Questions to Dr. Madis

Wildlife Specialists Talking about Their Area of Expertise
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Questions to Dr. Madis

Post by Jo UK » September 19th, 2012, 12:16 pm

If members have seen our earlier "Interviews with Specialists" then here is a welcome opportunity to put questions about Wildlife Veterinary Care to Dr. Madis Leivits.

Think about the things we don't know about veterinary care in Estonia and post your questions here. Dr. Madis has agreed to answer as many questions as possible. Once all the questions are here, they will be forwarded to him, and then the questions with answers will be posted on the "Interviews with Specialists" topic. viewforum.php?f=12

This topic will be open for about 10 days. As Dr. Madis will begin teaching Wildlife Medicine at the end of October, he may want to finish with this project by then.

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Post by leonia » September 19th, 2012, 9:17 pm

It's a very good idea to plan some interviews again! :wave:

I would be glad to get some more information about the wildlife clinic he wants to build and then lead. I saw the plans but its mostly in Estonian (and all trials to translate it into German or English are invain). I would like to hear how it shall be financed and how and where it will be built, how it shall be organized, which functions it shall have (I read about students). :bow:

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Post by Jo UK » September 19th, 2012, 9:27 pm

Leonia, thanks for starting us off with a really good question. Now we need more questions - - - - :nod:

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Post by Madis » September 21st, 2012, 12:55 am

leonia wrote:It's a very good idea to plan some interviews again! :wave:

I would be glad to get some more information about the wildlife clinic he wants to build and then lead. I saw the plans but its mostly in Estonian (and all trials to translate it into German or English are invain). I would like to hear how it shall be financed and how and where it will be built, how it shall be organized, which functions it shall have (I read about students). :bow:
Hello Leonia!
That's a pretty good question. I'll try to answer but as we are in progress I may not be able to answer all the question precisely.
First i have to say that Estonian Fund for Nature is a independent non governmental nature protection organization and wildlife aid is a branch next to all of the other topics. You can read more from http://www.elfond.ee/en As we are a non profit organization our work relies on project funds and supporters inc. corporate and private donors.
I will start from current situation. I'm treating wildlife at the vet institute animal clinic. It has been built to treat domesticated animals but not wildlife, doh we are trying to make good conditions for treating injured wildlife at the clinic and also for some scientific and medical education options. We have written a project for bettering the conditions, acquiring some missing equipment, ect. Hope to get the decision in November. A problem is that we don't have sufficient room in the university campus to build outside enclosures for wildlife, just room for one or two. With the Institute we are writing also some research grants, example i just got a preliminary application for a zoonotical vector disease study what a researcher has prepare on my idea, so i have to proofread and complement. Besides that i have plenty of other research ideas related with wildlife for students and researchers. We just are starting to work on those and trying to get funds as Estonian wildlife and the diseases and their impact to wild and domesticated animals and people are poorly studied.
Also we are trying to get more people involved. Therefore i have written a Wildlife Medicine Course what will begin this year. Its designed to be fairly practical and i think its the best way to get people interested.
And yes... Treating wildlife (or doing medicine in general) is not cheap. One of the important resources do to what i do is the donations by you guys!!! THANK YOU!!! I will put the link also here where you can support ouer current work with wildlife http://www.metsloom.ee/en/donate-tab-1
One important goal what I have set for myself is not to monopolize the knowledge what i own but share it and I hope that in future Estonian vets have basic knowledge on wildlife aid and they can do the first local triazing near the injure site so we don't have to put the animals through stressful transportation and other procedures with the end result of euthanasia.
But lets get back to the questions about future.
We have acquired a building from a corporate donor with land in northern Estonia. Its a old substation what is being dismantled but the building is good to renovate and build for a specialized hospital for wildlife, as we would have enough room to have outside enclosures (3 ha) ect. We have volunteer architects and engineers who have started to work on the project lately but there are so many problems still to work on so I'm working with a lot of specialist these days as i'm the only person who has an idea how it should function.
As we don't have current building project I cant tell you what will be the costs to build and run the center, but we have multiple ideas where to write projects do get it done but a really important part is to play by our supporters too!
Function wise the main one is to help the wildlife in need. Also education, general nature education as-well professional education example wildlife medicine for students and graduate vets. Research together with universitys and research institutes are just a few to name. Volunteers and volunteering is also an important part in our work to help wild animals. As we are working with wild animals we will not be a zoo as people are stress factor for our patients and we do want to minimize to get the best results in treatment.

So hope this short answer was beneficial for you and other readers.
--
Madis Leivits, DVM
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Post by Chimega » September 21st, 2012, 5:41 am

Hi Doctor Madis, :wave:

The new clinic sounds like it's exactly what you need but it will take a while and a lot of donations and work hours to complete. But this is so good if you can get it up and running. It must be hard to do your daily routine with pets and wildlife, then work on design and all the other things that will go into this new wildlife clinic.

