Aug 18 - Aug 24

Thank You Pfizer!

Pfizer, a US pharmaceutical company, has donated six bottles of Vfend, a highly effective antifungal medication used to treat aspergillosis (asper) in raptors (and people) to Blue Mountain Wildlife. This incredibly generous donation has a retail value of $2,200. The Vfend will be given to an adult Bald Eagle with chronic asper who has been treated for two months with itraconazole, another antifungal medication. The itraconazole has brought the disease under control as long as the eagle is given the medication daily, but has not been able to eliminate the fungas. It is hoped that a two month course of Vfend (two bottles of the medicaiton) will cure the eagle of the fungal infection. 

Pfizer Vfend.jpg

Another bottle of Vfend will be used to treat the Osprey who was severely burned when his nest caught fire. He also has chronic asper that has responded to itraconazole, but not been cured. It will be many months before we know if the osprey will be able to grow normal feathers. It is hoped that the Vfend will cure the fungal disease and then the osprey and eagle can be maintained on itraconazole (a less expensive medication) to prevent reinfection. Aspergillus is a fungus that is present in the environment. When birds are stressed by disease or injury they are more susceptible to the fungus. Pfizer's very generous donation has given these two birds, and many future patients, the opportunity to beat this often fatal disease. 

Admissions continued to be slow, but steady this past week. There were three American Kestrels, an emaciated Red-tailed Hawk and     seven nonraptors, including a Great Blue Heron and a small bat (she weighed 4 grams).

A Very Cool Bat - perhaps a Little Brown Bat

The bat was found on the floor in a feed store in Sunnyside Washington. It did not appear to have any injuries and had a great appetite - it could eat 12 regular meal worms in one meal. In case you are wondering, the easiest way to exam a bat is with the help of anesthesia. Although she only weighed 4 grams, the bat's wingspan was more than 8 inches! 

Bat anesthesia.jpg

She most likely was disturbed by human activity, ending up on the floor. She was released in Sunnyside near vineyards and a reservoir - lots of bugs and water. I tried to place her in a very nice tree, but she ended up hanging on a screen in the upper corner of a window. Apparently bats are as uncooperative as birds when it comes to appreciating a suitable release site.

Bat release 1.jpg

Bat Release 2.jpg

Interns in Action

As always, the interns were very busy this week. Below, Emily monitors anesthesia while October examines an extremely emaciated Red-tailed Hawk. The hawk was found Saturday morning in Sumpter Oregon. He was captured and transported to La Grande by Baker City volunteer Bill Hanley. Bill had a 54 mile round trip to Sumpter, then a 40 mile drive to La Grande where he met Bob and I. Its another 50 miles from La Grande to Pendleton. The hawk was in Pendleton by 2:30 Saturday afternoon.


RTHA IV fluids.jpg

He was 50 percent underweight, extremely dehydrated and anemic, with a packed cell volumne of 13 (mid-30's would be normal for a young hawk). A catheter was placed in a jugular vein and fluids were administered. Later that day he was given a blood transfusion using blood donated by the Golden Eagle from Cove (admitted 2 1/2 weeks ago). By the end of the day he was able to stand in the incubator. 

Sunday morning the hawk's packed cell volume had increased to 20. He was given a small dose of IV fluids followed by a second transfusion later in the day. This time the blood donor was Red-tailed Hawk Ruby, a member of BMW's Education Team. A second dose of IV fluids was given in the evening.

The plan is to repeat the procedure on Monday using a third blood donor. The hawk is not out of the woods yet, but we seem to be making progress in learning how to treat extreme emaciation.  

Wallowa Lake State Park

The Education Team will travel to Wallowa Lake on Friday, August 29, for a 1:00 pm program.

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Location: 71046 Appaloosa Lane, Pendleton, Oregon 97801
Phone: 541.278.0215

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