Friday, December 10, 2010

Just when you think you've seen it all..............

Well, I've been mentioning a Red-Tail hawk the last post or two. I even posted a couple of pictures prior to our trip to the vet's office. We named her Patience. We actually have another female Red-Tail Hawk who we took to our vet's office in Payson for surgery today, but that's another story. This update will be about Patience.

She came to us from the next county over. Her eye was horrible. One of the most horrific eye injuries I've ever seen. Just as a side note, everyone has THEIR thing and mine are eye injuries. They give me the willies! We kept cleaning the outside of her eye and expressing some white goo from the torn eyeball itself. I could not do anything for her regarding this eye until we got her weight up as she was near death at intake. She obviously had been on the ground for quite some time, unable to hunt and was starving and dehydrated. To add to her condition, she had parasites all over her, which is common for a bird in her condition, unable to care for themselves, then the 'bugs' take advantage of this. This in turn caused her to be anemic as they were feeding on her.
She was too weak in the beginning to start the medication she needed for the parasites as it is a very harsh drug and she was just too 'down', so it had to wait.

Gradually, with a lot of subcutaneous fluids, tube feeding, antibiotics and pain medication, she became stronger, heavier and less anemic. We started the anti parasitic drug and then got her up to our vet in Salt Lake for her eye. The day we took her up, they took her right in and removed the eye. I took a lot of pictures and I'm hoping to get some of those posted. Dr. MacLaren said all the 'white stuff' in the eyeball was infection. When they got in there and started to clean out the infected bone as well, which there was quite a bit, they found the cause for all of this damage. She had been shot! Some little punk, used an air gun on her and the cartridge was up near her brain. They got it out and saved it for me. That poor bird.

For the first few days after her surgery, she was very unstable, but if you had just lost half of your face, you would be as well. We added a second antibiotic and put her on stronger pain meds and over a couple of weeks, she was back to her normal self.
I took her back to my vet in Payson to get her entire body x-rayed as I didn't know if there might be any more of those cartridges somewhere in her body. Thank God there were no more.

I turned the cartridge that had been removed during the surgery over to Wildlife Resources Law enforcement. The person who did this will probably never be caught. Pisses me off. This magnificent creature tortured like this. Thank goodness she was found by someone, although near death, we were able to save her!
She is now free and flying like she should. She was ready for us to be out of her life. I hope she does well and since she is an adult, she knows how to kill and has done that many times already.
Be free Patience, and stay away from idiot humans!

Also, just a brief update on Miss Moon, our little Screech owl. I had a full body x-ray done on her and her fracture isn't healing very timely. I still have her confined and her food has more bones in it now and she is eating 100% on her own. This is wonderful for her and us. Both the radius and ulna were broken. She still looks like a good release candidate here in the future.

I love a story with a happy ending.....

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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