Hobie was once a privately owned pet in Asheboro, North Carolina, where he was kept in a 8ft x 8ft dog crate. His former owners found that once Hobie started to mature, he became very aggressive toward the owner’s husband. Hobie also had a bad habit of ingesting household objects, such as socks, that would require surgery to remove. When his family decided they could no longer care for him, they contacted Carolina Tiger Rescue.
December 5, 2018
Late last week, Hobie Serval had an off day. Keepers gave him fluids and he seemed back to normal. But on Saturday, he looked significantly worse. Dr. Lassiter came out and we got him down for a physical. She found what appeared to be a bowel obstruction. Unfortunately for Hobie, this was not his first obstruction. Before coming to live with us, he had multiple surgeries to remove foreign objects.
Due to his condition (he was dehydrated, had high kidney values, and had a very low temperature), we decided to get him hydrated and warmed up overnight and to perform his surgery the next day. On Sunday, his blood work looked better than the previous day and his temperature was back to normal. Dr. Lassiter was able to remove the blockage and we recovered him in the vet center overnight. We knew that we were not out of the woods, but so far things had gone well.
Monday, he went back outside and was eager for his evening meal and meds, but on Tuesday morning, he looked dehydrated and didn’t want to move. We ran bloodwork and started him back on fluids. Sadly, the bloodwork indicated that he was septic. Sepsis is not an uncommon issue when dealing with bowel obstructions. The intestines become inflamed and allow bacteria that normally lives in the intestines to get into the bloodstream. As we were discussing any possible treatment options, which are limited due to working with a wild animal, his heart stopped. On necropsy, we found that a small area of the incision in his intestine had dehisced (the suture was in place, but the tissue had broken down). Dehiscence is another common complication and would have also required a week’s stay on IV fluids and antibiotics, as well as an abdominal drain. On Sunday, we were hopeful that the surgery would be a success. We knew that things could still go wrong, but we were pleased at how well he had done and that there was only one area that we had to cut open. On Tuesday, we were heartbroken that the complications from the obstruction took him from us.
If you don’t spend a lot of time off the tour path, you may not have met Hobie. He was a shy serval and liked to keep to himself. There were many times that you could walk around his enclosure looking for him, only to find him right in front of you, laying perfectly still. We were more than happy to offer Hobie the best life possible for a former pet. He enjoyed chasing the local wildlife (sorry, snakes and mice!) and visiting with people he knew. While he will no longer be in the sanctuary, his story will live on as a reminder to us all to treat wild animals with the respect they deserve.