Hooo-Hooo Volume 10, Nr 3 - Page 18

WildLife Group of the SAVA is able to get the profile near perfect, even without the use of the angle-grinder (Figure 7). This is of value especially in those instances where the ground team and generator cannot gain access to the rhino. In these cases a battery powered angle-grinder is an option. Areas of the germinal layer that has been damaged by the chainsaw and is bleeding excessively can be cauterized with the angle-grinder fitted with a steel grinding disc (Figure 2). Figure 4: Removed horn with central cavitation due to heat necrosis. This rhino was dehorned 2 years prior and this is most likely when the germinal layer was damaged by using a blunt and overheated blade. Only once dehorned the cavity was noticed There is no doubt that chainsaws are dangerous tools, both to the operator and the rhino, thus caution must be taken when using them. As with other veterinary equipment, the veterinarian must practice how to use a chainsaw. In order to reduce the risk to both the operator and the rhino a protective shield can be placed over the head of the rhino (Figure 8). Figure 5: All excess horn and sharp edges are removed with the angle-grinder fitted with a tungsten hoof disc. Figure 7: With practice one is able to achieve a low profile dehorning even without using an angle-grinder. This white rhino bull went down in terrain inaccesible to the vehicle carrying the generator. This prevents the chainsaw blade from grabbing the blindfold, a huge risk to the operator, and protects the rhino’s eyes from hot chainsaw smoke. It also aids in getting that low profile look by being able to work the blade close to the base of the horns, without injuring the rhino. Figure 6: The end result must be smooth flowing profile as with this rostral horn. Mild damage to the peripheral germinal layer is usually uneventful. The caudal horn still needs some grinding down. 18 The biggest advantage in using a chainsaw above all the other tools is the speed at which the dehorning can be carried out, and as we know, the biggest risk to dehorning rhino is the actual immobilization. Keeping the immobilization short reduces the risk of complication and mortalities.