As part of the 2021 Gala, the Center put out a request for funds for a new electric Polaris ATV -- a real workhorse. From August through April, the Center’s bear-care team loads up the Polaris for daily food deliveries to the Bear Yards – sometimes up to 200 pounds of food a day. At other times, the Polaris is used to transport crates, hay, food, patients, and supplies across our multi-acre campus.
With your generous help, we raised the funds we needed for a new Polaris. And that Polaris has finally been delivered as of May 2022 – we placed our original order in late October/early November 2021 … a short six months ago!
A fluoroscope provides a real-time moving x-ray that can be watched on a monitor. This helps guide the doctor’s hand when placing pins and evaluating the position of bones during complicated orthopedic surgery, helping to locate, remove, and retrieve foreign material [such as fishhooks], etc. Currently, Center staff must take a patient out of the surgical suite and across the hall to take radiographs. WITH a fluoroscope, surgeons could do radiographs while the patient is still in surgery – evaluating progress, providing timely feedback and guidance to the surgical team, and decreasing time under anesthesia.
While the cost of a new fluoroscope is as much as $50,000, Dr. Karra is looking for a refurbished model that will serve the Center’s needs. The expected price tag of a newer refurbished model would be roughly $12,000. Through the support of generous friends, the Center raised $12,000 for the purchase of this life-saving equipment in 2021. Thank you!
The Center’s outreach team relies on a variety of cameras to help share the stories of the thousands of patients that pass through the Wildlife Center each year. A number of cameras are showing their age, and the outreach department would love to have some new cameras so that we can keep sharing photos, videos, and live feeds with you! The total for this Cam Campaign is $4,625 and includes:
- A GoPro Hero 6 package. The Center’s GoPro Hero3 has served the department well in the past five years but is not quite as reliable as it once was. A new GoPro will be used to record patients, education animals, releases, plus tours and events; we also hope to use this camera for live webcasting! This package includes a new camera, batteries, and accessories. [$550]
- A digital camera. The Center’s current used Nikon Coolpix camera is having some mechanical issues; the outreach team would like to purchase a new digital camera with wifi capabilities so that photos will be uploaded to a computer automatically. Faster uploading = faster patient updates! [$175]
- Two webcams. There are a variety of webcams in and around patient and education animal enclosures, as well as in the hospital; many of these have been around since 2011. Two new Axis cameras (one PTZ, one fixed) will offer more Critter Cam opportunities! The fixed camera will give the outreach team some additional flexibility to add cam locations – Bear Pen, education animals, Large Mammal enclosure where the cubs are housed, and more. The PTZ camera will be hung in the Center’s Bear Complex, to ensure we have good coverage over the two-acre bear facility – before the cubs move in this summer! [$3,900]
Critter Nation kicked off -- and completed! -- the fundraising for this campaign in May 2018!
Veterinary Handheld Pulse Oximeter
This high-tech, portable equipment will help the vet staff monitor vital signs in outdoor patients when they are anesthetized. The vet team is planning to use it mainly when they are darting Black Bears.
Veterinary Surgery Orthopedic Medium Sized Screw Rack
This medium-sized lightweight case will help the veterinary team to have the slightly larger orthopedic plates and screws organized and autoclaved during surgery. This equipment will help the Center perform high-quality orthopedic surgeries. Cost: $200-280. This item was purchased by an old, beloved volunteer (Bob) in February 2018!
Small Veterinary Orthopedic Screw Rack
This box organizes a variety of small surgical screws and helps the veterinary team to have the orthopedic plates and screws organized, autoclaved, and ready to go during surgery. This equipment helps the Wildlife Center vets perform high-quality orthopedic surgeries and helps the technicians keep the vets organized! This item was donated by Ms. Marty Riedy and Mr. Mike Maroney in February 2018.
Extra Small Verbrugge Bone Holding Forceps
Small bone holder allows the veterinary team to improve orthopedic repair surgical techniques in small raptors like Eastern-screech Owls, American Kestrels, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, and Red-shouldered Hawks. These forceps were purchased in memory of Pignoli the Eastern Screech-Owl in February 2018!
Banding raptors prior to release helps the Center gather post-release data on survival and dispersal. These banding pliers are specific to banding large raptors and ensure a perfect fit for species, including Bald Eagles and Great Horned Owls. They are also much easier for our bander -- wildlife rehabilitator Brie -- to use than standard pliers. These pliers were donated by Little Bit in February 2018!
Snake Plastic Restraining Tubes
These tubes will help the veterinary staff safely handle snakes for medical procedures, radiographs, blood samples, and more. These restraining tubes were donated by a generous supporter in January 2018!
These light-weight tongs are built to handle most any job, from small to large snakes and reptiles. The wider jaw on the tongs distributes holding pressure over a larger area to prevent trauma to the animal and provides more holding power to the handler. This equipment will allow WCV trained staff to safely handle venomous snakes so that the snakes can have initial medical care and then be transferred to a specialized venomous snake facility. Snake tongs were donated by a generous supporter in January 2018!
The Doppler Ultrasound is used for detecting blood flow acoustically and for making blood-pressure measurements. In veterinary medicine, the Doppler functions like as a stethoscope allowing clinicians and technicians to hear the heart beat or pulse in the tiniest of animals. The Doppler is considered one of the most essential pieces of equipment in exotic and rehabilitation medicine, allowing us to monitor patients under anesthesia, check for heart beats in turtles, and take blood pressures in eagles. Our 20 plus-year-old Doppler has just kicked the bucket and we are in desperate need of a new one. The Doppler was purchased thanks to a flash-fundraiser from Critter Nation (inspired by a generous Center supporter) on July 17, 2015!
