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.
This year the Wildlife Medical Clinic celebrates its 40th anniversary! To celebrate, we want to take you on a virtual tour of our new clinic space led by our very own Dr. Reich. We were lucky enough to design this space from scratch with the considerations of the species that we treat and their stress levels in mind. After the big move last spring we have settled in nicely and have already cared for hundreds of orphaned and injured wildlife patients in the new space. We thank all those who have lent their support and helped us serve our mission for the past 40 years, and we look forward to many years to come.
This week, Dr. Reich made an appearance on ciLiving to speak about the fall migration, what birds you may see flying through Illinois, and how anyone can help to keep birds from flying into windows as they make their way south for the winter. If you do find a stunned bird, read more here on what to do!
Dr. Sarah Reich explains bird migration in our area. Also, why the birds may fly right into a window. #UIVetMed #UIWildlifeClinic #ciLiving #InYourComunity University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital Wildlife Medical Clinic at Illinois