It seems that these two eagles decided to eat something that they really shouldn't have. What ever it was, was toxic to them and by the time they were discovered, it had really taken it's toll on them. The survivor was so dehydrated that Dr Palmatier couldn't find a vain that would take an iv. We also couldn't turn the bird over for being affraid it would vomit again and drown. So we all got to learn about Intraosseous (IO) Fluid administration. If you have a weak stomach, stop reading now.
Intraosseous (IO) infusion is a recommended route for securing intravascular access in small animals and birds. It is particularly useful when peripheral vessels are very small or collapsed (e.g., with circulatory collapse [shock], and/or cardiac arrest). Because the vessels in the bone are supported by a rigid matrix the IO route remains useful even when all other vessels are collapsed.
Translation, the needle is placed into the bone. In this guys case it's placed in a bone at the right elbow. Just talking about it makes me feel the pain. Any how, this guy needed fluids now and this was our last resort and it worked.
This guy is no way in the clear yet. The catheter was left in the elbow so we could administer more fluids over the weekend. He doesn't support himself yet, but is scooting around some. Cindy got him to eat a few pieces of salmon yesterday, but I wasn't so lucky today. We're using heated iv bags like hot water bottles to keep him warm to get his body temp back up and stable. We were surprised when we found him still alive Friday morning. We're trying everything posible, but the odds aren't in his favor, but he battles on. Keep your feathers crossed for him.
Our toxic eagle didn't make it. Ruth and I picked up another eagle from Kodiak tonight at the airport. When we got back to the clinic we found that he had passed on.