Skip to content

Emergency with White Rhino Rescue Duanne

January 30, 2022

* An unexpected emergency *

Our carers noticed that Duane has not been himself the last few days and upon checking his vitals, discovered that he is running a fever and had an elevated heart rate. Further investigation showed very pale mucous membranes. Upon our vet’s instruction our team quickly drew blood samples on Friday night to run some tests and administered supportive medication immediately. The Team has worked hard the last 48 hours to bring his temperature down and keeping him comfortable and eating. Thankfully he is still drinking. We are very fortunate to have had the blood machines donated by @abaxis_vetscan in 2019 and it is wonderful to have the results within less than 30 minutes, especially in emergencies like this. Test results showed severe anemia and extremely low blood counts. Dr Pierre had a suspicion that Duane has Theileriosis and a blood smear confirmed the tiny blood parasite in his cells. Theileria is a tickborne disease that can be fatal.

He has been treated accordingly and blood tests showed a 10% increase in his hematocrit 24 hours later. A small improvement but an improvement nonetheless. A blood transfusion is in the back of everyone’s minds but there is a huge risk of a fatal allergic reaction and our vet would like to continue with the more conservative approach, supportive care, intense monitoring and daily blood sampling.

Duane is very sick, so please keep him in your thoughts.


31 January 2022 – Update
With our little boy’s condition not improving overnight, Dr Pierre has decided to go ahead with a blood transfusion. We have just started so please keep Duane, his blood donor Annie, and our Team in your hearts ❤️


A Stressful Day

Duane’s blood transfusion went smoothly and both him and blood donor Annie are okay. Duane has shown no allergic reactions and his eyes look a little brighter although he is still tired and weak. We will run blood samples everyday to monitor his progress. Amazingly during the 1 hour 40 minute process Duane’s heart rate started coming down as he received blood, from 88 to 72bpm, the lowest it’s been since the discovery of his illness. This is due to the increase in red blood cells & hemoglobin in Annie’s blood carrying the oxygen more effectively for Duanie. Keep in mind, a normal heart rate at their age is between 48 and 58bpm. Duane received 8 x 500ml bags of blood from Annie ❤️🦏❤️

Our hero, Annie is tired after the procedure and she has received oral electrolytes to help her along. Luckily she is eating and drinking well.

Our Team is so incredibly grateful that the transfusion went smoothly and although Duane still has a long path ahead, and he isn’t even close to being out of the woods, we know that this risky procedure could well have saved his life.

If you can, please make a one-time donation today.