On February 6th, the Illinois Raptor Center transferred a Canada goose to us that was found in Decatur, IL unable to fly with a wound on one elbow. Injuries near a joint must be specifically evaluated to ensure the joint itself is unharmed; if there is damage, the patient will likely develop painful and debilitating arthritis, making it unreleasable. Radiographs were taken and luckily no damage was appreciated to the joint and no fractures were found.
However, the goose did surprise us with a total of 5 metal pellets, presumed to be BBs, scattered throughout its body! With several radiographic views, the team was able to determine that none of the pellets were likely to cause damage or leech lead into the GI tract, so they were not removed.
Early Saturday morning in between two midterm examinations, team members drove an hour to Lake Decatur to release the goose near where it was found. After over 2 months in our care, it was wonderful to watch it use its new feathers and take off. Happy travels, goose!