Monthly Archives: June 2015

A Boobook’s Tale

A young Southern Boobook owl was recently found lying by the side of Headlam Road in Moss Vale.
She was presented to me that day and x-rays showed a transverse fracture of the left tibiotarsus.
The bird was dehydrated and in shock, and these critical needs were attended to that afternoon and evening before I performed the required surgery on the next day, and the tibiotarsus was pinned.
Fluids, non steroidal painkiller/anti inflammatory and broad spectrum antibiotics  were prescribed and given.
I sent her to Peggy for further observation, TLC, and continuation of both non steroidal painkiller/anti inflammatory drug treatment for another 4 days and broad spectrum antibiotics for 7.
Peggy and I were both happy and surprised at the way the leg healed so well (note from Peggy – I wasn’t surprised Charlie did a brilliant job!) and the pin was removed 13 days later.
The surgery required some feather removal at the surgical site, and owls rely on a dense covering of feathers on their bodies and legs to maintain suitable body temperatures on cold nights, when they are active.
Once these are fully grown back, she will be released back at Headlam Road.

 

Boobook

Boobook

Initial Examination

Initial Examination

Preop X-ray

Preop X-ray

Preop X-Ray Detail

Preop X-Ray Detail

Initial Surgery

Initial Surgery

Surgery Detail

Surgery Detail

Pre Pin Removal

Pre Pin Removal

Post Pin Removal

Post Pin Removal

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An Endoscope is a Vital Piece of Equipment

Recently a young Australian Hobby came into care for fitness training after a period of some months with a very caring and experienced raptor carer, recovering from a broken wing and other traumas.
I received a bird that to all intents and purposes looked well, and was in beautiful feather and body condition.
Sadly within a short time in the flight aviary she was dead, after trying to fly a very short distance.
A PM revealed that her abdominal air sacs were completely overloaded with live air sac worms, most of which were at least 20 cms long. Most likely Serratospiculum worms, they would have severely inhibited her ability to breathe to the point of causing her death. They are being sent away for clinical diagnosis.
This sad story does reiterate that all is not always as it seems, and had her original carer not gone to the trouble to bring her here to ensure that her post release survival ability was maximised to the best of our combined ability, she would have died on release and we would all have been none the wiser.
Endoscopic examination, as is performed routinely prior to wild bird release at establishments such as the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, would have detected and potentially resolved this problem.
ARCC Inc. is now working towards fundraising to purchase an endoscope, a vital piece of equipment that will enable our vets to then be trained in, and carry out, this important medical procedure as required.

Peggy

 

Live Air Sac Worms

Live Air Sac Worms

Early Diagnosis Using An Endoscope May have Prevented This Outcome.

Early Diagnosis Using An Endoscope May have Prevented This Outcome.

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