A heavily pregnant female Muntjac deer was admitted into our Hospital on 20th September after she was hit by a car in Aston Clinton, Bucks.
She had severe head, jaw and pelvic injuries and stayed in the deer intensive care wards for a few days. Sadly despite expert care, her injuries were too severe and she would not recover from them, and so the vet decided the kindest thing would be to put her to sleep.
As her pregnancy was so far advanced, the decision was taken to give her unborn fawn a chance.
Rupert was delivered by Caesarean section on Thursday 25th September.
Rupert was very premature and taken immediately into intensive care. He was placed into an incubator with an oxygen supply and heat, and a soft vet bed so make him comfortable.
He was determined to be around 2 - 3 weeks early and his eyes were not open. Deer's eyes are open by the time they are born naturally.
He was unable to suckle initially and so was fed by tube initially with colostrum to mimic the protective feeds he would have received from his mother.
He was also given some deer rumen contents to help stimulate his digestive system and later moved onto lambs milk substitute and fed by bottle.
As he was so tiny and only taking very small amounts, he was fed hourly day and night.He remained here for a couple of days and was slowly starting to make some improvements. He was then taken on by our chief foster mum, Jacqui, where he could get round the clock care and attention from his new 'mum'.
He stayed with his foster mum for a couple of days, but despite constant care he deteriorated rapidly overnight and we were unable to pull him through.
We were always hopeful that he would have a chance of survival and everyone was upset with the sad demise. However, we did our best for him and gave him the best chance. We do know we can't win them all.
Luckily many of our stories have a much happier outcome and the work we do with all our casualties helps us give each and everyone the best possible care.