Midland GXT 1000 VP4 Radio Pack
It's been another year of job-related abuse for our beloved two-way radios. 365 days a year, 40 volunteer students, and a scary number of accidental drops (at least one into a toilet). These radios are used by all hospital staff and students to communicate daily activities spread out over our 350 acres of managed property. We would like to acquire five new sets (10 radios) in total. Five pairs of radios were purchased thanks to a flash-fundraiser from Critter Nation (inspired by a generous Center supporter) on July 17, 2015!
Waterfowl Rearing Cubicles
The Wildlife Center rehabilitation team has a wish for waterfowl rearing cubes. In 2014, the WCV admitted 71 hatchling Wood Ducks and Mallards. Aside from a small treatment sink and our outdoor aviary pools, we do not have a convenient and dependable enclosure to rear these ducklings. A rearing cubicle is designed to safely allow access to water and dry land without the risk of the birds escaping. The Leucopsis “Waterfowl Rearing Cubicle” is convenient, mobile and easy to clean. It would make an excellent tool to enhance the Wildlife Center of Virginia’s waterfowl care. The cubicles were donated thanks to a flash-fundraiser from Critter Nation (inspired by a generous Center supporter) on May 14, 2015!
Our hospital team has a “wish” for a new laptop computer. Each year, the Center offers 12-week rehabilitation externships to 25 to 30 students and 3 -12 week medical externships to another 35-40 students from all over the world. These are intense hands-on training opportunities in the field of wildlife rehabilitation and conservation and wildlife medicine. Center laptops are used to enter patient medical records, to provide on- and off-site training programs, and are hooked up to our microscopes; these laptops are also used by students researching unusual cases, reviewing journal articles, and watching “how-to” training videos. An additional laptop would help us provide better training for students as they learn to care for injured and orphaned wildlife/embark on a career in wildlife medicine. Generously obtained from the Ben Spence memorial fund
This will likely not come as a surprise, but bears are strong! While, the tiny cubs can be easily and safely be kept in a standard plastic dog crate, the larger, stronger, yearlings can eat these enclosures for breakfast! We have acquired three zinger crates but, given the anticipated volume of bear patients in 2015, a fourth will help safely house and transfer these patients. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast!
Handling Gloves – Humaniac Cat and Wildlife Gloves
Please help care for our patients and our staff! At the Wildlife Center of Virginia, our patients come with an array of “weapons” that include teeth, talons, and sharp beaks. These make wearing gloves necessary to safely handle the wild animals in our care. Leather handling gloves come in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses: thin wrist-length gloves used for handling small birds of prey and small mammals, thicker elbow-length gloves used to capture large owls and large rodents, and the thickest up-to-the shoulder length eagle-handling gloves. Teeth, talons, and beaks take their toll on our equipment after heavy use. We are in need of three new pairs. Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts and in the memory of Ms. Sabrina Marie Backus.
Pediatric 1.9mm Endoscope
Sadly, our most used endoscope is no more. The last several scoping sessions revealed fuzzy images that were non-diagnostic. The manufacturer believes that an internal lens is broken, and the unit needs to be replaced. Because of our non-profit status and the nature of our work, the company is allowing us to trade in our broken scope for a brand new one for only half the cost! This endoscope is often used to scope the air sacs and abdomen of avian patients, and is used every few months to monitor a scar in the trachea of Quinn, our education Great-Horned Owl. The images below show the image quality we should be seeing (left) vs. what we are seeing now (right). Until we replace this endoscope, we cannot utilize our 30K endoscopy unit on smaller patients. Purchased through the generosity of Critter Nation!
Microaire pin driver for smaller pins
This attachment will fit on our surgical drill and allow us to place pins more quickly into the fractured bones of small patients. No key is needed for this driver; this means that the surgeon can place pin after pin without having to lock them in place. This will reduce valuable anesthesia time which is very important in our smaller patients. Generously donated by The Clayton Family!
