Over the years we have learned to counter the shock, counter the fear and avoid the bites, kicks or scratches from new admissions. But Biffo was different, although he was not aware of just how frightening he was:
Biffo is a large boar badger brought to us from Swindon. He came via a vet who had given him a drug to try to calm him but it only seemed to make him worse.
Biffo was fitting. And in fitting he was thrashing his powerful body around snapping those lethal jaws in every direction. Our nurses, Sharon and Francesca, had nervously manoeuvred him into a recovery unit, but because he was totally unhandleable had not been able to put in an intravenous drip that is so crucial for the new admission casualties. In fact, so powerful were his convulsions that they could not even administer sedatives to calm him.
Biffo made short work of the stainless steel recovery unit and was soon half in and half out with the remains of his bedding scattered around the large mammal unit.
And to make matters seem worse he had now started calling out in the high-pitched whickering that usually shows that a badger has been attacked by dogs.
The nurses and the ward cleaners had to leave the room to Biffo and quickly call the vet to come and help.
Taking the nurses in with him, the vet quickly pinned Biffo with a soft broom and administered the sedative that the nurses had ready. Then all three climbed onto the worktop leaving the floor to Biffo.
Quickly the nursing team got to work. Biffo's temperature was 42º C, equivalent to 107.4º Fahrenheit, when it should have been about 101º. Obviously Biffo was in serious trouble. An intravenous drip was soon attached and Biffo started to stabilise. His temperature dropped to normal and he slept soundly.
We had no idea what had caused the convulsions, possible head trauma or an unlikely something he had eaten.
Over the next week Biffo recovered completely. He ate and drank well and became just a normal dangerous wild animal. After his teeth have been overhauled by the animal dentist he can go back to Swindon; to his family, who in his absence have probably had their cubs. I often wonder if he has to explain being away from home for so long.