1887

Badgers

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Abstract

The Eurasian badger is the largest of Britain’s Mustelidae species. The most common reasons for badgers requiring veterinary attention are road traffic accidents, injuries from baiting, snaring or poisoning, and intraspecific bite wounds. Orphaned badger cubs are commonly presented in some areas. This chapter covers: ecology and biology; anatomy and physiology; capture, handling and transportation; clinical assessment; first aid and hospitalization; anaesthesia and analgesia; specific conditions; therapeutics; husbandry; rearing of badger cubs; rehabilitation and release; and legal considerations.

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Figures

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17.1 Badger and cubs. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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17.2 Several colour mathvariants are seen in Eurasian badgers, including erythristic (left) and melanistic (right). (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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17.4 (a) Male badger showing position of subcaudal gland under the tail and dorsal to the anus. (b) Female badger showing short anogenital distance and subcaudal gland. (a, Courtesy of C Seddon)
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17.6 Badger cubs (a) syringe fed at around 1 week old, (b) bottle fed at around 5 weeks old, (c) weaned and within a newly formed social group at around 12 weeks old. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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17.7 Badger sedated and muzzled with Baskerville™ muzzle to allow blood collection from the jugular vein.
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17.10 Large ‘territorial’ rump wound on an adult badger (a) before and (b) after cleaning. (© Elizabeth Mullineaux)
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17.11 (a) Dead badger caught in a ‘drag snare’. This type of snare is of dubious legality for any species, as the fact it can be dragged limits the ability to check it on a regular basis. In this case the snare has become trapped on a fence post. (b) Resulting wounds to the neck of the drag-snared badger. (c) Dead badger showing snare wounds around the chest and abdomen. (Courtesy of M Brash)
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17.12 Road traffic accident injuries to an adult badger including fracture of the hard palate and fracture of the mandible. This casualty was euthanased following examination. (© Elizabeth Mullineaux)
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17.13 Badgers that have ingested metaldehyde may be presented with blue-green faeces. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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17.14 Intranuclear inclusion bodies (arrowheads) in enterocytes in the small intestine of a badger cub in which dual parvovirus and orthoreovirus infection were confirmed. Haematoxylin and eosin stain; bar = 50 μm. (Courtesy of A Barlow, APHA Wildlife Group and WNDS)
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17.15 Radiographic changes associated with osteomyelitis of the right stifle joint, originating in the growth plates, in a young adult badger infected with . (© Elizabeth Mullineaux)
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17.17 (arrowheads) in a Giemsa-stained intestinal scrape from a badger cub that died of giardiasis (bar = 10 μm). (Courtesy of A Barlow, APHA Wildlife Group and WNDS)
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17.18 Intramuscular injection into the lumbar muscles of an adult badger restrained with a heavy blanket. (Courtesy of M Gunn)
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17.21 Bilateral medial thigh tattoos in a badger cub prior to release. This animal has been anaesthetized for this procedure. Tattooing of badgers requires an appropriate licence (see ‘Legal aspects’). (Courtesy of C Seddon)
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17.22 Adult badgers should be released at their place of origin at dusk. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)

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