Beaver #19-0199

March 22, 2019
April 22, 2019
Rescue Location
Goochland County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Found injured in a parking lot
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On March 22, an adult beaver was found in a parking lot in Goochland County. The beaver was not moving, so someone called an animal control officer, who contained the beaver and took it to the Wellesley Animal Hospital. A veterinarian from Wellesley transported the beaver to the Wildlife Center later that afternoon.

On admission, the beaver was quiet but alert and weighed 21.9 kg [about 48 pounds]. The veterinary team found multiple wounds on the beaver’s back and tail; the wounds looked necrotic and inflamed. Radiographs were within normal limits. The team was not able to find a definitive cause of the beaver’s depressed attitude, though possible causes included sepsis from infected wounds, organ failure, or neurologic disease. The beaver’s wounds were cleaned and debrided, and medical honey and bandages were applied to the wounds to promote healing. The beaver was also given fluids and vitamins and was placed in the Center’s Bear Pens.

During the following two weeks, the beaver’s wounds began to heal. While the veterinary team noted that the beaver appeared a little brighter and more alert on some days, its attitude was still abnormal and the beaver had difficulty ambulating around the enclosure. In early April, the beaver made more consistent improvements, including classic defensive beaver behavior, including tail slapping to warn others away.

Dr. Karra, the Center’s veterinary intern, is encouraged by the beaver’s progress and hopes that it will be able to be released later this month, once the wounds are fully healed. In the meantime, the beaver appears to be settling into its makeshift beaver habitat, complete with two water pools, large logs, and fresh browse. Dr. Karra has been carefully restocking logs each day — the beaver particularly likes stripping the bark off of large logs!

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Patient Updates

During the past two weeks, Beaver #19-0199 has been doing well and making steady improvements. Dr. Karra has been particularly attentive, not just to monitor and oversee the beaver’s care, but because the beaver has been one of her favorite patients! In mid-April, Dr. Karra declared the beaver ready for release; the wounds on the beaver’s back had healed well, and the beaver was acting appropriately.

Wildlife rehabilitator Kelsey coordinated release plans with the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries; in general, animals need to be released either within the county in which they were rehabilitated or back at their initial rescue location. Beavers present some additional release challenges since they have such specific habitat requirements, so Kelsey worked with the permits office to ask permission to release the beaver elsewhere. She was able to coordinate a release location with a USDA biologist who was looking to establish beavers on a piece of property he managed. The beaver was picked up for release on Monday, April 22.