When the clinic is completed, will you move to that location or will you stay at your present location and have other veterinarians staff the wildlife clinic? Will you personally switch to only working with wildlife or will you remain a small animal doctor who also can specialzie in wildlife?

Will the new wildlife clinic treat all types of wild animals plus birds?

I have another question to ask you about Ozone, the eagle that was just recently treated and released, if you don't mind. When you are looking at the blood sample under the microscope, are you seeing an abnormality in the blood platlets or is there a parasite in the blood that you are looking at? Or something else? And if so, was Ozone's blood condition cured?

I plan on donating to your clinic, too. I can't afford very much but I sure do want to help you and the clinic as much as I am able to.

Thank you so much!
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Post by Starling » September 21st, 2012, 6:02 am

Hello Dr. Madis! :wave:

Do you have any news of Stephi´s necropsy?

Can you tell us something about your current patients? How is the short-eared owl doing at the moment? (Who was mentioned in "Doctor´s blog").

Thank you! :)

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Post by asteria » September 21st, 2012, 1:06 pm

Hi Dr Madis,

I've also a question on Stephi: what are the results of the DNA test?

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Post by Madis » September 24th, 2012, 11:57 am

asteria wrote:Hi Dr Madis,

I've also a question on Stephi: what are the results of the DNA test?
Hello,

About Stephi,
Beside the injuries caused by the goshawk, there was changes in liver what seemed close to changes what may be caused by the bacterial pathogen Pasteurella multocida. I did send a sample to the vetlab for bacterial growth and isolation but there was no growth. As she was not ill anymore its normal not to have bacteria present. I do have frozen and buffered in solutions some samples of her for future.
--
Madis Leivits, DVM
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Estonian Fund for Nature
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Post by Felis silvestris » September 24th, 2012, 9:32 pm

Madis wrote:
there was changes in liver what seemed close to changes what may be caused by the bacterial pathogen Pasteurella multocida.
Thank you for answering our questions, Dr. Madis! This was also my question, what results the necropsy of Stephi showed. We were wondering if the breathing problems were caused by Aspergillosis. I have checked up now the Pasteurella multocida and read it also can cause respiratory symptoms. Do you think this was the reason for Stephi's earlier breathing problems? Is it, like the parasitic problem (trematoda) the Black Storks have, induced by the prey the chick got?
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Post by Madis » September 29th, 2012, 12:56 pm

Felis silvestris wrote:
there was changes in liver what seemed close to changes what may be caused by the bacterial pathogen Pasteurella multocida.

Thank you for answering our questions, Dr. Madis! This was also my question, what results the necropsy of Stephi showed. We were wondering if the breathing problems were caused by Aspergillosis. I have checked up now the Pasteurella multocida and read it also can cause respiratory symptoms. Do you think this was the reason for Stephi's earlier breathing problems? Is it, like the parasitic problem (trematoda) the Black Storks have, induced by the prey the chick got?
Hey,
There are many pathogens what may cause respiratory signs. One of the most common one what we encounter with raptors is aspergillosis, what is a fungal disease, but i did not find any signs of fungal growth so i'm pretty sure that it was not aspergillosis. If i look at the pathological changes, my first differential diagnosis would be bacterial disease caused by Pasteurella multocida. But as the bird has healed there is no active/live pathogens that the lab could grow out from the sample so i can't say it was Pasteurella but it probably was - its a conclusion of all what i saw.
Where did it came... its hard to say as many mammals and birds harbor it as part of their normal respiratory microbiota, displaying asymptomatic colonization. Lot of pathogens are around us, but they need weakened organism to create disease.
No its not similar to the trematode what black storks have... and the black stork nestlings get the parasite from their parents while regurgitating the food, not from the food. It is said that the parasite can go through the development in warmer conditions, but maybe also in cooler, nobody has looked it here. But all of the black storks that i have seen I have seen the parasite also, and often after getting rid of the intense infection the birds recover. So this topic needs future studying! Hope to get more people involved and funding to research more deeply the issues regarding our wildlife... its lot of work, esp. getting through to decision makers who have resources as medical research (or anything what has "medicine" in the name or sentence) is expensive!
--
Madis Leivits, DVM
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Post by Madis » September 29th, 2012, 1:51 pm

Chimega wrote:Hi Doctor Madis, :wave:

The new clinic sounds like it's exactly what you need but it will take a while and a lot of donations and work hours to complete. But this is so good if you can get it up and running. It must be hard to do your daily routine with pets and wildlife, then work on design and all the other things that will go into this new wildlife clinic.