Essentials in Parasitology
Now doesn’t that sound like a fun bedtime read? While this is an old textbook (1996), it comes highly recommended from a parasitologist colleague. Last year we had an outbreak of mites in our reptile room, and it took a lot of research and networking to find a solution. This book will be an excellent resource in our hospital library. When we read it, we promise to always start with “Once upon a time”! Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
UVB Reptile Bulbs
UVB florescent bulbs are essential in maintaining bone physiology in captive reptiles by promoting the synthesis of vitamin D. Bulbs are specifically manufactured for captive reptile enclosures but the essential UVB coating is only effective for six months. Our hospital currently spends $500 every six months to purchase lights for our reptiles -- both patients and education ambassadors. These lights are especially important during the winter months when we cannot take our injured reptiles outside to bask directly in the sun. This is your opportunity to share some sunshine with a turtle or a snake – it will brighten both of your days! Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
Direct Ophthalmoscope Cobalt Head
This specialized ocular head will allow the Center’s veterinary staff to visualize corneal ulcers on the surface of a bird’s eye. The cobalt light will cause any penetration of the cornea to glow bright yellow after a dye application indicating trauma. We currently do not have this diagnostic tool and feel it will make a substantial difference our teaching and medical program. Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
When working with small wildlife patients, it is essential to continuously listen to the animal’s pulse [heartbeat] while they are under general anesthesia. This beat reassures the clinician and veterinary technician that all is well. If the rate increases or decreases, we need to react quickly to evaluate the depth of anesthesia or the patient’s general condition to correct any problems before they become critical. This package includes two Doppler probes specifically designed for smaller patients. While some surgeons prefer to listen to Beethoven while in surgery, we prefer the constant lub-dub lub-dub indicating all is well! Generously donated by Ms. Mary Huff
Midland GXT 1000 VP4 Radio Pack
After several years of hard use and job-related abuse (honestly ... the bear chewed it!) our two-way radios are nearing extinction. Our original radios are no longer manufactured, so we'd like to switch to a new brand that cuts down on disposable battery use. These radios are used by all hospital staff and students to communicate daily activities and occasionally notify colleagues that someone is locked in an enclosure! We would like to acquire 10 sets (20 radios) in total. Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
See-through storage cabinets are essential in a surgery suite to keep the area clean and for quick retrieval of equipment during a procedure. Our current cabinets were scavenged seven years ago by Dr. Dave and Dr. Pete who found them in a derelict laboratory, strapped them to the roof of a mini-van using telephone cable, and drove them across the Blue Ridge Mountains to their new home at the Center. Good times. Sadly, constant use has taken a toll on the poor wall furniture and the cabinets will soon need to be retired for a second time. The Center would like to acquire three new shelves ($500 each) to replace the aging models. If you would like to see a veterinary technician jump for joy, please choose this item! Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
How do we move 16 feisty bear cubs from one pen to another, after obtaining their weights, checking out their physical condition, and scanning their microchips? By darting them first! In November 2013, the WCV vet team will need to move our bear herd into the new bear complex and in preparation, we’ve determined that we need to upgrade some of our darting equipment. This package includes medications to sedate the bears, appropriate needles to deliver the drugs safely, and a replacement pistol head as our 12-year-old model is no longer holding its charge. This equipment will allow our team to effectively move our bears between enclosures and dart them for release in January 2014! Generously donated by Critter Nation!
While we regularly clean and hose out our outdoor animal enclosures, deep cleaning with a pressure washer is occasionally necessary. The Center would like to acquire a heavy-duty pressure power washer that will be used to dislodge even the most stubborn mess. Generously donated by Critter Nation in honor of Power Washer Wednesday!
UVB Reptile Bulbs
UVB florescent bulbs are essential in maintaining bone physiology in captive reptiles by promoting the synthesis of vitamin D. Bulbs are specifically manufactured for captive reptile enclosures but the essential UVB coating is only effective for six months. Our hospital currently spends $500 every six months to purchase lights for our reptiles -- both patients and education ambassadors. These lights are especially important during the winter months when we cannot take our injured reptiles outside to bask directly in the sun. This is your opportunity to share some sunshine with a turtle or a snake – it will brighten both of your days! So far, $500 has been donated by a generous wildlife enthusiast to purchase bulbs for our reptiles!
Continuing Education Fund
The Center is very proud to have licensed and certified professionals on our staff. Each year our veterinarians, veterinary technician, and wildlife rehabilitators are required to attend recognized conferences in order to maintain their credentials. In addition to obtaining continuing education, our staff members, whenever possible, try to present at these conferences to help educate others and share our experiences. While this is not a physical item for our hospital, we are seeking ongoing funds to help support our professional staff and their ability to contribute to wildlife health. So far, $1,000 has been donated by a generous wildlife enthusiast to support this fund!
Maxie Deluxe 60HD Live Trap
Let’s face it … bear cubs are fast! On the rare occasion that a bear cub makes a premature attempt at freedom, they usually head for the nearest tree. Once in the tree, chemical immobilization by darting becomes a challenge. Left alone, the cub will eventually come down where it is more easily captured. The Wildlife Center has purchased two of two heavy-duty live traps to capture cubs. Baiting with fried chicken and bacon … how could they resist? This trapping set-up will also be employed in our new bear cub enclosure to help capture cubs prior to release. Two traps generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
Patient Enrichment Package
Caring for injured patients in captivity is necessary but has its drawbacks. It is important to provide enrichment to captive animals to ward off boredom, stimulate learning opportunities, and to provide exercises for both the mind and the body in preparation for release into the wild. Our rehabilitation staff would like to increase captive enrichment opportunities for our patients and are seeking funds to purchase selected supplies. Some of these items include: mirrors, Jolly Balls, Kong products, kiddie pools, rawhides/bones, bird toys/baths/feeders, opossum wheels, etc. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast in honor of Ed Clark's birthday.
Portable Anesthetic Unit
While most of our patient anesthesia is performed in the hospital, some of our patients are too large to easily move. Black bear immobilization often involves repeated doses of sedatives administered in the muscle to keep the bear asleep while the medical or surgical procedure is conducted. Gas anesthesia following the initial immobilization would give the veterinarian more control of the sedation, is less detrimental on the kidneys, and would allow the procedure to take place in our outdoor enclosures. In 2012, the Center admitted 17 bears and almost all of them had to be sedated during their stay. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast!
V.A.C. Therapy System
Welcome to the latest technological advance in wound healing! The Vacuum Assisted Closure (V.A.C.) Therapy System was originally designed for wound care in humans but recently it has successfully been used to decrease healing time in animals By delivering negative pressure (a vacuum) at the wound site through a patented dressing, the wound edges are drawn together, infectious materials are removed, and granulation tissue is promoted at the cellular level. This product can be used on many wildlife patients. Best of all, the manufacturer will be providing the suction system at no cost because we are a non-profit teaching hospital -- a $10,000 value! To capitalize on this offer, we are seeking funds to purchase disposable dressing, canisters, and hoses. Generously donated by Pam Reaves!
