2019 Year in Review: Jess Dyer, LVT

It’s time to look back on 2019! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2019 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

This year has been another whirlwind at the Wildlife Center in the vet department! I began my journey at WCV in August of 2018 as the veterinary technician intern with the intention of only staying until the following fall. Little did I know that I would be staying indefinitely! In July of 2019, WCV hired me on as the full time licensed veterinary technician, and it has been a smooth transition so far.

I have so many great memories from 2019, but the one that stands out the most for me was getting to work with our female bobcat kitten #19-2408. She arrived in late July as a clinically healthy orphan. Based on her age and small size when she initially presented to us, it was clear that she was going to be with us for a while! In the wild, young bobcats would naturally separate from mom after around 10 months to one year. This species is also more prone to habituation than others, therefore we try to limit her exposure to human contact and only handle her when absolutely necessary.

Because she came into us at such a young age (only weighing in around 2.5 lbs!), we needed to keep a close eye on her growth and development. When animals are in our care for longer periods of time, it is not uncommon to routinely repeat diagnostic testing such as blood work and fecal analyses to monitor progress and potentially sort out any problems along their rehabilitation journey.

For this young female bobcat, we noticed that she seemed to be struggling to gain weight. Fortunately for me, I was able to participate in one of her sedated procedures to collect blood and feces for additional testing. For such a small creature, she is very swift! Luckily, all of her tests came back normal, and eventually, she has started to gain weight. She is still currently in our care at WCV and we hope to release her early in the spring of 2020!

-- Jess Dyer, Licensed Veterinary Technician

Check out all of our year-in-review posts!