Dr. Lamar Hunter has just joined the Carolina Tiger Rescue team as a wildlife veterinarian. After he graduated from NC State’s vet school, Dr. Hunter studied under Dr. Angela Lassiter at Carolina Tiger Rescue. He helps with physicals, medical procedures, and loves seeing the animals improve under the care of the awesome vets at the rescue. Dr. Hunter enjoys working with all the animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue, but his favorite is the lions.

Dr. Hunter’s Blog 7/24/19

Elvis Serval received a physical today. Our high school summer campers were able to witness the sanctuary’s medical care firsthand and even got to listen to Elvis’ heartbeat!

The residents of Carolina Tiger Rescue are sedated for a physical every two years or as needed. Sedation is basically making the animal nap through their physical. Every five minutes during the physical, the animal’s pulse, temperature, and respiration (breathing) rate are taken and written down. These numbers can tell us if the animal is getting too cold, waking up, feeling pain, or heading into distress. We can then adjust the treatment, fluids, and medication as needed based on this information.

For Elvis’ physical, we got him sedated and stable in the vet center and then our campers were able to quietly enter and observe the checkup. Important details about the animal’s health are gathered during a physical. We can weigh them, do ultrasounds, and take blood samples. We can check their joints, eyes, ears, teeth, organs, fur, and skin, just like your own doctor might do during a checkup! Our campers were even able to listen to Elvis’ healthy heartbeat using my stethoscope.

Elvis had all of the usual checks but also needs his legs checked thoroughly. He severely broke one of his back legs in 2016 and had to have it amputated. He had to adjust his walk after that, so we always look closely at his other legs to make sure they are not badly affected by this. After the campers left the room, we took an X-ray of Elvis’ leg. In this photo, you can see Dr. Lassiter and our Education Director, Katie, working together to take Elvis’ X-ray with our portable X-ray machine.

Elvis did a great job during his physical and got good compliments from Dr. Lassiter! He will wake up soon and return to his enclosure on Cherry Lane in the sanctuary. Keep up the good work, Elvis!