Picture of blood collection from a Rhino's ear.

Blood collection from the ear.

Blood collection: blood collection from rhinos can take place from several sites. The most commonly used is the ear vein, which is sufficient for collecting small quantities of blood and for intra venous (IV) injections. A larger medial (radial) vein in the hind leg has been identified and allows collection of larger amounts (one to eight 8 litres) of blood. Best preferred is the medial aspect of hind legs (vena metatarsalia) in well trained animals in a training cage. For blood values click here. 

Neonatal examinations: although it is often impossible, neonatal examinations could be performed. These should include weight, a dipstick blood glucose, total solids, CBC, sera chemistry profile, sera/plasma for vitamin-E levels and, when possible, stored sera. Examinations may include vitamin supplementation and the placement of an identification transponder.

Catheter: as the cervical canal is long and tortuous and characterised by interdigitated folds, the passage of catheters is extremely difficult, although it has been achieved in Black rhinos under ultrasonic guidance. At least one attempt to dilate the cervix with prostaglandins and estradiol was unsuccessful. Examination of the female reproductive tract in adult rhinos may be attempted with standard ultrasound units and aided by appropriate equipment modifications.

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