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.
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.
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...