All patients within the hospital must be weighed each time they are handled in order to make sure they are not losing weight while they heal from their injuries. Like our patients, scales come in a range of sizes. Small scales can be used to accurately weigh hummingbirds while larger scales are more appropriate for eagles and foxes. Frequent use and movement of our scales mean that they must be replaced on a regular basis. Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
BiteBusters are unique gloves designed to prevent sharp and pointy teeth and talons from penetrating through and injuring the animal handler. These gloves can also be disinfected which is incredibly important given the sick animals that we house at the Center. With generous support from the Gerner Family and other wildlife enthusiasts, we've been able to acquire several pairs of these amazing gloves to protect or staff and our patients!
GoPro Hero3 camera
The GoPro camera is a well-designed portable video camera –and both our veterinary and outreach teams are atwitter about possible applications. We envision using this camera to film surgeries and medical techniques for student training … to highlight patients and their ailments as part of the Center’s conservation agenda … to record Center events and tours [think of Amanda-cam as she walks around the Center. In addition to the camera, we’d like to purchase several accessories (tripod mount, LCD attachment, head strap) to optimize the recording and viewing experience. Generously donated by GN and other Critter Cam enthusiasts!
Bat Rehabilitation Package
Bats are the second most diverse mammal group on the planet and, relative to their size, the longest lived! Bat populations presently are experiencing a sharp decline from White-Nose Syndrome, the most devastating wildlife disease in North America in recorded history. Last year our veterinary team admitted 75 bats representing four species and all age groups. To best care for these amazing animals, our rehabilitators would like to replenish our bat supplies for 2013. This package includes formula specific for feeding young bats, appropriate soft-sided enclosures, humidifiers to best care for their sensitive skin, puppets to act as surrogates for young bats, and mealworms for hungry adults! This package should last us the entire year. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast!
Proper lighting is important for every surgery. New ceiling-mounted surgical lamps are able to focus bright light directly over the surgical field thus allowing for better visualization during a procedure. During surgery, the last thing a surgeon wants to concentrate on is whether he/she can see the patient! Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
Reptariums are mesh enclosures that are used to house a variety of delicate patients. While originally designed for chameleon breeders, our rehab staff thinks they are ideal for songbirds as the soft sides absorb the impact of collisions, and feather damage is kept to a minimum compared to hardware cloth enclosures. The larger enclosures are also ideal for flying hummingbirds! Reptariums come in a variety of sizes (22 - 260 gallons) and prices. Our hospital wishes to purchase an assortment reptariums to meet our patient needs. Generously donated by The Clayton Family!
Ooh la la the French make great surgical equipment! FESSA stands for “Fixateur Externe du Service de Santé des Armées” and is a pin-and-bar apparatus used to stabilize fractures in very small bones. The Wildlife Center veterinarians have been using FESSA’s for the past year and have fallen in love with their versatility and application in very small patients. We are currently running a special on broken raptors and we’re running out of materials with which to fix them. This wish list item could be used immediately and will last a long time since we can recycle the bars to use on new patients. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast!
Flexible Endoscope Adaptor
Last year with help from Chase Community Giving and your votes, the WCV hospital was able to purchase an incredible endoscope system that allows us to see inside our patients in order to diagnose potential problems. To get the biggest bang for our buck, we decided to refurbish our two older flexible endoscopes as they were compatible with the new camera and monitor system. Sadly (just look at poor Dr. Dana) , we need an adaptor to attach the older endoscopes to the new camera and monitor. With this adaptor, we will be able to see and record images from inside our patient and make it possible for our many students to watch at the same time! Thanks to the generous support from members of “Critter Nation”, this item was purchased through the "GN Reveal/Monkey Business" campaign!
Super Talon Animal Catcher
Please help -- a Canada Goose is in need of your support! It has come to our attention that a local Canada Goose with a wing injury is in trouble. The goose has been sited on a local pond since the summer and cannot fly away. Despite an incredible effort to capture the bird over the past two months, the goose remains at large and winter (and an ice-covered pond) is looming. A good Samaritan and waterfowl lover has arranged for permanent residence at a reputable waterfowl sanctuary should she be able to capture the goose and providing that the injury will not lead to a poor quality of life in captivity. In order to catch the goose in the near future, we are trying to purchase a net gun that will allow us to immobilize the goose before it has a chance to run into the pond. We already have a pledge to pay for 50% of the new equipment! The net gun will also be useful for future immobilization of other injured animals from the wild. Oh Canada, please help the goose! Thanks to the generous support from members of “Critter Nation” and STAC Goose Lady, the Super Talon Animal Catcher was purchased after a one-hour campaign!
We are well on our way to having nine functional young animal incubators in our Intensive Care Room! These incubators are essential for keeping young birds and mammals warm while they are regaining strength and developing. In order to increase efficiency and safety in the ICU, we are seeking three incubator stands that will allow us to easily wheel the incubators from location to location without disturbing the patients. Included with these stands is a lifetime supply of smiles from our rehabilitation staff! Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
When young animals arrive at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, they are often hypothermic and need to be warmed. Before their fur or feathers grow long enough to keep them warm, rehabilitators need to provide supplemental heat that would normally be provided by the mother or from the body heat of siblings. Pediatric brooders (www.pediatric.com) are designed to provide the proper heat and humidity needed to care for most young wildlife species. Through the generosity of many wildlife enthusiasts, including Critter Nation, and in memory of Ms. Barbara Butzgy, the Center has been able to purchase ten of these units.
