Veterinarians Stephanie Machado and Joao Frias along with Veterinary Student Francesca Alsworth (pictured) from the University of Bristol represented C.A.R.E., The Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education this weekend at the British Veterinary Zoological Society Meeting held at the Pembroke College, Oxford.
The three professionals volunteered at C.A.R.E. earlier this year; Stephanie and Joao helped as qualified vets and made a huge positive impact, saving the lives of many baboons including orphan Eleanor, Francesca came to C.A.R.E. via Worldwide Veterinary Service. Whilst volunteering at the centre they gathered the records of any baboons which suffered from tetanus, analysed their findings and presented a poster on it entitled; "A Retrospective Study of Tetanus in Chacma Baboons Between 2012-2015".
Francesca Alsworth explained; "Really excited and proud to be presenting our study poster this weekend at the British Veterinary Zoological Society Meeting. So great to be able to spread the fantastic work that C.A.R.E. do with people in the U.K.".
Tetanus hasn't been a problem with any of the baboons undergoing rehabilitation since 2015 thanks to our donors and supporters making donations to the Immunisation Fund. Thanks to donations to this fund we have managed to immunise all our baboons, and seek donations to immunise any baboons which come into our care. However, previous to this we did lose many baboons to the dreaded tetanus; it's a bacteria which lives in the soil and easily gets into scratches or open wounds. Baboons are very physical animals and easily get scratches and cuts even during rough play, so unless immunised, tetanus is a real life-threatening risk. Immunising the baboons at C.A.R.E. began in 2007, sadly though the recommended immunisation schedule was just with one injection; soon it became apparent that this wasn't sufficient and C.A.R.E. now follows the immunisation schedule of human infants which has proven to be successful and it is rare to admit a patient to the clinic with tetanus.
If a baboon is suffering from the effects of the tetanus bacteria, their chances of survival are very slim and the condition is very painful; the animal quickly becomes recumbent and suffers with painful tremors and seizures and is unable to feed themselves. The team at C.A.R.E. through vast research and experience became efficient and competent when dealing with any tetanus patients, with their survival rates increasing, however, it was still a 50-50 chance of the animal making it through the condition. We are very grateful to all those that have donated and continue to donate to the important, and life-saving Immunisation Fund as it definitely saves lives and keeps the baboons safe.
If you are interested in saving a life and protecting a baboon from tetanus, please donate to the fund today - we can promise, it is an essential immunisation to ensure none of the baboon orphans are at risk!
Each orphan baby baboon must receive 4 shots of tetavax (R72 per shot), which must be administered through a hand injection (syringes costing a few dollars). We must immunize all incoming baby baboons. If you choose to immunize a baby baboon we will send you a photo and certificate of the baboon you helped.
Each adult baboon if they weren't vaccinated as an infant must receive 4 shots of tetavax (R72 per shot), which must be administered in a dart (each costing just under R200). Whilst we now immunize all incoming baby baboons, we have a lot of adults to catch up with. If you choose to immunize an adult we will send you a photo and certificate of the baboon you helped.