Bald Eagle #17-0262

Admission Date: 
March 21, 2017
Location of Rescue: 
Virginia Beach, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Open wing fracture
Euthanized March 23, 2017
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

On March 21, an immature female Bald Eagle was found down in Virginia Beach. The bird was captured and taken to the Virginia Beach SPCA for treatment; a veterinarian at the SPCA found an open fracture of the bird's right wing. The wing was wrapped, the bird was given fluids and pain medications, and a transporter drove the eagle to the Wildlife Center that same day.

Dr. Peach, one of the veterinarians at the Center, examined the Bald Eagle upon admission. The bird was bright, alert, and very feisty. A physical examination and radiographs confirmed the open fracture of the eagle's right radius and ulna. Radiographs also indicated possible decreased joint space in the bird's right carpus [wrist]. Dr. Peach also found a retinal tear in the bird's left eye; the bird tested positive for lead at a level of 0.16 ppm, though at this level, treatment is not needed.

Dr. Peach cleaned the eagle's fracture site, and carefully re-bandaged and wrapped the wing. The bird will require surgery, which is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, March 23. The bird's prognosis is poor, since the wing fractures are located in the same area; this makes surgery and recovery more complicated.

Your special donation will help provide veterinary medical care to this Bald Eagle ... and to the thousands of animals that will arrive at the Wildlife Center in need of help in 2017. 


March 23, 2017

On the afternoon of March 22, Dr. Peach was able to discuss Bald Eagle #17-0262 with the Virginia Beach SPCA veterinarian who initially treated the bird. Dr. Peach learned that, on initial presentation, the bird's wing was very compromised; at the fracture site, the bird's wing was rotated out of place. The veterinarian was able to return the wing position to normal position only after the bird was safely under anesthesia.

On the morning of March 23, Dr. Peach checked on the eagle and found that the bird had steadily picked at her wing bandage until it was loose; unfortunately, the bird's fractured wing was no longer immobile, and the wing was once again compromised. The wing showed signs of nerve damage, likely from twisting at the fracture site. This meant that the eagle was no longer a candidate for surgery. The veterinary team made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the bird.