On Friday, June 7, the Wildlife Center admitted a young adult male Black Bear from Rappahannock County. The bear had signs of severe mange and was able to be trapped and transported by a biologist with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
When the bear arrived at the Center, he was quiet and lying down in the transport trap. Dr. Peach, the Center’s veterinary research fellow, was able to anesthetize the bear using a pole syringe. During the physical exam, Dr. Peach found that the bear was very thin, with an estimated body condition score of 1/5. The bear had a poor hair coat with several areas of hair loss, hair thinning, and skin crusting and thickening – all classic signs of mange. Dr. Peach estimated that about 60-70 percent of the bear’s skin and hair coat was affected. Skin scrapes were positive for sarcoptic mange.
Dr. Peach gave the bear subcutaneous fluids and took the bear to the Center’s bear pens, an ideal spot for bears with infectious mange to recover. The bear will become the next “study participant” in Dr. Peach’s mange treatment research. Later that evening, wildlife rehabilitator Shannon confirmed that the bear did eat the oral dose of medication, which was hidden in a food item. The bear will be scheduled for a re-check skin scraping and blood work two weeks after admission.