Pediatric Stethoscopes and textbook on Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine
Thanks to a very thoughtful donor, our hospital has two brand-new pediatric stethoscopes that we can use on the majority of our wildlife patients! These new stethoscopes will replace broken ones that we’ve been tenderly nursing for the past 10 years. The clinic stethoscopes are used by our vets, vet technicians, and students to evaluate the heart and respiratory system of many of our smaller patients. In addition, we have been given the latest edition of Zoo and Wildlife Animal Medicine. This will be a great resource for our veterinary team and for the students we train.
Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiasts in celebration of Dr. Dave’s birthday 2012!
Zinger 4000 Animal Crate
This will likely not come as a surprise, but bears are strong! The tiny cubs can be easily and safely kept in a standard plastic dog crate however the larger, stronger, meaner yearling could eat these enclosures for breakfast should they so choose! Colleagues who regularly handle these cubs have recommended the Zinger animal crate series as they are strong, light, and durable. The Wildlife Center of Virginia was able to acquire two of these crates in July 2012 so that bears, and staff, are kept safe and sound! Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts!
Pencil Grip Drill
For the last six years, Wildlife Center vets have been using a donated pencil grip drill made by Charlottesville-based surgical equipment company MicroAire. Sadly, after heavy use, the drill is now broken beyond repair and we are seeking funds to replace this essential tool used in almost every orthopedic surgery. A favorite of our veterinary team, this drill is used to drive pins into broken bone, burr away unwanted callus material, and drill holes for wires in a speedy and accurate manner. Thanks to the generous support from members of “Critter Nation”, the drill was purchased after a three-day campaign!
Wild raptors see their human caregivers as giant predators and get very stressed when being handled for physical exams. Raptor hoods have been used for centuries to decrease stress by temporarily blocking the bird’s ability to see. Our hospital would like to acquire a large selection of raptor hoods for the diversity of patients we treat; ranging from very small American kestrels to our largest bald and gold eagles. Each hood can be disinfected between patients and we plan to replace our older (and crumbling) hoods that are now over ten years old! Thanks to the generous support of several wildlife enthusiasts, our hospital has been able to purchase a set of 20 raptor hoods!
Biochemistry VetScan VS2 Rotors
At long last, our center has been able to purchase an Abaxis VetScan VS2 biochemisty analyzer. With this tool, we are able to determine a patient’s specific organ function while only collecting the tiniest blood sample. Traditionally we required between 1 -2 mls of blood to send to an outside lab with expected results in 48 hours. Now all we need is 0.1 mls of blood and we can get our answer in three minutes! This means we can quickly assess a patient’s health and respond accordingly. Each analysis requires a rotor that contains chemicals to sample the blood. While we will continue to use our traditional (and much cheaper) means of obtaining biochemistries for larger animals in stable health, this new tool will be used for patients of all sizes requiring emergency care. Two packs have been generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast to date.
Over the years and with the support of generous donors, the hospital has been able to acquire a cautery unit used to stop the unwanted flow of blood from vessels; usually during surgery. This tool has been instrumental in many surgeries and has helped save countless lives. We are now running low on some of the disposable attachments for the machine including monopolar grounding pads and bipolar forceps. These pieces are used to conduct electricity and pinpoint the area where blood flow must be stopped. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
In order to facilitate the Outreach department’s mission to educate the public about wildlife and the environment, the Center would like to purchase a digital camera – and retire Amanda’s personal camera from use by Center staff. The camera will be used for taking photos of patients and education animals, and for recording short videos when needed. Help the Center to bring you more digital content by donating funds toward this purchase. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiasts in honor of Davis Roger’s birthday.
Radiosurgery uses high-frequency electromagnetic [radio] waves to cut and cauterize tissue. This technique enables veterinarians to make precise incisions with reduced risks for patients of bleeding and infection. Radiosurgical procedures are also advantages over traditional scalpel incisions in that they reduce post-operative discomfort, produce less scar tissue, reduce surgical time, and provide advanced healing for the patient. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
We admit some really wild animals at the Center and in order to handle them safely, we need to restrain and sedate them so we can examine and treat their injuries. Squeeze cages allow our staff to temporarily pin the animal in a cage, thus allowing us to safely administer sedatives of other medications. These cages also protect our staff from bite and scratch wounds. We would like to obtain several models and sizes for the diversity of wild mammals that we treat. Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts.
Therapeutic lasers are now widely used in human and veterinary medicine and offer a wide array of patient benefits. Clinical studies and trials have indicated that low level laser therapies offer the following beneficial effects when used on injuries: anti-inflammation, anti-pain, accelerated tissue growth repair and cell growth, improved vascular activity, increased metabolic activity, reduced fibrous tissue formation (scabs), improved nerve function and healing, increased localized immune response, and faster wound healing. Needless to say, this technology will not only decrease the time needed to recover from wounds but also reduce patient stress, and time in captivity. By utilizing this therapy, our hospital will reduce the number of medications needed to be administered to our patients. This technology has been most effective against wounds and tissue damage; the number one reason wild animal are admitted for rehabilitation. Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts.
Turtle Care Package
We admit some really wild animals at the Center and in order to handle them safely, we need to restrain and sedate them so we can examine and treat their injuries. Squeeze cages allow our staff to temporarily pin the animal in a cage thus allowing us to safely administer sedatives of other medications. These cages also protect our staff from bite and scratch wounds. We would like to obtain several models and sizes for the diversity of wild mammals that we treat. Generously donated by Dr. Adam Naylor.
