Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Moving right along......

This has probably been the slowest we have been in a couple of years. Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty to do, but most of our patients have been released and there are just a few requiring more time until we can determine the best situation for them.

Leonard, our female Great Horned owl that had been electrocuted was finally released. I would have liked to released her further south, but the reality was, I wasn't sure when that would or could happen and every day in captivity when she didn't need to be here wasn't benefiting her.

We released her in Moab, just south of town.

I'm also including photo's of a release of a Red-Tail hawk we did. This female came in as a mystery bird from Moab. Very thin, near death, and no visible signs of trauma. Her feathers were in horrible condition and we could clearly see feather lice had been feasting on them and her as well. We started with supportive care and then I took her in to my vet's office in Payson, Utah and got some blood work done and an x-ray.

We were surprised to find lead shot in her. She had been shot some time ago, however. The wounds were completely healed over and not visible in her intake exam. Once we knew it was there, we felt around the area's where the x-ray showed the shot and we couldn't even feel it, that's how healed it was.
One of the tests I wanted performed was a West Nile Virus test and it came back positive. So I suspect that is what brought her down.

The decision was made not to remove the shot as it was not a part of the digestive system and this is where the lead poisoning takes place. Where the shot was in her body posed no long term threat to her life, so we left it there and focused on the West Nile.
Once she started making progress, she took off, health wise, in leaps and bounds.

She became strong and aggressive quickly. I did have her vision checked since West Nile can cause significant visual damage and even blindness but she had no problems in that area, so once she was strong enough, we released her. Yeah! She was an amazing bird!

We recently got in another Red-Tail hawk with trauma to her right eye. She was very thin when we picked her up and we weren't sure she would survive the night, but she's gaining weight nicely and becoming very strong and feisty. I suspect her injuries were due to her prey fighting back or another predator trying to catch her. This does not appear to have been caused by an impact with a vehicle as are most of our cases. She sees the eye vet this Friday, but we are confident that the eye will have to be removed. I'll keep you posted on her. I've included a couple of her intake pictures.

We also got in a little Screech owl from Moab. She appears to have been hit by a vehicle with trauma to her left wing and head. She is suffering from a concussion, so we have been treating her for that and she is progressing nicely.

Enjoy the photo's....

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Feathered brothers and sisters, you came to us broken and as you bled…….we saw you desperate, dehydrated, desiccated, diseased, distressed, emaciated, famished, frayed, frightened, helpless, hungry, ragged, ravenous, shaken, shocked, shot, sickly, stressed, stunned, tattered, thirsty, traumatized, torn, weary and wounded. Defiantly, you stood us off with your last breath as we tried to tend to you. We saw you come in as cute, naked, fuzzy, cuddly youth, as mischievous, defiant adolescents, as fierce, regal rulers of the sky and as cunning, maimed elders whose time on earth was almost done. You endeared yourselves to us, bit us, charmed us, footed us, delighted us, hissed at us, talked to us, mantled at us, and graced us with your presence.

Some of you mended and were able to go on your way, never looking back. Some of you were injured in ways that prevented you from going, so you stayed with us to teach us…….And we came to love you. Others were too far gone, and you went home - where you fly free from pain with the Great One. All of you have touched us, and we are changed because of you.

used with permission by Arlene Powers