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A harrier was found in Te Horo and brought in to Wildbase hospital. Examination revealed he had fractured his ulna (one of the forearm bones). A figure-of-eight bandage was applied to stabilise the wing and he was started on pain relief and fluids.
The following day radiographs and blood samples were taken. This is done under anaesthetic and means we can clean wounds, collect samples and take accurate x-rays. The radiograph showed that this bird had a broken radius and ulna because he had been shot.
Harriers often suffer due to lead poisoning and it’s not uncommon to see fresh or old shot injuries in harrier. We test in-house harrier blood samples for lead poisoning. This harrier had lead levels within normal limits so didn’t need chelation therapy.
Surgery was performed to repair the fractured radius and ulna using stainless steel pins. He was placed in a figure-of-eight bandage again and put on ‘cage rest’ for four weeks.
While in care he received fluids, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, an injectable opioid and antibiotics. Whole day-old chicks were offered daily and casting and faecals were monitored daily. His wing healed without complication, the hardware removed and he was sent onto the rehabilitator to return his flight fitness before release.
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Last updated on Tuesday 16 August 2016