Saturday, January 28, 2012

General from Cisco.........

Well, as I mentioned previously, we did get in another Golden eagle, this one a male and a mature one at that. His story is really odd as he was in the desert, in an extremely rural area of Utah eating on a dead cow that had been struck and killed by a train. Another train came by while he was eating and struck the cow again, this time with the eagle on it. Eagles don't move for many things as they are the top predator out there, so things usually move for them. This, however, cost him dearly. He had a concussion and broken bone in his left wing. He was also very thin and dehydrated, so this guy may have had a problem prior to the train incident.
Thank goodness someone was willing and able to catch him, an employee of the train company, and brought the eagle back to his home after alerting authorities. We headed right over and picked him up. We knew immediately we had a problem, not only from the story, but when we walked into the home where the eagle now was, he was lying on a kitchen counter, simply with a towel covering him and not moving. Not a good sign. A lot of activity was going on in that room and that alone should have made this eagle bolt.
Once back in Price, a full exam was completed and we found a very swollen area in the left wing and it was black in color from the bruising.

We obviously had trauma, but to what extent,
only an x-ray would tell us that. We gave him pain medication and administered fluids directly under his skin.
We held off with any food as his crop was full from the cow he had been eating on. He also had a terrible parasite load, quite common with debilitated raptors, so we began treatment for that as well. We continued to give supportive care and got him up to our vets for x-rays. What the vet found was an injury that he
thought he could repair with hopes of the bird flying again well enough to be released, so we left the eagle with our vet overnight and surgery was performed the following morning.
The area looks very different than it did just a few days ago.
The eagle was still acting a little 'off' however,
but we decided to see if he would do better outside in what is called a holding mew. He would have limited vision of his surroundings, but he would still be able to look around and see things. He would have very limited movement; don't want to undo what was just done! We continued his medications and monitored his surgical site. Our vet said since this was not the typical type of surgery we do, the normal device and pins that hold everything in place for many weeks and then needs to be removed, the bird could actually start moving a lot right away. He had a plate screwed on to the fracture and onto the undamaged bone and this will always be in place, never needing to be removed. So after we were sure he would eat on his own and was more stable neurologically, we moved him out to the flight with the rest of our current Golden eagles.

He immediately started to get to know the other eagles, showing interest in all of them and then started attempting to get upon the high perches with them. Eventually the next day, he made it, with a little help of a carefully placed 'ramp'.

I will be downloaded x-rays from this guy and a couple of Great Horned owls that came in all around the same time and post this guys x-ray photo at the next posting. The gentleman that found him and rescued him has named him General.
Debbie............

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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