When the clinic is completed, will you move to that location or will you stay at your present location and have other veterinarians staff the wildlife clinic? Will you personally switch to only working with wildlife or will you remain a small animal doctor who also can specialzie in wildlife?

Will the new wildlife clinic treat all types of wild animals plus birds?

I have another question to ask you about Ozone, the eagle that was just recently treated and released, if you don't mind. When you are looking at the blood sample under the microscope, are you seeing an abnormality in the blood platlets or is there a parasite in the blood that you are looking at? Or something else? And if so, was Ozone's blood condition cured?

I plan on donating to your clinic, too. I can't afford very much but I sure do want to help you and the clinic as much as I am able to.

Thank you so much!
Greetings Chimega,

That's true... its pretty hard. Lots and lots of work with a really small salary, but i should not complain, as I have chosen myself the hard way (there are firms who would pay good bucks and benefits to have me as their vet). the worst thing for me and what makes me think is that I cant have stable personal life doing what I do.

To be precise I'm a wildlife vet first and after that my other specialty is large animal vet (farm animals) and I do some exotic animals also, I tend not to do much with small animals (cats and dogs). I have too many friends who are smarter at that field than me.
But currently a lot of my time goes not to direct animal work but getting administrative stuff done... got to find funds to be able to help animals first. Starting up teaching a research programs therefore i have been writing projects to get grants ect. so its lot of paper, computer and work with people... but it is that way right now, it would be fun to only work with animals and have all the resources, but that's not gonna happen, unless I win big with lottery :D So its important to work with people to get funds to work with wildlife, this is how it works worldwide as animals don't have wallets nor the right to elect.

My location.. Currently I'm in Tartu and I like this small city and its academic/bohemian (read wise and relaxed) atmosphere. As I have said I dont wan't to be the only wildlife vet (monopolize market) in Estonia as I'm a human to and I want to have days off, a holiday or a stable personal life. So i want to teach and get new people involved, basically i'm currently trying to lay a good base for wildlife medicine right now and the University has been great partner for it. They also want me to start a PhD with them... so if i look the larger picture i think if i can teach already 2 vets who can do the same work as me, the positive impact is double, and the more i get people involved and understanding, the larger the benefit for wildlife. So the new place will be given to us 2014 and if we have funding and can start to renovate and build it maybe it will be functional 2015... its lots of time and work still to do.

As I am a wildlife vet (in my hart and soul) i work with all truly wild animals. Mammals just are not so often our patients as there is so much more birds. Usually 80 % of wildlife patients are birds. The most common wildlife mammal patient over here is hedgehog, but i do get some interesting animals like i had a full grown Lynx few months ago (i will write a story of it sometime in blog, i even started it but then the White-Tailed Eagle 12-0034 call came and i had to drop it). So yes I treat all wildlife what can be treated.

In the blood i look multiple stuff, from the morphology of blood cells, the amount to blood parasites. Blood is a good diagnostic sample. With specialized equipment you can measure all chemical elements ect. from it like enzymes, pathogen particles or the organism immune response - antibody's - to it, or whatever you can think of, but all the test cost, so we always select according to the animal and its clinical signs the most appropriate ones and often due to the sample amount, cost or tests availability we cant run some of the test what we would like to.

Thank you very much for the support you have given... The one thing what is always important is that some people appreciate what you do so its always good to hear if somebody says a good word or two. Northern people are more use to just say nothing... Thank you again!
--
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Post by asteria » October 4th, 2012, 2:22 pm

I do have frozen and buffered in solutions some samples of her for future.
Does it mean that the samples contain alive cells that are frozen and can be saved for a long time?

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Post by Madis » October 10th, 2012, 9:10 am

asteria wrote:I do have frozen and buffered in solutions some samples of her for future.

Does it mean that the samples contain alive cells that are frozen and can be saved for a long time?
Hey!
No, I would not consider them alive, its more like meat in your freezer but with a different purpose than eating. For keeping tissue or other diagnostic samples over time we usually have 2 most common methods, freezing or fixing it in buffered neutral formalin. These will stop the autolysis of tissues.
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Post by joey » October 10th, 2012, 8:02 pm

Hello Dr. Madis!
there are some news about the eagle Nimeta?
It seems that Nimeta hasn't moved for a long time: 7 days now
Image
:puzzled:
I hope that depends on the transmitter.

Thank you.
>>>>>> edit:
I' ve just read the bad new about Nimeta, it broke my heart :cry:
Dr. Madis, thank you to all your work for helping Nimeta.

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Post by Jo UK » October 14th, 2012, 3:51 pm

Dr. Madis, I have several times read about birds with damaged or diseased beaks being given prosthetic beaks.

Recently, we read that there are magnetite sensors in the skin of the upper beak which are necessary for the bird's direction of travel. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/ ... /2227.full

How will veterinary procedure now adapt to that knowledge to protect the bird's ability to navigate, if it is given a prosthetic beak? I don't know if current methods even include the skin of the upper beak.

