A Bird’s-Eye View

An injured adult barred owl was recently presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic. At the triage exam, we assessed this animal to have head trauma, with notable bruising around the right ear, bloody nasal discharge, blood in the right eyeball, and a dull mentation. We started the owl on fluid therapy and pain medication to prevent further brain injury due to her trauma. The severity of her signs was concerning, and we were initially very guarded on her prognosis. She was assessed frequently, medications adjusted as needed, and we remained hopeful she would respond well to her care. Continue reading

Let’s Paint a Story: All About Painted Turtles

Painted turtles are arguably one of the most fascinating species of turtle in the Midwest.

There are several subspecies, including the Eastern, Midland, Southern, and Western painted turtles, whose habitats range throughout much of the continental United States and into parts of Canada. The average lifespan of a painted turtle is about 40 years old. Remarkably, the oldest documented painted turtle reached 55 years of age!

Painted turtles get their name from the beautiful green and red striped carapace (top shell) as well as a mosaic of orange and yellow on the plastron (bottom shell). Painted turtles can commonly be mistaken for red-eared sliders; however, sliders have a distinctive red line along the sides of their head and comparatively less shell coloration. Continue reading

Goodbye and Good luck!

Each July brings a bittersweet transition to the Wildlife Medical Clinic, as we say goodbye to our ZooMed house officers. While the WMC is staffed by volunteer veterinary and undergraduate students, this care is supported by the veterinarians in the ZooMed Service of the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This includes the three ZooMed house officers, each a veterinarian in their own right, who have elected additional training in pursuit of becoming specialists in the American College of Zoological Medicine. Our skilled house officers include one intern and two resident veterinarians. These veterinarians assist our students in all aspects of animal care – from demonstrating safe ways to hold an animal, developing appropriate diet plans, discussing patient concerns and care, and pursuing treatments, our house officers are available every step of the way. More than providing medical care, these doctors demonstrate patience, empathy, and perseverance. They help set the energy in the WMC and form incredible bonds with our students each year. We are so incredibly grateful for all of the hard work, passion, and care these veterinarians have contributed to our program and wish them each the greatness they deserve as they move on to their next opportunities.

Dr. Kelsey Trumpp was our ZooMed specialty intern from 2020-2021. She took on this challenge with gusto and an ever-present smile on her face. In addition to caring for more than 1,200 wildlife patients during her internship, Dr. Trumpp was the primary author of two research projects and assisted in the training of veterinary students throughout the curriculum. Dr. Trumpp was a phenomenal asset to our team and we are so excited for her next opportunity at the University of Georgia, where she will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Comparative Biomedical Sciences (zoological medicine) concurrent with a four year residency program in Zoological Medicine.

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