Monday, April 4, 2011

Patient Update

Hello again, everyone! I'd like to share three of our new patients with you.

One of our newest patients has quite a tale to tell. A Mallard drake (male), from Merrill, WI, was brought to us with an unusual injury; his tongue was sticking out. No, he was not trying to be rude; he was grabbed by a predator that punctured and split his lower mandible allowing his tongue to protrude. Ducks use their tongues to help sift through their food and swallow, so without his tongue in his mouth, this poor fellow was unable to eat. Luckily for him, someone who had been watching and feeding him all winter noticed he was hurt within a day of his injury, and brought him to REGI for help.

Photo above: This male mallard was admitted with his tongue protruding from his lower mandible. His bill is closed and his tongue has fallen through the split in his lower jaw. (Photo credit: Marge Gibson)

It has been a couple days since his arrival and he's already doing much better! We were able to wire his lower mandible in such a way that his tongue could not fall out and he would still be able to eat. He has a long way to go for a full recovery, but we are hopeful. His mandible is still split and we will continue to monitor his progress as it fuses back together.

Photo above: Here the mallard's mandible has been wired together. You can see where the bill split at the tip, and it runs the entire length of the bill. (Photo credit: Marge Gibson)

Photo above: The same Mallard with his mandible wired together and his tongue back in his mouth. He is much happier with this arrangement. I think I almost see a smile :)

We also admitted a Barred Owl from Crandon, WI, suffering from starvation and an abrasion to his patagium from an unknown source. The man who found him was walking through the woods when he noticed the owl hanging upside down from a tree until he fell to the forest floor in front of him. He scooped him up and brought him to safety. The owl was very weak when he arrived, and we can assume the owl was asking the man for help by being obvious in his need for assistance. We are very thankful for the kindness of this man and his wife.

Photo above: The barred owl upon admission. He is very weak and as you can tell by his expression, he wasn't feeling very well. (Photo credit: Marge Gibson)

Photo above: He already looks much better, his eyes are a great deal brighter today; however, he is still very weak, and he has a long way to recovery.

Starvation is a hard thing to bounce back from, but we are doing everything we can for this beautiful owl. We are tube feeding him multiple times per day and keeping him warm. It's up to him now and his will for life.

Another Bald Eagle was admitted, and at last count, that makes 28 Bald Eagles currently in care here at REGI. This Eagle is from Eagle River and has a joint injury in his left wing. Joint injuries are tricky because they can cause a loss of motility in that joint as it heals. We will continue to monitor him, and in a few days his "cast" will be removed and he will be moved to the flight building so he can exercise and maintain flexibility in his wing.
Photo above: This Bald Eagle has a joint injury in his left wing. The tape you see in the photo is holding the wing in place so it can properly heal. It is impossible to get a bird to understand they need to sit still, but duck tape stays in place and is excellent at immobilizing a wing. Duck tape- not just for ducks anymore ;)

Because of our large number of Bald Eagles and other patients, we could definitely use your donations. When we run low on donated food items, we have to resort to purchasing them which is very, very expensive. If you don't have any food items to donate, monetary donations can help us afford to purchase them. Please keep us in mind throughout the year; we couldn't continue without your help!

Thanks everyone!

Karissa Mohr
REGI Wildlife Educator

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