Vets Use Fish Skin, Acupuncture to Treat Bears Burned by Thomas Fire

Veterinarians successfully used alternative medical treatments such as acupuncture on three wild animals burned in the Southern California wildfires, although one patient -- a 5-month-old mountain lion -- did keep eating his fish-skin and corn-husk bandages, vets at the University of California, Davis said Wednesday.

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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
The fish scale pattern is visible on the bottom of the bear's paw.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Dr. Peyton prepares a final tilapia skin treatment for the bears, before they are transported back to Southern California and returned to the wild.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Burned bear paws, 10 days after first tilapia skin treatment. The fish skin bandage has partly peeled away, which was to be expected. The burns beneath are beginning to heal.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
The first bear rests in her holding enclosure after her treatment is finished. The outer wrapping on her feet (made of corn husks) will delay her efforts to chew off the tilapia skin bandages underneath.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Veterinarians perform an ultrasound to check on the progress of the second bear's pregnancy.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Acupuncture needles with pain management.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
The first bear's healing paws are visible after being tranquilized in her holding pen on Jan. 21, 2018.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Dr. Jamie Peyton, Chief of Integrative Medicine at the UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital, works with an assistant to suture tilapia skins over the burns on the adult bear's paws.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Dr. Peyton uses a laser on a burned paw to decrease bacteria on the surface of the wound and to promote healing by increasing cellular energy.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Burned bear paws, 10 days after first tilapia skin treatment. The fish skin bandage has partly peeled away, which was to be expected. The burns beneath are beginning to heal.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Dr. Jamie Peyton, Chief of Integrative Medicine at the UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital, works with an assistant to suture tilapia skins over the burns on the adult bear's paws.
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife
After placing the second bear, the team moved the first bear to another location where another man-made den awaited.
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