Motorola Talkabout 250 Radios
Have you ever been stuck in an enclosure with a great-horned owl after someone accidentally locked the door? How about fox? A squirrel? Well, our staff certainly has; sometimes for an hour before their calls for help are answered! Our hospital would like to purchase radios that are compatible with others we have at the center so that we can ensure better communication and prevent lengthy waits after accidental lock-ins! Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Fowler Banding Pliers
At long last, the Wildlife Center of Virginia will be banding all raptors prior to release! In order to accommodate the range of raptor leg sizes, we will need several sizes of banding pliers; 3 pliers in total. By banding our raptors, we are adding to the pool of information already being gathered by the ornithology community which will help to determine species life span, migration, and movement within its habitat.Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts in honor of Randy Huwa’s birthday.
Micropipette – 1-10 microliters
Sometimes in wildlife medicine, we need to be creative to solve difficult problems. One of the many problems we face is how to measure and deliver medications to our smallest patients. If the volume of medication is less than 0.1ml, our standard syringes are inadequate. We are seeking to purchase a laboratory tool called a micropipette that can accurately measure these small volumes. The tool can also be used over and over again thus saving on our trash output. We hope that with this purchase, we can more precisely dose our hummingbirds, frogs, neonatal mammals, and nestling songbirds. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Endoscopic technology significantly increases the ability to diagnose soft tissue injuries and ingested foreign bodies [such as fish hooks]. It also provides a valuable diagnostic tool in evaluating the respiratory track in birds and for taking biopsies in a variety of wildlife patients. Eagles often scavenge dead fish with attached fish hooks and loons commonly pick lead sinkers off the bottoms of lakes. This fishing tackle can remain within the stomach but more often punctures through the stomach and damages other vital organs. An endoscope is an essential tool needed to visualize and capture hooks, sinkers, and other foreign bodies still located in the stomach. Veterinarians can also determine where the hooks are located and how best to remove them. Purchased with support from a Chase Community Giving grant.
10.8V Cordless Dremel + specialized bits
In the wild, raptors keep their beaks and talons “trimmed” by rubbing them on rocks, limbs, and bone. This prevents overgrowth which may interfere with eating or capturing prey. In captivity, this natural behavior is not always performed and staff must trim the beak and talons using a dremel tool; a process called coping. A cordless dremel would allow our staff to treat the animals in their outdoor enclosures rather than bringing them to the clinic. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Avian Critical Care Chamber
Increased oxygen concentration and warm temperatures have been proven to increase the success rate when working with critically ill patients. This chamber can provide sick birds (and other species) with both factors all while housing the animal in a low-stress atraumatic chamber. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast in memory of Trudy, Donna, Buzz, and Legacy Lady.
A water tank for oiled and injured waterfowl: Whenever ducks, geese, loons, or other water birds are out of their element for extended periods of time, their feathers lose their ability to repel water. As a result, water seeps under the feathers causing hypothermia and loss of buoyancy. To prevent this condition, water birds that are recovering from being oiled or from other injuries must swim for gradually increasing lengths of time in water that is deep enough to float and dive. Currently we swim these species in our hospital sink which is limiting for the bird’s rehabilitation. This 1000- gallon tank, made of oil-resistant material, will dramatically improve our ability to help these birds. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
40 Diopter Lens
Eye trauma is one of the most common injuries to birds of prey and a thorough eye examination is an essential part of every intake physical exam. In order to visualize the back of the eye, veterinarians use indirect lenses that work in conjunction with a headset to magnify the retina. The Wildlife Center of Virginia has been very fortunate to acquire an indirect headset and two handheld lenses but is seeking a 40 diopter lens in order to adequately examine the smallest eyes such as those of the American kestrel. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Medical Oxygen Concentrator
Elevated oxygen concentration has been proven to increase the success rate when working with critically ill patients. While we use medical grade tank oxygen for most surgical procedures, an oxygen concentrator uses room air to deliver medical grade oxygen directly into the enclosure housing the patient. These devices can be easily wheeled to the patient thus decreasing handling stress. In addition, oxygen concentrators do not have ongoing refill expenses and thus are more cost effective over time. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
TeleDart CO2 Injection Rifle
This is a high-powered immobilization rifle used to dart large wildlife species (deer, bear). This rifle will be used to immobilize wildlife up to 30 meters away, maximizing the safety for all participants in the capture. The rifle will also be used to train wildlife veterinarians and veterinary students in safe capture and restraint techniques. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Please help care for our patients and our staff! At the Wildlife Center of Virginia, our patients come with an array of “weapons” that include teeth, talons, and sharp beaks. These make wearing gloves necessary to safely handle the wild animals in our care. Leather handling gloves come in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses: thin wrist-length gloves used for handling small birds of prey and small mammals, thicker elbow-length gloves used to capture large owls and large rodents, and the thickest up-to-the shoulder length eagle handling gloves. Teeth, talons, and beaks take their toll on our equipment and after heavy use, no amount of sewing can repair the holes. By ordering a full set of new gloves, we can obtain deep discounts from the supplier. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Avian Critical Care Chamber
Increased oxygen concentration and warm temperatures have been proven to increase the success rate when working with critically ill patients. This chamber can provide sick birds with both factors while housing the animal in a low-stress atraumatic chamber. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Digital Direct Radiology
Digital radiography is one of the fastest growing technologies in veterinary medicine. A cost-benefit analysis indicates that a computed radiography system will best fit our needs. Major benefits to switching to digital radiography include:
- Decreased cost over time:The need to purchase expensive radiograph film and chemicals will no longer exist. In addition, the cost of disposable materials will no longer be a factor for teaching or experimenting with new exposure techniques.
