White Ibis Makes Staggering Recovery

provided by Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife

A sad truth of wildlife rehabilitation is that not every animal will survive. Some animals arrive in such a poor condition or with an irrepairable injury that euthanasia is the only option available to prevent it from any further suffering. In other cases, treatments are unsuccessful and the animal succumbs to the injury or illness. But sometimes patients that are severely debilitated respond amazing to treatment and make a recovery when it seemed impossible.

On June 20, a white ibis (#21-3440) arrived to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) after it was found at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club on Sanibel Island. The bird was in such rough shape, it couldn’t even hold it’s head up. Its back end had become so stained with feces from being unable to move it had developed sores.

Based on its symptoms and clinical signs, veterinarians suspected the bird may be suffering from toxicosis such as that caused by brevetoxins (red tide), cyanotoxins (blue green algae) or botulism. They immediately placed an IV catheter to provide the bird with fluids and a lipid emulsion treatment to help counter any possible toxins in its body. The sores were cleaned and carefully bandaged. The next few days required careful wound management to ensure the wounds did not become infected and the bird was still able to defecate properly.

By the morning after its admission, the bird started to show improvement and was able to hold its head up. The following day it was able to sit up on its hocks. After just three days of care and treatment the ibis was standing on its own.

It continued to improve and on June 29, just nine days after admission, the ibis was deemed fully recovered. It was released back to the wild yesterday looking (and likely feeling) a thousand times better.

If you see an animal that is injured or ill, it is best to get that animal to a wildlife hospital or licensed wildlife rehabilitator, such as CROW, as soon as possible. In many cases, the experts can provide the right treatment to get that animal back to a healthy state and returned to the wild, but even if the injury is too severe or the illness has progressed beyond recovery, wildlife veterinarians will be able to ease the animal’s suffering.

THIS WEEK AT CROW (6/24-6/30):
There were 103 new patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital including seven burrowing owls, 10 Virginia opossums, four northern raccoons, two northern cardinals, three red-shouldered hawks, a great blue heron, and a loggerhead sea turtle hatchling. Recent Releases include a magnificent frigatebird, a double-crested cormorant, a mottled duck, a pileated woodpecker, and a Florida box turtle. Check out a full list of CROW’s current patients and recent releases.

Wildlife doesn’t have health insurance! Your donations help cover the costs of medical and rehabilitative care for over 5,000 patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital each year.

Want to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation? Stop by CROW’s Visitor Education Center, 3883 Sanibel Captiva Rd.

About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond.  Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to http://www.crowclinic.org. If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.

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