Here is a video of a bald eagle, shot in the face and supplied with a prosthesis in 2005. I can't tell if the skin area was involved or not!
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09 ... 69781.html

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Post by Madis » October 16th, 2012, 5:24 pm

joey wrote:Hello Dr. Madis!
there are some news about the eagle Nimeta?
It seems that Nimeta hasn't moved for a long time: 7 days now
Image
:puzzled:
I hope that depends on the transmitter.

Thank you.
>>>>>> edit:
I' ve just read the bad new about Nimeta, it broke my heart :cry:
Dr. Madis, thank you to all your work for helping Nimeta.
Hey!
Yes... Nimeta is no more. I usually checked his movements once a week and so i did on the 2nd october and it was all fine. I did not check on him until night of 7th (was really busy with work and also ran my first full marathon in-between). So i noticed the problem also and sent a mail to Urmas who consulted whit the manufacturer on Monday and on Tuesday afternoon he went to check out the last place what coordinates we had. So what he saw was not pretty... first lots of dead animal corpses on the field in front of an hunting hut (mostly domestic animal corpses) and he also found half eaten remains of the eagle. So Urmas brought the eagle to me for some diagnostics and i found out, using x-ray, that he had lead fragments in between the remaining tissues what means he had been shot. on necropsy i had some good news... he was pretty fat and inn a good condition, what means he was doing great. besides he had been traveling 230 km when we have direct measures from a coordinate to coordinate but they don't fly straight so the distance is definetly longer.
So for now I have written a expertise of the causes of death of the eagle to Environmental Inspectorate who should find the responsible people for the killing of the eagle and also the Veterinary- and Food Board is investigating the domestic animal corpses issue, as its illegal to take dead domestic animals into forest of fields.
But as you can think, the local hunters are playing stupid now, saying that they don't know anything about anything. who shot the eagle, who brought the corpses, why the corpses where laid in front of their hunting hut ect. As the land there is owned by government (State Forest Management Centre) and the local hunting club is renting it i hope at least the State Forest Management Centre will take some action quickly and not let those hunters pouch on governmental lands (if they don't help to find the responsible person)
I guess if y'all want to help, you can send some letters to the heads of State Forest Management Centre, Environmental Inspectorate, Environmental Board or Environmental Ministry. I guess the ministry would be the best and send it to the environmental minister would be a good to let know that international community is watching.
--
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Post by Madis » October 16th, 2012, 5:42 pm

Jo UK wrote:Dr. Madis, I have several times read about birds with damaged or diseased beaks being given prosthetic beaks.

Recently, we read that there are magnetite sensors in the skin of the upper beak which are necessary for the bird's direction of travel. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/ ... /2227.full

How will veterinary procedure now adapt to that knowledge to protect the bird's ability to navigate, if it is given a prosthetic beak? I don't know if current methods even include the skin of the upper beak.

Here is a video of a bald eagle, shot in the face and supplied with a prosthesis in 2005. I can't tell if the skin area was involved or not!
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09 ... 69781.html

About the navigation. Its not well known yet. There are multiple theories where the magnetic navigation system is located in birds. Is it either beak, eyes or inner ear... the scientist are not sure, but it may be combined in all of them so all of those parts functioning normally are essential for survival in the nature.
As i know that eagle was not released, its a captive bird and that's the only way for that kind of beak injuried bird to survive.
Beak is a living body part and the keratin on top of the beak bone is growing all through the life so I'm really skeptical on those guys and the chance of survival if we glue something in their face. It may work great for some time, month or two, but what happens after? We had a eagle patient at the WCV, probably you know him. He was from Norfolk eagle nest camera and a virus, avian pox, damaged the growing plate on one side of the beak. We did all tricks (even flew in a super surgeon) but it still grows crooked and we need to trim the beak every 6-8 weeks so he could eat. That means he is not releasable even doh he could fly away and be "released into the wild"
Its easy to release animals who can fly or run away, and nobody sees them anymore but is important to know what happens after the release. will they survive or did we just lengthen their misery putting them through stressful treatments, rehab and releasing them into the wild without functional organs or skills what leads to starvation and death.
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Post by Manu » October 16th, 2012, 10:27 pm

Thank you, Starling. A few minutes befor your post I've sent an E-Mail to Tallinn. Tomorrow I will send an "old-fashioned paper letter" too. I'm curious if there will be some reactions.

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Post by joey » October 17th, 2012, 11:52 am

For the Forum Admin:
maybe is better to move this thread (letters, petitions) from "questions to Dr. Madis" to a place where more user can be reached?

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Post by Manu » October 17th, 2012, 12:02 pm

My letter is now on the way to Estonia :nod: .

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