Student Blog by Aubrey Engel, VM 21
An Osprey presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinical after a concerned citizen spotted the bird floating face down in Clinton Lake. This good Samaritan waded out in the water to rescue the bird – an impressive feat considering Osprey are large raptors that are never considered friendly. This finder noticed that the bird was tethered by fishing line – the line wrapped around the body and a hook punctured the right leg. Once removed from the water, the bird was immediately brought to our clinic, where student volunteers quickly worked to assess and stabilize her.
Student Blog by Yvonne Wong, VM 21
In November, a juvenile Common Garter Snake presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic. The little snake, just 30 grams or around 1 ounce, was found in a basement! It is not uncommon for reptiles to find shelter in residential homes during the winter months, but this choice is not always supported by the human inhabitants.
Patient on initial intake
Upon intake, multiple small skin lesions (abnormalities) were found along the snake’s body. Otherwise, the patient appeared to be healthy.
Based on the physical exam findings, clinic members were immediately concerned about one particular disease – Snake Fungal disease (SFD), an infection caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophidiiocola.
This relatively newly-discovered fungal pathogen (first seen in 2006) is highly contagious, and potentially fatal, to numerous snake species (including garter snakes).
You may recall a case from mid-November involving a female Bald Eagle with a metacarpal fracture- if not, you can read about the initial treatments here. A bony callus had formed appropriately over the well-aligned fracture site after cage rest with a wing wrap immobilization, and all else was well with the patient, so the team had elected to transfer this patient to the Illinois Raptor Center in order to give the patient more room to exercise and strengthen the wing before release. Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans may not always work out!