Sometimes, especially during periods of culling, the shelter takes in many more orphaned and injured wallabies like Sammi. In an effort to flee the area that is culling, the wallabies will take refuge in vacant paddocks and gardens in the neighborhood. This brings them into closer contact with humans and exposes them to other risks, such as car strikes and dog attacks.
When Sammi arrived at the shelter, she had very limited mobility due to the infection in her heel. She was also suffering from malnutrition, likely caused by the difficulty with which she moved around. Despite this trauma, Sammi was a fighter and tried to fight the exhaustion and hunger to flee from us. This was a good sign that she would survive if only her system could fight off the infection.
There’s no way to know how she hurt her foot. Anything could have caused the injury – getting caught in a fence, being attacked by a dog, being hit by a car, etc. – but it was obvious that the injury got worse as time went on. Her heel was the size of a golf ball and looked like it was filled with puss.
We drained, cleaned and dressed the wound often. We gave Sammi antibiotics to prevent further infections. Tanya phoned a vet and described the situation. He advised that she continue her treatment as he wouldn’t be able to do surgery (if it was needed) until the infection was gone.
When I left the shelter, Sammi was still in care but getting better. Her foot was healing nicely and she spent most of her time exploring in the garden. Hopefully, her injury has healed completely and she is healthy enough to move to a pre-release site to continue her recovery.