Invertebrates are commonly kept as pets, within zoological collections, teaching colleges and within laboratories. Invertebrates may present as an emergency because of damage to the exoskeleton due to dysecdysis and because of trauma. Penetrating wounds to the soft tissue, shell or cuticle may result in haemolymph loss which must be dealt with immediately, as death can occur rapidly.
An introductory lecture will discuss techniques to achieve emergency haemostasis, exoskeleton repair, fluid therapy and euthanasia.
Workshops will follow and delegates will explore 7 first aid options for invertebrates: ectoparasite removal, haemolymph loss, dysecdysis, autotomy, wound repair, Lepidoptera wing repair and snail shell repair.
Ectoparasite removal- a common problem seen in captive invertebrates. The removal of these mites manually is a first-aid method to avoid debilitation from a heavy parasite burden.
Haemolymph loss- haemolymph loss in invertebrates can be fatal. There are several techniques to achieve haemostasis.
Dysecdysis- a common problem in captive invertebrates often caused by environmental factors. Can be fatal or severely compromise quality of life if not rectified quickly.
Autotomy- external factors such as enclosure design may cause haemolymph loss from limb entrapment. Autotomy may be essential.
Lepidoptera wing repair – Lepidoptera may present with damaged wings that have torn or folded because of poor handling, becoming trapped or from trauma in flight. A first-aid technique involving splinting the wing will be demonstrated.
Snail shell repair- Giant African land snails often suffer from shell trauma due to being dropped. Methods to repair shells will be demonstrated.