Turn for the worst

BE 05-01 (Lead Bottom) has taken a turn for the worst. After Ruth and I gave BE 05-08 his IV, we noticed BE 05-01 was laying down behind his perch. We removed his perch and examined him in his mew. He was dehydrated and his breathing was labored. Cindy (Rehab Director) was out of town so we called Barbara Doak (semi-retired Rehab Director). Barbara is 81 years young and I wake her up at 7AM. We told her what was happening and she authorized us to give him an IV of 100 ml of lrs.

LB was diagnosed as having a mild case of aspergillosis (asper) a few days ago. Asper is not uncommon in birds that have gone though a lot of stress or severe health changes. However, for him to take a turn just like that is highly unusual. Dr Todd Palmatier, DVM stopped by later in the day and also examined him. Fridays crew, Deann, Shara along with Cindy (who by now had returned) gave another 100 ml of lrs. His labored breathing was not as bad as earlier.

After we all got together and discused the cituation, we hadn't settled what the cause was of the sudden change. On Thursday when we left he looked just fine. He probably dehydrated when he stopped drinking because of his breathing. Asper generally doesn't make the birds cituation change so radically. We researched and couldn't find any known allergic reactions to the meds he's taking for asper. We're hopping that it's some type of airway obstruction that's slowly clearing up. We don't have access to a scope to send down his throat to find out.

After all he's gone through this year, I hope he overcomes this. He has fought so well to overcome the toxic poisoning. Ruth is going in this morning to feed the goshawk she presents. She's going to call me with an update. Keep your feathers crossed.

Ruth just called. His breathing is not as labored, but no other changes.

NOTE: You might be curious as to what the letters and numbers BE 05-01 and BE 05-08 and so on mean. We log all birds that come into Bird TLC and assign them a log number to keep tract of them. Blad Eagles must be on their own log, a requirement of USF&W. BE stands for Bald Eagle, 05 is the year and the next two digits i.e. 01 are how many we've had that year. BE 05-01 was the first Bald Eagle of the year, BE 05-08 was the eighth.

Here's an excellant article on asper from the State of Michigan, Department of Natural Resources.