On July 11, an adult female Black Bear was admitted to the Wildlife Center. The severely thin and mangy bear had been seen in Loudoun County; DGIF biologists were able to trap the bear on July 10 to bring her to the Center for treatment.
Dr. Peach, the Center’s veterinary fellow, examined the sedated bear upon arrival. The bear was emaciated, severely dehydrated, and had alopecia [hair loss] on about 90% of her body. The bear’s skin was thickened and irritated, and all of her lymph nodes were enlarged. Skin scrapes confirmed the presence of mange mites. The bear also had a fractured lower left canine, as well as some mild damage to her other teeth. The bear weighed 36.8 kg. DGIF Black Bear Project Leader Jaime Sajecki estimates that the bear is about seven years old, based on her teeth.
Dr. Peach gave the bear fluids and an anti-inflammatory injection and placed the bear in the Center’s Bear Pen and recovered from anesthesia. The team will offer the bear food and will administer a one-time oral dose of medication to treat the mange – the same treatment that was used for Black Bear #17-1298. Bear #18-1952’s prognosis is poor, given the extent of the disease and the bear’s condition. If the bear survives and recovers from mange, the lower left canine may need to be pulled prior to release.
The bear will be closely monitored, and as long as she starts to recover, the team will anesthetize the bear in two weeks to repeat blood work, skin scrapes, and a physical examination.