Wombats are an Australian native species. They are apart of the macropod family; a marsupial branch of species located in the vast country’s wildlife. Like other marsupial animals they have fallen ill recently.
The spread of this disease is disastrous because it is targeting wombats. These macropods, particularly the Northern Hairy Nosed Wombats, are on conservation lists as endangered. As a vet student, a pillar I study under is sharing conservation methodology. Which is why I often write about God’s lovely creators on my blog. Due to the endangerment of this species it is crucial to spread information on disease prevention and citizen residential support.
For most macropod animals vulnerability to the disease is much to blame for having weaker immune system. Unlike other macropods, wombat’s issues fall under the issue of mange. The mangy disease is attacking the small population of the 250 left in the wild.
Mange in basic jargon is when mites burrow into the skin. Thus evolving into itching, scabs, sores, and redness in the skin. Likewise, hair loss and crusty skin occur. After being infected with mange for a duration of a month the eyes and nose will crust over. An infection over a month will result in thicker scabbed skin resulting in death.
If a wombat is found by a resident and appears to exhibit these symptoms it is important to first enter the wombats information into WomSAT. Notably, WomSAT is an online citizen encounter report. After that information is logged be sure to contact an exotic veterinarian for care instructions or a local shelter.
If that isn’t available due to the location and vast outback of Australia take a holistic approach to healing the wombat. Utilize herbs and lotions that include valerian, aloe, chamomile, St John’s wort and kava. Particularly, bathing a wombat in aloe juice is the optimal choice. The aloe and chamomile offer a calming and anti-anxiety solution that doesn’t allow for disease progress and post care stress of the animal. Treatment should occur until the skin starts to heal. This can take a few months.
Wombats often suffer anxiety and stress. So, a normal treatment for mange will not work for wombats. These macropods will become stressed if given an antiparasitic steroid. Likewise, over the counter treatment for canine sarcoptic mange or didactic mange should not be applied. While, these medications might appeal to animal rehabilitators it can prevent the wombat’s immune system to warding off parasites in the future. In fact it makes them more susceptible to getting mange in the future.
Conservation of wombats, especially the Northern Hairy Nosed Wombats, is much-needed. Aiding these marsupial animals in the wake of disease is crucial. Due to their weak immune system it is vital to care for wombats in a holistic way and log their information. Contacting a shelter or veterinarian is optimal in this situation. Future hope for all macropod animals in the Australian wildlife scenery lies within proper research.