During the past three weeks, veterinary staff have kept Bald Eagle #21-0214 in the Center’s indoor holding area for daily treatment and close observation. An in-house lead test revealed that chelation therapy has successfully removed the lead from the eagle’s system, and radiographs have shown slight improvement of the fracture in the eagle’s right wing. However, the puncture wounds on the eagle’s left wing did not respond to its initial course of anti-inflammatories, and developed into a desiccated and severely necrotic wound along the patagium of its wing, a part of the wing that is essential for flight.
Veterinary staff have been cleaning the wound daily with an antiseptic and applying a medical gel to rehydrate the necrotic tissue. By keeping the wound moist, the dead tissue should become easier to remove, which will allow the veterinary team to surgically debride the wound and preserve some of the healthy tissue. To facilitate this process, they have been applying a specialized type of bandage to the wound that helps maintain a moist environment. The veterinary team also started the eagle on a course of antibiotics to help fight off its infection, and anti-fungal medication to prevent aspergillosis, a type of fungal infection that is common in Bald Eagles in captivity.
The eagle is currently remaining indoors where it can rest in between treatment and be closely monitored by veterinary staff. Once the wound on its wing is hydrated enough, they plan to perform surgery to remove the dead tissue and close up the wound. They also plan to take additional radiographs at a later date to assess if its fractures continue to improve.