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Medical and surgical management of intraspecific wounds in a European beaver kit (Castor fiber)
  1. Michelle F O’Brien1,
  2. Julia Meldrum1 and
  3. Ian Foster2
  1. 1Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, UK
  2. 2Rufford Veterinary Group, Southport, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michelle F O’Brien; michelle.obrien{at}


A captive European beaver (Castor fiber) kit, of approximately eight to ten weeks of age, was found in his enclosure with multiple wounds caused by intraspecific aggression. Six wounds healed quickly, while three progressed to abscessation. Severe proprioceptive deficits developed in both hindlegs as a secondary complication. A number of different antibiotics, general anaesthesia and basic physiotherapy (including range-of-motion exercises and hydrotherapy) were used in conjunction to treat these wounds over the following 10 months. Anti-inflammatories were used as needed. Bacteria cultured from the infected wounds included Enterobacter cloacae, Serratia marcescens, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia liquefaciens and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. This report presents previously unreported information regarding the use and effectiveness of various medications and physiotherapy techniques in juvenile European beavers.

  • Infection
  • Zoo Animals
  • Rodents
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  • Contributors MFOB, JM and IF all took part in the primary care of the beaver, regular monitoring and updating all parties of his condition. JM provided detailed data regarding the progression of lesions and treatment, surgical and medical management, and physiotherapy. MFOB, JM and IF all took part in drafting the paper and all revised the draft paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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