Long before Rainier the wolverine was getting his teeth cleaned and blood drawn, he was training with his animal care team to ensure a successful exam day.
Northwest Trek keeper Wendi has been working with Rainier for months to get him comfortable with voluntarily receiving medical injections. This critical training means Rainier doesn’t have to be darted for sedation, making it easier for the wolverine as well as his animal care and veterinary teams.
And now that he’s comfortable, Rainier won’t have to be sedated for preventive care, such as vaccinations.
At Northwest Trek’s veterinary hospital, the 13-year-old wolverine is weighed, checking in at 37 pounds.
His heartrate is checked by Veterinarian Dr. Allison Case, who then offers Keeper Wendi a listen.
Rainier’s eyes are checked.
Veterinary Technician Tracy intubates Rainier with help from Dr. Case.
Wolverines have unique markings on their chests. Similar to fingerprints, these distinctive markings help identify each individual animal.
Dr. Case collects blood, which will be used to assess Rainier’s overall health.
Rainier’s feet are checked. Wolverines can travel up to 15 miles per day. They have rough bristly hair on the bottom of their feet to help them grip the snow and ice while running their many miles.
Dr. Case readies the X-ray machine and takes a comprehensive series of X-rays.
Dr. Case completes an ultrasound of Rainier’s bladder and collects a clean sample of his urine to analyze.
Rainier’s teeth get a once-over and then Dr. Case cleans and polishes them.
While Dr. Case finishes up Rainier’s teeth cleaning, Keeper Wendi clips his claws.
Lastly, Rainier’s ears are cleaned.
Rainier is bundled up and carried back to his behind-the-scenes bedroom to wake up. He is in great health, said Dr. Case.