Sunday, February 24, 2008

Then Again, Maybe Not!

So, when I went back in to Wolf Hollow the following Saturday, not only was the Red-tailed hawk not released, but he was back inside with his foot wrapped.

It turns out that he was still leaning on his right foot a bit more than we suspected and, coupled with the fact that the main perch in the slatted flight cage must not be a good fit for his feet, he ended up with the initial stages of bumble foot. This was discovered when we went to put him into the Heron cage for a few days of flight muscle build-up.

See, a bit scabby but not a full case of bumble foot, where an infection has started and gone into the foot. So he stayed inside for a week or so, got his foot soaked a bunch, then rewrapped, and then was placed back out, with his foot wrap still on, into the Heron cage, so he can build up flight muscles.

There are some birds that just need to be out flying, perching on different sized branches and whatnot, and therefore not perching on the same thing over and over, for their feet to stay in good shape and methinks he is one of those.

Ugly-Cuteness Alert!

Some would say this is a face only a mother could love...yes, he's missing an upper canine tooth and yes, he's drooling....but I find him SO CUTE! As you can see, he is NOT happy about being messed with during what, to him, is the time he should be sleeping. This guy (Ed. Note - It was just brought to my attention...Thanks Amy!...that I never said what this animal is exactly. It's an opossum!) was found, completely caked in dirt and mud, sleeping under a parked car in Mt. Vernon. He had some scrapes on his face and feet, with a bit of blood coming out of his nose. We took him in and gave him a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for possible trauma. He also seemed to have limited vision in his left eye. He stayed with us for a week or two, eating and sleeping just fine, and finding nothing wrong with him, was sent back to the mainland to be released.

Eee! We got in a Western Screech Owl!

This wee one flew into a truck on Lopez Island. As you can see, the brunt of the impact was on the left side of his face. His left eye, which was spotted with blood and has no pupillary response, was closed for the first week we had him. He was given a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for his head injury and a homeopathic drug for trauma and shock.

Now, I just LOVE the smaller owls, like the Screech and Saw-whet owls, when they come in!! I like to think of them as the Chihuahuas of the owl world. They are these cute, tiny things, yet they have these HUGE attitudes. For example, when I went in to get him so we could give him his meds and put drops in his eye, I was unprepared for the reaction that I got. It was like he had taken the Barn Owl Tantrum 101 class! And I mean the full works....throwing himself on his back and kicking his tiny legs at me. I literally was taken aback and then, with an "Are you kidding me with this?" attitude, reached in and grabbed him, chuckling the whole time. His eye has since opened and now it's waiting game to see if he will ever be able to use it again.


We got in this Great Horned owl around the same time that the Saw-whet owl came in. This unfortunate fellow was found in Sedro-Woolley dangling by his left wing from a barbed-wire fence. Eegs! You just KNOW that can't be good!

They cut him free of the fence and then sent him to Wolf Hollow with cuts and puncture wounds. Upon first glance, it looked like the wing just needed some suturing, that is until they got a closer look at it after the owl was anesthetized.

*At this point I would like to thank the Shona and Penny for taking pictures of the surgical procedure and loaning them to me for bloggage purposes. Thanks you two!!!

It turns out that the barbed wire had hooked the patagium, which is the tendon/skim making up the leading edge of the wing, pulled it down and hooked it to the muscle of the elbow region. NOT pretty! And there was still a piece of wire enmeshed in his flesh. So Dr. Michelle Loftus came over to try and get him put back together. After he was put under and as much of the blood was cleaned up as possible, she examined the wing thoroughly.

Michelle has her finger on the section of the barbed wire poking out through the patagium. This was removed...

...and then the post barbed wire removal cleanup began.

After everything was cleaned up, Michelle sutured up the wing.

And here is the end result.

Yes, it still looks raw and painful, even as of this week. He was put on antibiotics, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, and an iron supplement to help counteract his blood loss. We are also doing laser treatment on the sutured area. He is now eating on his own and Shona is the one who takes him out and holds him while I clean up.

Weirdly enough, he seems to do better without his head covered up, so Shona lets him "watch me", as she calls it, while I clean up his carrier.

I think we can all agree that it's more like he is glowering at me rather than watching me.

As a side note, I would like to thank all the wonderful people who came out and participated in the Work Party yesterday. I REALLY appreciate it!!

And lastly, it's my 2 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY! WOOHOO!!! Thanks to everyone for the support over the last two years!!!

Til next time...


Kari said...

Oh, the indignaties that owl has to suffer!!! LOL He looks just plain disgusted with a hint of embarrassed undertones added! :] But that is a nasty wound and I very much hope he heals well, as does everyone else!

icydol said...

aTelson04Soo... he appears to be holding up the wing alittle better today. I have been working some Physical Therapy on that wing when I do meds. I just pull the wing in and out. He doesn't seem to mind too much. The patagium is still quite tight but hopefully this helps loosen it up!

PS Thank you for helping on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

Boy....My cat looks at me that same way...happy, happy. I am always amazed at the work you all do. Great pictures and explanations!