Fauquier County Bald Eagle

PATIENT:  Bald Eagle, #11-2673

LOCATION OF RESCUE:  Fauquier County, Virginia

CIRCUMSTANCE OF ADMISSION:   Found unable to fly

ADMISSION DATE:  December 29, 2011

OUTCOME:  Died, January 1, 2012

On December 29, an immature Bald Eagle was spotted down in a field in Fauquier County.  The bird was unable to fly, so the property owner called DGIF.  A conservation police officer was dispatched to capture the bird; a dedicated Wildlife Center volunteer transporter drove to meet the officer and brought the eagle to Waynesboro. Upon admission, Dr. Miranda found no fractures or wounds on the Bald Eagle, though the bird was thin.  An in-house lead test revealed that the eagle was positive for lead -- with a result of .491 ppm, chelation therapy was started immediately.  Dr. Miranda also gave the bird fluids and set it up in a small enclosure in the Center's holding room. Though the Bald Eagle is not stable enough for anesthesia, Dr. Miranda will be taking a very quick set of "awake" radiographs, to see if there is any lead shot in the bird's digestive tract.  The eagle will be placed on the Center's radiograph table and Dr. Miranda will don a lead gown and collar so that she may hold the eagle still while the x-rays are taken.  

1:00 p.m. update:  Dr. Miranda reports that there are no lead pellets visualized in the Bald Eagle's radiographs.  The twice-a-day chelation therapy will continue over the next five days.  In the meantime, the eagle is being housed in the Center's critical care chamber. 

December 31 update

Dr. Miranda reports that Bald Eagle #11-2673 looks slightly perkier today -- though it still is very quiet and is far from being "out of the woods."  The bird is still not standing and is resting in one of the Center's critical care chambers, on oxygen. Chelation therapy continues.  

January 1 update

Dr. Miranda reports that the Bald Eagle's condition worsened during the course of the day, and the eagle died during the afternoon.  Blood tests confirmed that the chelation therapy was working, as the lead levels in the blood had fallen.  Dr. Miranda conducted a necropsy on the eagle on January 2.  Preliminary results were inconclusive.   Your special donation will help the Center to provide state-of-the-art medical care to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals.  Please help!