Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Clinic Update

The managers did a great job taking care of all of our patients over fall break, and now all of the volunteers are back and managing their cases. We currently have 5 red-tailed hawks, a screech owl and a pigeon. We were also able to send one of our red-tailed hawks to a rehabilitation facility just before break. The hawk had originally presented with a broken tibiotarsus (leg). His surgery went well, and his subsequent re-check radiographs (x-rays) should good alignment and callus formation around the fracture.

Pitou, the screech owl

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Red Tailed Hawks

We are surrounded by Red Tailed hawks in the ward right now. Our case load has begun to slow down as the weather has gotten cooler, but we currently have 3 Red Tailed hawks in the ward. Two of them have ulnar (wing) fractures and one has a fractured tibiotarsus (leg). Each of their fractures is being managed differently, which is really interesting for us veterinary students.

Team 1's RTH with a tibiotarsal fracture
09-1051 RTH L TT fx

Team 3 giving their hawk an IM injection
RTH l ulnar fx

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Snapping Turtle

Godzilla is a Snapping Turtle that presented to the clinic on September 28th with a fractured carapce (the top portion of the shell.) The team decided to get radiographs (x-rays) to evaluate the fracture and the possible lung damage. (A turtle's lungs sit right up against the top of their shell.) While looking at the radiographs, the team found another problem with Godzilla. He had a fish hook somewhere inside his body! Godzilla had surgery to remove the hook, and his shell fracture is beginning to heal. Hopefully, he'll be able to be transferred to a rehabilitation facility soon.
Godzilla's Radiograph from September 29th
Snapping Turtle Surgery
Godzilla Sx
Gozdilla sx
The Fish Hook Removed from Godzilla
Godzilla Hook
Gozilla with Members of his Team
Godzilla post op
Godzilla on October 14th (You can see his shell fracture in this photo.)
Godzilla 10/14

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prairieland Feeds

The resident raptors will be at Prairieland Feeds this weekend from 9-4 on Saturday and 11-3 on Sunday. Prairieland Feeds is at 303 S Dunlap Ave in Savoy. (From campus, just head out to Neil St and go south. You can't miss it.) Stop by and see us!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Howl at the Moon!


Howl at the Moon, our fall fund-raiser, will be on Saturday, September 26th. Come out to Harvest Moon Drive-In Theatre in Gibson City to see Disney's G-Force! (secret agent guinea pigs on a government mission)

Bring the whole family (pets included!) $5 per person, kids under 5 and pets free! Gates open at 6:20pm, movie starts at 7:20pm. We'll have door prizes and tons of fun!

Harvest Moon Drive-In is on Route 47, 21 miles north of I-74. Questions? Feel free to email us or call the clinic (217-244-1195) for more information.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Barred Owl

This owl presented on August 10th. She was lethargic and had blood in both of her eyes. The summer team started fluid therapy and gave her antibiotics to prevent any secondary infections and anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize inflammation. We took a blood sample, and she had a drastically low white blood cell count (leukopenia), as well as electrolyte imbalances. At first, we were unsure whether she would be able to recover. Since then she has gradually grown stronger and more active. The ophthalmology department has also been monitoring her improvement. Two weeks ago, we discontinued all of her medication and she continued to improve. She is definitely visual and her ophthalmologic exam is more normal. Her white blood cell count has risen to within the normal range, and she is more aggressive and eating normally. At the end of last week, we decided she had improved enough to go to a wildlife rehabber, and on Saturday, members of Team 1 drove her up to the Illinois Raptor Center. She was released to a transitional cage with another Barred Owl and will hopefully be back in the wild very soon.

Barred Owl in the Ward

Barred Owl at the Illinois Raptor Center
Rafiki Barred Owl @ IRC
Rafiki @ IRC

Illinois Raptor Center photos courtesy of Amanda on Team 1 ; )

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bald Eagle Release!

Yesterday, we were able to release the juvenile bald eagle!

According to one of the leaders on the team in charge of her case: "She was in good body condition, blood work was all normal and she was eating well. We wanted to release her quickly so she didn't need to be reconditioned for flight. A staff member from the Illinois Raptor Center came out, jessed her up and flew her outside of the teaching hospital so he could assess her flight. He gave her a good assessment and told us we could release her. We took her to back to Danville and met with a biologist for the conservation service in Danville. He took us to the location where she was found. We released her away from the sanitation plant right by a river. We could hear eagles calling while we released her. This sanitation plant takes up 50 acres of a 600 acre forest preserve, so we are hoping she stays away from the plant and uses the other natural areas of the habitat that surrounds her. The release was a huge success and the eagle didn't even touch the ground. She swooped down, flew up over the river, turned right and was out of sight within seconds."

You can read an article about the release in the Commercial News here.

Bald Eagle Flight Test

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bald Eagle

A juvenile bald eagle presented to the clinic today after being found in a sewage treatment plant. The team washed the sewage off of her and took a blood sample. They will run diagnostic tests on the blood to determine if her organs are functioning normally and the proportions of different white blood cells circulating in her blood.

You'll notice that this bald eagle has dark feathers on her head. Young bald eagles are completely brown. The white head feathers come in when the bird is around 4 or 5 years old.