- Increased Quality: The quality of images produced by digital radiography is far greater than traditional radiography. With this modality, images of even tiny patients such as hummingbirds can be evaluated with great accuracy.
- Time and Resource Saving: This system will decrease processing time for veterinarians and technicians. More importantly, this technology will reduce our environmental footprint by eliminating the use of processing chemicals used in traditional radiography.
- Online consulting:When radiographs are taken in a digital format, files can be shared with anyone who has access to the internet. This list includes government wildlife agencies, teaching institutions, at-home wildlife rehabilitators, consulting veterinarians, etc. In addition, this technology will allow Wildlife Center veterinarians to consult with board-certified experts on difficult cases, thereby maximizing the quality of the care delivered to the patient.
Generously donated by a group of wildlife enthusiasts.
This piece of ophthalmic equipment is used to observe changes in the inner eye structures that cannot be readily visualized using standard direct methods. With this tool, the veterinarian can diagnose cataracts in the lens at a much earlier stage of development and painful ulcers on the outer cornea layer of the eye. Due to the large number of ophthalmic injuries the Center sees in avian patients, this is a very important diagnostic tool. Generously donated by the estate of Dr. Cynthia Wheeler.
Indirect Ophthalmic Headset
This device accompanies the indirect lenses to aid in the visualization of the retina and inner portions of the eye. The headset functions to both magnify the image created by the indirect lenses and also to provide a light source that does not require a “third hand” to hold it. In addition, the headset has two mirrors that project the image to the right and left of the clinician, thus allowing students to observe the eye as well. Generously donated by the estate of Dr. Cynthia Wheeler.
Electronic Thermometer – Rechargeable Unit
Monitoring a patient’s body temperature under anesthesia is a critical element of any surgical procedure. For small wildlife and avian patients, maintaining a normal internal temperature is even more important as they lose body heat more quickly than larger animals. The best method of monitoring a patient’s temperature while under surgical drapes is by placing a small probe down the animal’s throat and reading the results on a monitor kept away from the surgery table. This electronic thermometer will do just that! Generously donated by wildlife enthusiasts in memory of Buzz.
Ultrasound is an important imaging technology that allows the clinician to visualize soft tissue structures that do not show up well on X-rays. This technology is most useful for assessing the structure and health of abdominal organs (liver, spleen, and kidneys), the heart, and muscle tissue. It also increases the precision and decreases the risk for the patient undergoing biopsies as it allows the veterinarian to visualize where the tip of the needle can be safely placed. Units generously donated by Albemarle Veterinary Hospital and University of Virginia Medical Ultrasound Machine Finds New Life Scanning Furry, Feathered Patients at Wildlife Center, UVa Today.
Blood Lead Analyzer
The Wildlife Center of Virginia has seen a startling increase in the number of eagles and other raptors arriving at the hospital showing clinical signs of acute lead toxicity. Eagles can acquire lead either by ingesting lead-contaminated prey, or by gunshot trauma. In either instance, a medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment regime must be started immediately if the bird is to survive. Blood lead analyzers are available to give fast, inexpensive answers that allow the clinician to tailor the treatment to the dose of lead the bird received. By evaluating blood lead levels over time, the success rate of the treatment can also be evaluated. Purchased with grant support from The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.
Orthopedic Instrument Pack
Bald Eagles are larger than almost all other avian patients dealt with at the Wildlife Center; they often require specialized tools or unique tool sizes that are expensive to obtain. The complexity of surgical fixation is also unique to Bald Eagles as the surgeon must compensate for the immense strength of these birds in order to yield positive results. An orthopedic pack provides Center vets with a range of tool sizes needed to operate successfully on Bald Eagles. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
A Tonovet is a tool to measure the pressure within the eye. This tool is specifically designed for animals and is very useful in measuring the degree of trauma to an injured eye. As eyes are often damaged during collisions with vehicles and other man-made structures, a thorough ocular examination is essential when determining the release potential of the patient. Generously donated by a supporter of the Wildlife Center.
Monopolar/Bipolar Cautery Unit
A cautery unit is used in surgery to stop the unwanted flow of blood from vessels. The device precisely burns the vessels and takes a fraction of the time compared to the traditional method of tying the vessels off with suture material. The monopolar aspect of this device has the dual function to surgically cut the skin and tissue, cauterizing blood vessels along the way. This device can be used on all wildlife patients and greatly reduces surgery time and associated complications. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Computerized Teaching Microscope
This microscope not only allows the veterinary technician to perform diagnostic procedures but also allows students to observe the samples at the same time. This microscope is a powerful training tool and can be used to study blood, perform urinalyses, fecals, cytology and elements of parasitology. As the training program for both veterinary and veterinary technician students has recently increased in size and volume, this tool will be in use on a daily basis. Generously donated by anonymous supporters of the Wildlife Center.T
Indirect ophthalmic lenses (20 + 28 dioptera)
Indirect ophthalmic lenses are the best way to visualize and magnify the back of the eye, allowing the clinician to see important structures such as the retina, optic nerve, and pectin. It is extremely important to fully examine the retina, especially in raptors, as any damage can render the bird blind or with severe visual deficits. As raptors need the use of both eyes (binocular vision) to find and obtain prey, lesions that go undiagnosed likely lead to starvation in the wild. Generously donated by J. Phillip Pickett, DVM, Diplomate, ACVO.
