Lead Toxicosis

Case Reports

Written by Anamaria Cruz

It was a blustery, cold January afternoon, and my pager shift was nearly over. Just as I was walking to hand off my pager to my teammates on the next shift, the pager buzzed – once, then again. Two patients, both raptors, both sounding like they were suffering from head trauma. The first patient, a red-tailed hawk, had obvious signs of external trauma, broken bones, blood from the nares. It was started on fluid therapy designed to reduce swelling within the skull. The other patient was a bald eagle – presenting with similar neurologic signs, but, mysteriously, lacking any external damage. The triage team conducted a nervous system exam, and suspected poisoning. After a challenging blood draw and an anxious wait by the in-house lead analyzer, the culprit was revealed: sky-high levels of lead.

In January 2018, the Wildlife Medical Clinic received three adult bald eagles over the course of two weeks. All three patients presented with severe neurologic signs, including torticollis (abnormally twisting neck muscles), head-turning, ventroflexion (head cranked downwards), ataxia (incoordination), and weakness.

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Critters Uncaged- Pigeons

This week on ciLiving, Dr. Reich brought in a rather unusual patient to us in the clinic- a domestic pigeon! The patient’s temperament and the presence of a zip-tie ‘band’ around one leg led us to believe that this pigeon had been released from either a racing, messaging or show-bird operation. Although they can be found ubiquitously in large numbers, pigeons, or rock doves, are actually an invasive species in the United States. Learn more about this patient, the keeping of domestic pigeons, and the history of their introduction to the United States in the video below!

Critter's Uncaged – Pigeons

Dr. Sarah Reich shares unique things about pigeons. @Wildlife Medical Clinic at Illinois #ciLiving #CrittersUncaged #InYourCommunity

Posted by ciLiving.tv on Thursday, November 15, 2018