Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Case of the Month: Blue Heron

At Michigan City Animal Hospital we work with a lot great groups like the Sheriff K9 Officers, the Michigan City Zoo, and we also take in a lot of wild life that are injured or sick. Whenever possible,  we try to repair the wildlife so that they can return to their natural environment.

Recently, we have seen an increased number of birds, including a blue heron brought in by one of the states approved and licensed rehabilitation centers. The blue heron had been found by the DNR in a leg hold trap and had her foot severely damaged. Blue herons’ cannot survive to eat only with only foot, so if we could not save the foot, the bird would need to be euthanized.

There was some damage to all four toes but two of the toes had broken bones and one of the toes had a crushed bone and the circulation had been compromised and that toe had to be removed. The other toe with a broken bone needed to be repaired and would not heal with only a split. It was decided to try and place an intramedualary pin in the broken bone and splint the other toes.  Surgery lasted 90 minutes. The splint was later removed and the bird could now stand on the foot.

On January 16, 2014 the bird was walking wonderfully and released in southern Indiana at Spring Mill State Park. She flew straight across the lake and perched on a tree at a pond with good fishing. Happy ending for this bird.