Save The Big Cats – DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: I get asked what it feels like to be that close to a big cat.
It’sintimidating and scary.
COMM: Unlike most vets, Dr.
Justin Boorstein spends much of his time looking after cats that are a little bit bigger than your average furry feline.
DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: Yeah, so when I do a procedure comparing a small cat to a big cat,they are almost identical.
The biggest difference is if the big cat wakes up, it can kill meand kill people around me.
So, it can be a very dangerous job and one you don’t wantto make a mistake at.
COMM: Justin started working as a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue ten years ago before hewas even qualified as a vet, and now fully trained comes in throughout the week to lookafter the cats at the sanctuary.
DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: So my basic tasks at Big Cat Rescue are not only surgery but alsobasic wellness care.
So, going from vaccines all the way up to some of the most commonthings we deal with are dental disease.
COMM: And the job is full of twists and turns as the big cats at the sanctuary prove consistentlyto be full of surprises.
DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: Today we sedated Hoover.
For the past 24 hours, he has had his penisstuck out of the sheath, which is a very serious condition for animals, this can lead to itdrying out and even dying in some cases so immediate sedation was definitely needed.
We decided to go ahead and neuter him.
DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: So, one of the other things we had to do was put his penis backinto the sheath, but there is always a risk of it popping right back out so I placed asuture called the purse string and basically it just makes that hole smaller.
That suturewill dissolve and hopefully whatever caused it to come out in the first place, will haveresolved by that point and it shouldn’t get stuck out again.
COMM: And if that wasn’t enough for Justin, there have been other issues some might findeven harder to swallow.
DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: So, today we sedated Zeus.
He has been having some episodes wherehe seems uncomfortable, mainly in his abdomen.
He kind of walks a little bit funny.
DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: This is his stomach and this is kind of the end part of his stomachand there is a lot of material in there and he hasn’t eaten in about a little over 24 hours.
So he shouldn’t have anything in his stomach, but there is a lot of something in his stomach.
Upon exploring him, we found actually mostly just leaves and hair in his stomach and awhole lot of it.
Probably close to a softball size amount, or more.
We’re just going tolet him recover in the hospital and we’re definitely going to keep a count on him inthe future, we’ll see if he’s eating a lot of plant material, and if he is we mayhave to figure out a way to keep him from doing that.
DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: There is a case right behind me.
This is probably one of the bymost of rewarding cases.
This is Mr.
Claws, he was hit by a car, he is a bobcat, wildbobcat and he had a broken femur.
Unfortunately, the place that he was at wasn’t gettingit fixed and they ended up giving him to us and so we did complete diagnostics and foundout he did have a broken femur, we put a big bone plate on him and it did very well andI think the they after I put that on, he was walking without a limp, which terrified me.
And I hoped that he wasn’t going to break or bend the plate and then I think it wasabout two and a half months later after intense rehab, keeping him in a confined enclosure,he was able to be released outside and he ran jumping and ran right into the woods andnever to be seen again.
COMM: And whilst being a dedicated vet has its rewards for Justin, there are some thatwill never appreciate all his hard work.
DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: Some people ask do I go back and revisit the cats that I have helpedout.
All my cats that I have dealt with, that I have had to sedate a lot, fixed and nowthey are doing better, they hate me, probably more than anyone on the property.
So, unfortunately,you would hope that they would be appreciative, but they are not appreciative at all.
I thinkthey just want to eat me.