Friday, February 09, 2007

What IS that SMELL?!

Hey, don't be looking at me! THIS is what that noxious smell is emanating from!

Thanks for the photo Shona!

Yep, he's a mess! Figured out what he's covered in yet? No? Here, let me give you a closer look at him.

Thanks again for the photo Shona!

Still no idea? What if I told you he smelled like month old fries? Yep, sea gulls being the bottomless pits that they are, and a young one at that, he saw some tasty bits in an uncovered grease pit behind a restaurant and went for it, only to become encased in nasty old deep fry grease. Our wonderful volunteer in Anacortes who picked him up said her hands reeked for DAYS afterwards! Ugh! So it was straight from the carrier into a series of baths he went!

Thanks again² for the picture Shona!

He went through many wash cycles and they even used what looks like an arts and crafts sponge to bath his head.

Thanks again³ for the picture Shona!

After his baths, it was just a matter of time waiting for his feathers to become "waterproof" again, and then he was released, hopefully having learned the valuable lesson the gluttony doesn't always pay!

Last Saturday was one of those downer days that you wish you could forget but know you never will. Like I said in a recent post, during the winter months is when we get it animals that are severely compromised and a lot of them just don't make it.

When I came in, I noticed that the Bald eagle wasn't on the chart to be fed and was informed that they euthanized him. Then, part way through the morning, I had noticed that a car had pulled up. Lorraine, who is another rehabber at WH, but one I had never worked one-on-one with until last Saturday, went out to see who it was and found this guy on our front porch.

Now, before you all get upset, thinking someone had abandoned him there all hurt and everything, I should tell you that the gentleman that found him did call us 10 minutes later. I guess he had been knocking on the door, but with us in the back room, we didn't hear him.

Now, as you can see he has a hurt eye. Looks painful, but not bad enough for him to be SO "shocky" that he is drifting in and out of consciousness, which he was doing the entire time I was there taking pictures of him. It was only when the person who found him called back that we learned about his other injury. To quote him "His leg is pretty messed up." That, unfortunately, was a HUGE understatement. Lorraine and I looked at each other and we immediately knew which leg had to be "messed up": the one that we had yet to see, his hind right one. Lorraine moved him just a bit and then we saw it....his right foot, upside down, pointing backwards. While I was exclaiming in horror "OH MY GOD! His foot is completely BACKWARDS!" Lorraine was stating just as forcefully "We are HEAVILY sedating him!", which we did. At that time we also left messages at a few of our local vet's offices to see if they could come and examine the injury. We ended up not needing their services.

At this time I need to send out a huge THANK YOU to Lorraine, as she was in a position of working with someone she had never worked with before and then found herself working with same said someone, who, frankly folks, lost it a bit. NEVER BEFORE have I seen such a devastating injury and we hadn't even turned him over yet! After we had him sedated we lifted him up to see just how bad it was and it was horrific! The leg above the foot had been amputated and was just hanging on by a piece of skin. The upper leg bone was exposed and it wasn't a very recent injury so it was all dirty, as he had been dragging it on the ground. At that point Lorraine made the humane decision to euthanize him. And as I stood there while she got the injection together, I just started thinking about how much that poor little thing must have suffered and I burst into tears. Poor Lorraine. She rushed over to hug me and said we were doing the right thing and I had to stop crying long enough to explain that I knew we were, and that I was just empathizing too much with how much he had gone through. That whole episode really did a number on me and I was pretty down for the rest of the weekend. I guess I need to develop a thicker skin when it comes to situations like that. And thanks again Lorraine for your patience and kindness!

This Trumpeter swan was awaiting me in the Indoor mew.

You can tell by the grey coloring that this is a juvenile swan and if you could hear his rasping, you would also know that he has a MAJOR upper respiratory infection. That being said, he was VERY feisty and hard to hold while we tube fed him. They had done blood-work and sent it into the lab to see if he had lead poisoning, but I have since learned that he died before the results came back, which ended up being positive. It's a shame, as I was thinking he might have been feisty enough to kick the infection, assuming it wasn't Aspergillus, if he had been lead free.

Let's end this on an upbeat note, shall we? The two Cooper's hawks are doing well. Bucky will have to have the pins in his leg for another few weeks but he is still doing great in the outdoor aviary. And since I haven't mentioned our raccoon youngsters in a bit, I should say they are still growing by leaps and bounds. I always feel sorry for them, though, if I am the one that goes out to take care of them, as I hear that no one usually sees them in the morning hours, yet EVERY TIME I go out there, this is what I see....

Yep, three cute little faces peering at me, all shaking with nervousness and sleepiness. I must just bang around too much for them! I always end up tendering my utmost apologies to them and then hightailing it out of there as quickly as possible so they can go back to sleep.

That's it on my end. Here's hoping tomorrow will be a good day at Wolf Hollow! Til next time...