Saturday, January 28, 2012

Update on Lead Poisoned Bald Eagles, American Kestrel Admitted

#005 today. Note the green colored mutes on the blanket behind her ( rt)  That green color is a signature color of a lead poisoned bird.

It was a quieter day today. Knowing what you have in the clinic is somehow easier than being surprised by critical cases. It was refreshing to find the Downy Woodpecker doing so well he was able to be in the outside aviary.  The American Goldfinch was singing today even as he recovers from his cat caused injuries.  His happy song put some perspective on the day.

The male #007 is doing better. He is not longer hypersensitive to stimulus, his seizures have stopped. He was given his injections today sub-Q in the chest to try to save the legs for future days. The injections of Ca -EDTA is destructive to body tissue, so we are careful to alternate sites. Both eagles need 2 a day for the first four days and then four days off. The time off is so the blood can circulate through the bones, where lead is stored, to integrate it into the blood again. Lead is chelated from the blood and that is how it works. It is an arduous process at best.
#007 even ate some muskrat today on his own. That was a surprise, but we tube fed him anyhow as he remains dehydrated. His lead level is still sky high so many things can still go wrong within the next few weeks. Lead poisoning can cause multi-organ failure and often does. We have learned to take the good with the bad and are cautiously optimistic for #007 while being vigilant for signs of problems.

The female #005 did not have a good day. She has developed cardiac failure. We worked hard with her today, hoping against hope that we can correct the heart issue. That can and has happened in past cases, but it is discouraging.  With cardiac failure, fluid builds around the heart.  We treat for that problem as if it were a separate illness. We have had excellent results with that process in many cases that were thought to be hopeless. She is such a stunning eagle and a great gentle soul. She needs some positive energy tonight.

#007 with Katie, Albert and Stacy after a blood test.

We admitted an American Kestrel with starvation today. The weather can be an issue for birds that have remained in the northwoods during the winter season. This winter has been a gentle one at least for us in WI. Several species have remained further north than normal. Cold snaps catch then unaware and causes nasty surprises. I think our new patient will be fine with a little food and a warm place to finish out the winter.

We had lots of calls today most with questions about wildlife in their woods. A sweet elderly lady found a Chukar by her bird feeder. We don't have Chukar here in WI except those that have escaped from game farms.  We sent a volunteer to see if he could give her a hand catching up the little guy. 

No news on any of the eagles reported in past days with trouble. We have a fresh snow today and wind so maybe tomorrow will be a better day to find them. Lets keep our hopes up they are found in time.

I continue with the end of year reports.  They are due on January 31st.  After that I will be able to hold a normal conversation.  Paperwork is my least favorite part of this work and yet there is lots of it. :(

Have a wonderful tomorrow everyone.

Marge Gibson

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the update, Marge. Good thoughts winging northeastward to the female eagle, #005! Jean Pichler, San Pedro, CA