Bald Eagle #17-2705

Admission Date: 
December 2, 2017
Location of Rescue: 
Charles City County, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Wing fracture; lead toxicity
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On December 1, a citizen in Charles City County saw a mature Bald Eagle on the ground, unable to fly. The Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries was called, and an officer responded to the scene and was able to capture the eagle and take it to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator in the area. The following morning, the rehabilitator noted a wound on the eagle's wing; it appeared as though the eagle self-inflicted the wound during the night in the crate. A local veterinarian treated the bird before it was transported to the Wildlife Center and admitted as patient #17-2705 -- the 52nd Bald Eagle admitted in 2017.

Dr. Alexa, one of the Center's veterinary interns, examined the male eagle when he arrived. The eagle was bright and alert and was in fairly good body condition. Dr. Alexa was able to palpate a right ulnar fracture in the bird's wing, as well as soft tissue swelling around the fracture site. She also noted the small open wound over the eagle's left carpus [wrist]. Blood was drawn for analysis and a lead test; lead results came back at 0.23 ppm, which is at a level requiring treatment. 

Radiographs revealed a spiral fracture of the bird's right ulna; Dr. Alexa placed a bandage on the eagle's right wing to stabilize the fracture. She carefully sutured the wound on the bird's left wing, and started a course of chelation therapy. Chelation therapy consists of an injection of CaEDTA twice daily for five days; this “chelator” will bind to the lead to take it out of the blood – essentially “scrubbing” the blood clean. The bird was placed in the Center's holding room. 

The veterinary team will continue to provide chelation therapy through December 7 and will check the eagle's wing bandage daily. 

Your special donation will help the Center to provide specialized veterinary medical care to this Bald Eagle … and all of the patients admitted in 2017. Please help!