Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wolf Pup Surgery A Success

May 18, 2012

ELY, Minn. (WCCO) – Veterinary surgeons at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center successfully repaired a female wolf pup’s fractured femur on Wednesday.

According to the International Wolf Center in Ely, Peanut the wolf pup had a plate attached to her right femur in an hour-long surgery.

Recovery is expected to take six weeks or more.

Lori Schmidt, curator at the Wolf Center, says they are “cautiously optimistic.”

“There’s still a lot we don’t yet know about her condition,” said Schmidt. “We suspect she has a bone density deficiency, but we don’t know the underlying cause of that condition. It could be metabolic, or it could be a vitamin D deficiency. In other words, it could be something we can address or it might be a chronic condition that we cannot do anything about.”

Wolf care team members had been aware of Peanut’s instability issues since her arrival. A more in-depth exam at the U of M Veterinary Medical Clinic led to the decision for surgery. “It is important to note that throughout all these exams, Peanut has remained alert and in good spirits,” said Schmidt.

Peanut returned to the Wolf Center on Wednesday night, rejoining her older pack-mate named Bolts.
“She jaw spars with Bolts and feeds regularly,” said Schmidt.

On Thursday, both pups were evacuated from the Center due to a wildfire just one mile south of Ely. Luckily, the fire was contained, and the pups returned to the center early Friday, which has also reopened for regular business hours.

Executive Director Rob Schultz praised his staff’s work during the emergency. “Staff in Ely did a wonderful job in activating our fire evacuation procedures to ensure that visitors, employees and our wolves were never in danger,” said Schultz. “Safety is our highest priority.”

Both Peanut and Bolts were due to appear at The Wolf Pup Family Day at Plymouth’s French Regional Park on Sunday, May 20. However, due to the stressful nature of Peanut’s situation, both pups will not be in attendance.

Pup viewing is still planned for those who visit the Center in Ely on the evening of Thursday, May 24.

For more information on Peanut, Bolts and the International Wolf Center, click here.