When it comes to Rudolph have you ever wondered why the red nose? Well, science has an answer to that – A Norwegian scientist has found it’s likely because Rudolph probably has parasites up his hooter.
Apparently, reindeer – in spite of their freezing environment – play host to dozens of parasitic bugs and worms. No wonder the other reindeer excluded him!
So how could we help Rudolph get better and back in fighting form for Christmas? The UQ VETS Small Animal Hospital of course.
The UQ Small Animal Hospital is unique amongst specialist veterinary hospitals in the number of specialists in a wide range of disciplines. So, when a patient like Rudolph presents, the vets can discuss amongst themselves the best way to diagnose and treat them.
Associate Professor Bob Doneley who specialises in exotic animals has kindly filled us in on exactly how we could help poor rudolph with his nose so bright.
"Biosecurity issues mean that Rudolph (and all his parasites and bugs) could not stay in an equine stall - and he might be spooked by cattle around him in a paddock - he would be kept in a large wildlife enclosure in the Small Animal Hospital," Associate Professor Doneley said.
"While the Small Animal Hospital would hospitalise and care for Rudolph, advice would be sought from the equine vets and the farm animal vets on the best ways to work out why his nose is red, and how to treat it."
Associate Professor Doneley said the vets at the Small Animal Hospital in Gatton often tackled tricky care cases like their treatment earlier in the year of Sir Wedginald the Eagle.
"Our vets are used to seeing animals most other vets never get to see. In Rudolf's case we would give him a good check-up, maybe some blood tests, parasite tests, and perhaps an email to our colleagues in Finland to determine if Rudolph is healthy."
"Our wildlife vets would then make sure he is fit and ready for release and, once everyone is happy with him, Rudolph would be released to re-join Santa. How would he know how to get to the North Pole? Because, like pigeons, he has an in-built sense of direction.
The UQ VETS Small Animal Hospital receives no government funding for wildlife care, and relies on community support through the UQ Wildlife and Emergency Care Fund.