We had an interesting weekend at the Medical Center (every weekend is an interesting weekend, but still…). We admitted a peregrine falcon on Saturday and a bald eagle on Sunday. Here is some information on both:
Patient #17501, juvenile peregrine falcon, found in Four Oaks NC
Diagnosis: keel fracture and minor feather damage
So far she is doing well. Another rehab facility had her for about a month before transferring her to us. She has not attempted to fly, although she should be able to. Her main issue right now is that she is overweight.
Patient #17507, adult bald eagle, found in Maryland
Diagnosis: right ulna and radius fractures, poor wing extension
A veterinarian in Maryland repaired the bird’s ulna and radius fractures (of the right wing) and then transferred him to us. Due to a few issues, the bird has limited range of motion in the wing. We are working to see if we will be able to fix the problems so that he will be releasable.
This bird was admitted last March with right ulna and radius fractures. The surgery and physical therapy went well and he flew fairly well initially. Around July, we needed more flight cage space for orphans and we knew that the eagle would need much more time before being ready for release, so we downgraded him to a smaller enclosure so that we could use the space for orphans. In August, we moved him back to the flight cage and he was unable to get lift off the ground. A complete physical exam indicated nothing abnormal, so we assumed the cause was atrophy. Since then, he has improved. He is making it high perch to high perch again and now we are beginning to increase the exercise amount. Slowly but surely…
We repaired the tibiotarsus fracture in the red-shouldered hawk today. It went smoothly, with the total time being 65 minutes and the surgery time being 30 minutes. As shown in the photos, the leg was severely bruised. Dr. Scott quickly located the bone ends and also found two large central fragments. Luckily, when driving the IM pin, he was able to align the ends while also maintaining the gap that the fragments left. He then replaced the fragments, closed the muscle and skin, and then placed the two cross-pins.
Overall, it went well and we should be seeing this bird perching again very soon.
Cause of injury? Hit by car and then stuck in the grille. This is the third bird that we have received in the past three days with this injury cause. Two of three were “lucky”.
This red-shouldered hawk, patient #17491, was diagnosed with a left tibiotarsus fracture that we will attempt to surgically repair tomorrow. The finder of this bird was extremely helpful. As you can see from the photo, he removed the grille so that we could free the bird.
This bird was found stuck in the grille of a car, the neighbor’s car. The neighbor’s didn’t remove it from the grille or tell anyone. They also parked it in a rose bush. The finder’s called us and managed to free the trapped leg with the help of an awesome rehab volunteer, Thomas.
Luckily, no broken bones or head trauma. So far, the patient has been diagnosed with deep soft tissue wounds to the right leg.