Orphan Rhino Blood Profiling
During the early stages of the rhino poaching crisis, the availability of reliable biochemistry and haematology reference values for rhinos was scarce. Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary, in collaboration with Dr Albertus Coetzee from West Acres Animal Hospital, has been actively collecting and analyzing blood samples from young orphaned rhinos for several years.
Using state-of-the-art IDEXX and Abaxis laboratory equipment, the sanctuary has successfully established in-house reference values for blood chemistry and haematology specific to young rhinos. This ongoing project has yielded over 70 sets of data to date, proving to be a crucial resource for diagnosis and decision-making when new arrivals enter the sanctuary.
While this valuable information is yet to be published, it is made available to other veterinarians. Notably, findings from the biochemistry analysis have been presented at prominent veterinary conferences, including the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) Congress, SAVA Wildlife Group Congress, and the Namibian Veterinary Association Congress.
The impact of this work extends beyond Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary, benefiting veterinarians throughout Southern Africa in their treatment of orphaned rhinos. Continuous updates regarding this vital research are actively shared among the sanctuary, collaborating veterinarians, and the esteemed Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria.