On Thanksgiving Day, a woman was driving from Gloucester County, Virginia to work in Richmond when she hit a bobcat that was running across the road. The woman called Richmond Animal Care and Control for help when she realized the adult bobcat was stuck in the grille of her car!
An officer quickly responded to the scene and was able to safely sedate the bobcat and extract it from the car; she then transported the injured bobcat to the Wildlife Center. Dr. Alexa, one of the Center’s veterinary interns, was on-call and ready to receive the bobcat, which was admitted as patient #17-2688.
Upon arrival, the bobcat was bright, alert, and growling at Dr. Alexa, though the cat’s head movements indicated the presence of head trauma and possible vision loss. Dr. Alexa sedated the female bobcat again so that the staff could safely extract her for a complete physical examination. Dr. Alexa noted that the bobcat had slight difficulty breathing, and there was a large laceration on the bobcat’s back, with one portion of the wound that appeared a bit deeper, exposing ligaments and muscle. There was several other small abrasions on the bobcat’s back, but no other significant wounds. Radiographs confirmed that no fractures were present, though indicated some bruising in the lungs.
Dr. Alexa placed an IV catheter to deliver fluids, and carefully cleaned and sutured the laceration on the bobcat’s back. The bobcat was given pain meds, anti-inflammatories, and a sedative before she was placed in the Center’s holding room for the night.
The following morning, Dr. Alexa was happy to find that the bobcat was extremely feisty. Dr. Alexa sedated the bobcat again for additional wound treatments, and removed the IV catheter. The bobcat was moved to the Center’s outdoor Bear Pen enclosure so that the staff could continue to safely monitor the bobcat. Throughout the weekend, the bobcat remained bright and alert, with no additional signs of vision loss or head trauma. As of Sunday afternoon, the bobcat still hadn’t eaten on her own, which could be due to the stress of being in captivity; the adult bobcat may also not be interested in food that she hasn’t caught herself!
The staff will continue to monitor the bobcat carefully. If all goes well, the bobcat should be able to be released in about a month.