Wildlife Medical Clinic Organizational Meeting

Our mandatory orientation meeting is on Thursday, August 27th at 6:30pm in LAC 100.

At this meeting we will give a brief introduction to the wildlife clinic and students will sign up for teams. The clinic is going to have 10 teams this year, each lead by 4 students who have been previously involved with the clinic. Teams are required to provide daily care and assist with procedures (like diagnostics and surgery) for the cases they are assigned . This set-up provides a great opportunity for us to learn from and mentor each other.

If you are a U of I student interested in joining wildlife this year, we'll see you on Thursday!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Summer Cases

The wildlife clinic is still as busy as ever. The ward is full of orphaned birds and bunnies, as well as injured robins, squirrels, raccoons and a screech owl. There is another Great Blue Heron in the ward, this time with a fractured right ulna and radius (fractured right wing).
This young raccoon has a fractured right leg. The "putty" on the bottom of his leg is an external fixation device. This holds the bone in place as it heals.
raccoon r femur fx
Raccoon R femur fx
Today, we also triaged a fawn. The fawn came in with puncture wounds that looks like they could have come from an animal bite. The trusty summer staff put an IV catheter in the fawn's leg, gave her fluids and pain medication and bandaged her wounds. In the picture, they are finishing wrapping the wound on her abdomen.
fawn triage

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Clinic Update

The ward has been pretty busy for the last few weeks. With only the two managers, interns, occasional help by students on rotation and a handful of additional volunteers, there is a lot to do over the summer! As always there are some pretty interesting cases, including:

Snapping Turtle
Snapping turtle
Orphaned Groundhog
baby groundhog
Juvenile Cooper's Hawk
juvie coopers tx
Turtle with a Shell Fracture
This turtle presented with a significant shell fracture. We've attempted to surgically wire the shell back together. Turtles heal slowly, but these shell fracture repair surgeries are often successful. Turtle shells are made of bone, and if realigned correctly, will heal similar to any other broken bone.
During Surgery
turtle sx
After Surgery
turtle after sx

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yankee Ridge Educational Event

Before school let out for the summer, two of our resident raptors visited the students at Yankee Ridge Elementary school. Nokomis and Odin visited an art class so the students could practice drawing live subjects. It was a really interesting opportunity for both the birds and the artists!

You can read more about the event here. (Scroll down... the story is toward the bottom of the page.)

yankee ridge
yankee ridge
yankee ridge
The raptors will be at the Springer Cultural Center for the Champaign Park District Summer Day Camp on June 19th and at the Rantoul Public Library at 1pm on June 27th. Stop by and say "hello!"

Clinic Update

Summer is always a busy time in the WMC, and right now there are a few interesting cases in the clinic.

First, there is a Great Blue Heron with a left wing injury.
great blue heron
great blue heron

We also have a very vocal juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.
juvie redtail

This turtle needed to have a feeding tube placed to make sure he gets enough nutrients.
feeding tube turtle

As always, there are a lot of juvenile animals in the ward over the summer. Thus far there have been 12 fawns! This one is recovering in an incubator after being hit by a car.
fawn HBC

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Current Orphans

Over the summer, the clinic gets in a lot of juvenile animals. Some of them are injured, some are just too young to fend for themselves and their parents have been injured, some are being removed from dangerous situations (like after being dug up from their nest by a dog or cat) and some of them are healthy orphans who would probably do best if left alone. Our recommendations are to call us only when:
1) you know the parents are dead (evidence of a dead adult nearby)
2) the animal is obviously injured, weak, thin, very cold or sick
3) the animal is covered with flies or insects , or
4) the animal is in unavoidable, unnatural danger.

Cygnet (Juvenile Swan)
Cygnet with his surrogate "mom"
Cygnet with his "mom"
Juvenile American Kestral
Juvie Kestral
Two of our volunteers feeding fawns

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Summer has begun at the wildlife clinic. All of the students have finished finals, and most of the volunteers have left to begin their summer adventures. During break, the clinic is kept running by the two managers, two interns and a couple of super devoted volunteers. There are quite a few cases in the ward right now, including a couple of mallard ducks, a juvenile swan, some squirrels. rabbits and a great horned owl. A garter snake just presented after being closed in a door and is currently down getting radiographs. With fewer volunteers and the continual influx of cases, summer is always exciting in the WMC!

Juvenile Swan
Juvie Swan


Examining the Garter Snake
Garter Snake Pager
Garter Snake Radiograph
The arrow points to the spinal fracture. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Cases!

Two unusual cases have some into the clinic in the last few days. The first is a juvenile barred owl. The owl is uninjured, and we're planning on transferring her to a rehabber as soon as possible. Young owls imprint very easily, so we're trying to transfer her to a rehabber who has another orphaned owl for her to interact with. For now, we have a mirror in her cage, but we would like to get her out of the ward as soon as we can.

Juvenile Barred Owl
Juvie Barred Owl

This evening, a badger presented to the clinic. The pager team called in some additional help and was able to do a compete physical exam. We'll be able to better assess the condition of the badger tomorrow when we can run more diagnostic tests.

The Pager Team Examines the New Badger
4/20 badger
4/20/09 Badger
4/20/2009 Badger