Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

March 26, 2017

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Southern comfort

Why koalas in Southern Australia need mittens

Slow-moving koala bears in Southern Australia need cotton mittens. They’ve been hurt by the out-of-control bushfires that swept through the region at the beginning of January. Burnt paws caused by contact with burning trees or by fleeing across burning ground cover are treated with creams and then covered. The dressings are changed daily and some koalas need up to a year to fully recover. The Australian branch of the International Fund for Animal Welfare has asked locals to make and donate mitts made from clean, 100-percent old cotton sheets or tea towels. They recently reported receiving mitts from Canada, the US and Europe, and are now also appealing for pouches to keep orphaned baby marsupials warm. Up to six pouches can be used per animal a day. For mitt and pouch patterns or to donate (shipping is expensive), go to ifaw.org/Australia.

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