaw was painful even with pain relief.  A slurry of milk mixed with Critical Care was syringed into her mouth in small amounts every few hours.  Because she couldn’t breathe and swallow at the same time, she could take a little at a time.  Milk alone was not enough for a wombat her size and the added nutrition of Critical Care helped sustain her until after several weeks the swelling finally reduced allowing her to breathe through her nose and her jaw healed enough to allow her to start eating a little on her own.   She was continued on Critical Care for several months because it was a very long healing process before she was eating a normal diet or grass well enough to maintain her weight.

Roz & Kevin Holme

Mob: 0429 482 551

PO Box 538

Cessnock, NSW 2325

wombaroo10@harboursat.com.au