Intravenous Fluid Warmer
The most common cause of injury to Bald Eagles presenting to the Wildlife Center of Virginia is traumatic injury. These birds often have low blood pressure from either blood loss or from dehydration and intra-venous (IV) fluids are an essential component of their medical treatment. In order to not exacerbate or create hypothermia, IV fluids should be administered at physiologic body temperatures. This piece of equipment warms the fluid line before it reaches the patient. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
This piece of veterinary equipment allows intravenous fluids to be administered slowly at a constant rate to sick and debilitated wildlife patients. Wildlife species become highly stressed when restrained for long periods of time. This machine can be hidden outside of the enclosure and fluid/medications are pumped through sterile tubing into the animal’s veins in order to provide critical care. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
During orthopedic surgeries, pins are placed into the bone to stabilize the fracture thereby allowing the bones to heal. Traditionally, manual hand drills have been used in avian medicine to repair these fractures but current research shows that they can create micro fractures around the pins. These small fractures compromise pin placement causing the entire surgical apparatus to fail. Handheld power pin drivers decrease torque when placing pins allowing a stronger repair, a shorter healing time, and a minimal hospital stay before being released back into the wild. Generously donated by the MicroAire Surgical Instruments.
Floor scale (up to 500 lbs)
On average, the Wildlife Center receives three to four Black Bears a year. While some cubs weigh only 20 pounds, other bears weigh 150 pounds – or more. In order to correctly calculate medication dosages, an accurate body weight must be taken. As large bears cannot be placed on bathroom scales and they are often too heavy for one person to lift, guesstimates are often performed. A floor platform scale often used in small-animal practice will allow the clinician to more precisely obtain a body weight and provide better medical care for the patient. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
This all-purpose incubator is designed to grow bacteria sampled from infected sites on the patient. When the veterinarian suspects a bacterial infection from the wound, surgical site, or discharge coming from a sick animal, a sterile swab is used to collect a sample which is then transferred onto a growth media. The media is then placed in the incubator that provides constant heat needed for bacterial growth. After several days, the presence or absence of bacteria is noted. If present, the colonies undergo further testing to identify the species and susceptibility to different antibiotics. By performing this diagnostic at the Wildlife Center, we can quickly determine the cause of infection and treat the patient accordingly. This will save both time and the expense of sending the culture to an outside laboratory. In addition, the ability to culture bacteria within the hospital allows our Licensed Veterinary Technicians to train veterinary and veterinary technician students in these common techniques. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Avian/Exotic Anesthesia Workstation
Due to their sensitive respiratory system, it is extremely common for birds to stop breathing while undergoing general anesthesia. In order to provide oxygen to the patient, a person must squeeze a reservoir bag every 10 seconds throughout the surgery, often for several hours. This anesthesia workstation contains a ventilator that breaths automatically for the patient while simultaneously warming the air and delivering the anesthetic gas. By attaching this workstation to our current equipment, we can provide more consistent support. Generously Donated In Memory of Patrick T. Goff.
Multi-function anesthetic monitors
This anesthetic monitor is connected to the patient while under anesthesia and is used to observe various physiological parameters. This monitor has the ability to measure heart rate and function, the efficiency and capability of the respiratory system to deliver oxygen to the body’s organs and remove waste gas, monitor core body temperature, record pulse and blood pressure. With this information, veterinarians can respond quickly to slight deviations in these parameters before permanent damage to the body can occur. Generously Donated In Memory of Patrick T. Goff.
Hot Dog Warmer
While under anesthesia for surgical procedures, birds and small mammals are less able to maintain a constant body temperature than when awake. This induced hypothermia impairs the patient’s ability to recover from the surgery; as a result, many animals die in this critical period. A Hot Dog Warmer is a medical device used to conduct heat from a cushion beneath the patient during surgery. What sets this machine apart from other methods of warming patients is that it can be set to 41 degrees Celsius, the normal body temperature of birds. This device can also be used on all avian and mammalian patients to counteract shock and hypothermia in order to stabilize them for medical treatment. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
UV Light Meters
UV light is an essential component of successfully maintaining reptiles in captivity. UVB is used to produced Vitamin D in the body which is involved a variety of physiological processes. Specific UVA and UVB bulbs must be used in reptile enclosures in order to ensure adequate exposure to these light spectrums. Over time, these bulbs loose their UV coating and no longer produce the appropriate UV concentrations. For this reason it is importat to regulary measure the UVA and UVB output of reptile bulbs. These meters will allow WCV staff to provide the appropirate lighting condidtions needed for rehabilitating reptiles. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.
Indoor Reptile Enclosures
The Wildlife Center of Virginia has seen an increased number of reptile patients. These patients heal quicker and easier when a precise set of environmental conditions are met. New caging specifically designed for reptiles will allow us to provide the proper temperature, lighting, and humidity to these patients therefore increasing their ability to heal and decreasing the length of hospitalization before release. Eventually, the Center would like to acquire 14 units to care for a variety of reptiles including the Eastern Box Turtle; a species of special concern in Virginia. Through the generosity of wildlife enthusiasts, the Center has been able to purchase fourteen of these units.
Micropipette – 10-200 microliters
Sometimes in wildlife medicine, you need to be creative in order to solve difficult problems. One of the many problems we face is how to measure and deliver medications to our smallest patients. If the volume of medication is less than 0.1ml, our standard syringes are inadequate. We are seeking to purchase a laboratory tool called a micropipette that can accurately measure these small volumes. The tool can also be used over and over again thus saving on our trash output. We hope that with this purchase, we can more precisely dose our hummingbirds, frogs, neonatal mammals, and nestling songbirds. Generously donated by a wildlife enthusiast.