On September 23, an adult Bald Eagle was found injured on a roadway in York County, Virginia. The eagle was rescued by permitted wildlife rehabilitator Julie Wobig and taken to permitted wildlife rehabilitator Deb Woodward for overnight care before being transported to the Wildlife Center.
On admission, the eagle was alert and responsive. Veterinary intern Dr. Natalie examined the bird and found extensive bruising on the eagle's left wing. Radiographs revealed that the bird's left ulna was fractured. A blood test also revealed that the bird had subclinical lead toxicosis -- a low level of lead in its system that could cause serious harm over time.
After the exam, Dr. Natalie bandaged the injured wing and started the eagle on chelation therapy to remove the lead, anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling, and pain medication. The eagle was placed in an indoor holding area for rest and observation.
By October 2, chelation therapy successfully removed the lead from the eagle's system, but the eagle developed a hematoma [severe bruise] over the fracture site. Vet staff aspirated the site and discovered a mix of blood and infectious material; in addition to anti-inflammatories, the vet team started the eagle on a course of antibiotics to combat infection.
On October 4, the veterinary team discovered that the hematoma ruptured and became an abscess. Vet staff debrided the wound and placed specialized bandages over it to help it heal. They also started physical therapy during daily bandage changes to improve the range of motion in the eagle's injured wing.
On October 8, vet staff discovered slight necrosis on the eagle's wound. They debrided the dead tissue and placed an anti-bacterial agent over the wound.
For now, the eagle will remain inside the Center where it will continue to receive treatment and physical therapy. Its prognosis remains guarded.