On June 10, 2020, a juvenile Canada goose presented to the clinic after being abandoned by the rest of its flock. Upon first examination, we noted he was lethargic, had a few superficial scabs on his head and neck, and was mildly dehydrated.
After cleaning his wounds with a dilute disinfecting solution, we began him on a course of pain medications and antibiotics. We also administered subcutaneous fluids to correct his dehydration. We also collected a blood sample to run diagnostics and better evaluate his condition. One of our concerns for wild birds presenting with severe lethargy is lead poisoning, however this test came back negative. Next, we determined his PCV/TP values. PCV, or packed cell volume, tells us the percentage of red blood cells to total blood volume, which is helpful in determining if the patient is anemic. Most birds have a PCV of about 40 – 60%, and this goose was mildly anemic at 35%. The TP, or total protein, tells us the amount of proteins in the blood serum and can range from 3.5-5.5 mg%. Our patient had a TP of 4.6 mg% which was in the normal range. Continue reading
Every summer, the Wildlife Medical Clinic student volunteer base leave campus for their own adventures and learning opportunities. With the summer being our busiest season, we still have plenty of animals to take care of during this period. So, who takes care of all the animals? The WMC student managers and a handful of veterinary student summer interns take on that task! We interviewed this year’s four summer interns about their experiences and the Wildlife Medical Clinic.
Selena Harrison, third-year veterinary student
Why did you apply for the internship at the Wildlife Medical Clinic?
I was a team leader in the clinic this past year and loved helping teach other students about the clinic and about medicine. However, I wanted to take this summer to further my own learning and thought this internship would be my best opportunity.
What is your favorite wildlife species? Continue reading
We have several permanent animal ambassadors at the Wildlife Medical Clinic. These individuals provide special opportunities for our volunteers and the community to connect with these animals and spread a message of conservation. Most began their time with us as patients in the Wildlife Medical Clinic, and due to the extent of their injuries they could no longer survive in the wild. We spend time each day monitoring all aspects of their health, building trusting relationships, and enriching their lives.
We have the privilege to work with great faculty veterinarians who mentor our student volunteers. WMC volunteers are trained by veterinarians how to do daily examinations of each Animal Ambassador, keeping their specific needs in mind. The veterinarians themselves also regularly perform thorough examinations of each animal. For example, an important part of bird health is the length of their beak and talons. In the wild, the hard work of catching prey and seeking shelter helps birds wear down their continuously growing beak and talons. When overgrown, the bird can have a difficult time eating and even injure themselves. Our Animal Ambassadors have their beaks and talons trimmed as needed, often every other month.
Here our volunteers are using a Dremel tool (like a tough nail file) to wear down Ruby’s nails.