On August 15, a juvenile Bald Eagle was found dull, unresponsive, and holding its feet in a clutched position on the ground at a landfill in Dublin, Virginia. The bird was first brought to Companion Animal Hospital in Blacksburg where veterinarian Dr. McCormick evaluated the bird for suspected toxicity. The eagle was given fluids and activated charcoal before it was transferred to the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke.
When the Bald Eagle arrived in Roanoke, it was responsive and in good body condition, but had an abnormally slow heartbeat and was hanging its head. The bird was given more fluids and Atropine to treat the eagle’s slow heartbeat before it was transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia for supportive care and further diagnostics that afternoon.
Dr. Meghan Feeney, the Center’s veterinary intern, performed the initial exam. Upon presentation, Bald Eagle #14-1905 was found standing in its cage and had regurgitated its stomach contents. While the bird was responsive to stimuli, the eagle remained dull and weak. The veterinary staff administered fluids and drew blood for an emergency blood panel. The panel returned within normal limits, and the veterinary team took samples of the eagle’s regurgitated contents to be sent to a diagnostic laboratory for further testing. While Bald Eagle #14-1905 appeared brighter and more difficult to handle that evening, the bird was still too unstable to be anesthetized for radiographs to be taken.
On the morning of August 16, Bald Eagle #14-1905 was much brighter and its abnormal heartbeat had resolved. The eagle also showed increased muscle strength in its feet, but continued to display partial paralysis in its lower limbs. The Bald Eagle received additional fluids and was given a meal of chopped rat.
The following morning, Bald Eagle #14-1905 was very bright, alert, and feisty and had eaten all of its meal. Radiographs were taken and were unremarkable. That afternoon, carpal bumpers were placed on the eagle’s wings and the bird was moved outside to an intermediate flight pen [C3].
Bald Eagle #14-1905 continued to show improvement during the next few days and the rehabilitation staff noticed that bird was perching and flying well. On August 20, Bald Eagle #14-1905 was moved to one of the Center’s A Pens [A3] and will continue to be monitored for any changes in behavior and condition.
Your special donation will help the Center to provide care to this Bald Eagle …and to the 2,600 sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals the Center will treat this year.