Immature bald eagle hit by truck

This young bird came to us from the Anchorage landfill. There's easy picking for these guys when food is being a little hard to get. With all of the heavy equipment operating there, it's not the safest place for them to feed or hunt. This guy got hit by a truck. The accident banged him up pretty good. He got a cracked beak and a broken left humerus. Cindy fixed his beak right away, but he had to wait a day or so before his wing was repaired. He needed an operation.
Most operations are done after hours. That's when there's less traffic and interruptions. It's also when we can borrow some tools and equipment from Pet Stop, a local veterinary clinic where Dr. Todd Palmatier works. Most things we have available at Bird TLC, but some of the more expensive equipment we don't.
Not that long ago we had to take these birds elsewhere to operate on them. But with generous donations of equipment, there's not much we can't perform at TLC. X-ray's are the only thing we can't that I can think of off hand. Just preparing a room for the equipment is expensive. Both Pet Stop and PET ER help out with the x-ray's.
Here 4 stainless steel pins were placed in this guys humerus. They will be removed after the bone heals. Todd is putting on the bird what is called an external fixitor. The pins protrude through the birds bones and sticks out through the skin.

An epoxy putty is then mixed up. It's very flexible for about 3-5 minutes and then it dries really hard. It's placed on the pins to keep them from traveling up, down or all around during the healing process.

When the bones has healed, the putty can be broken off with wire cutters and the pins removed with out having to cut into the bird again.

The wing is now wrapped up to protect it from the bird, the bird from it and to hold the wing in position until it heals. Todd then uses a laser treatment to help the healing process.

As of the last report I got, the bird is standing and eating on it's own. X-rays will be taken in a couple weeks to make sure the bone has healed and the fixitor is removed.



For more photographs of the operation (a little bloody), go to the Bird TLC SmugMug operations gallery.
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