Taranaki Little Blue Penguin

Blue penguin A little blue penguin was brought over from Taranaki to Wildbase hospital by DOC. He had been attacked by a dog and subsequently had a deep laceration that covered approximately 1/3 of his body.

Due to the nature of the injury and the amount of sand embedded into the wound he was anaesthetised immediately so the wound could be cleaned out and flushed before loosely tacking the wound edges together. A dog bite can cause infection due to the saliva and bacteria from a dog’s mouth, therefore the wound would need to remain open and regular cleaning and monitoring to take place until his veterinarian deemed it safe to close.

X-rays showed no internal damage or broken bones. Two forms of pain relief, oral broad-spectrum antibiotics, prophylactic itraconazole (an antifungal medication used as a prevention technique against aspergillosis) and fluids were given daily whilst in care. The wound was sutured closed 10 days after admittance and because of the time of year and abundance of food available in hospital the penguin went into his annual moult.

Once the moult was complete after two weeks he was sent back to Taranaki to be released where he was found, with interesting stories to share with his friends!

Read more seabird case studies

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey