As many of you know, we treat wildlife at the Animal Clinic of Morris Plains. We do this free of charge as a service to the community and to the wildlife itself. At any given time, there will be a number of animals in our wildlife ward. These animals are kept separate from the domestic pets as we do no want to wildlife to become accustomed or acclimated to the presence of dogs and cats which are a threat to their lives. After our medical treatment, these animals are either returned to the wild or transferred to wildlife rehabilitators for longer term treatment.
One current wildlife patient in our care is a female mallard duck. It presented unable to fly and with a lameness of one leg. The patient was sedated for x-rays and blood work. X-rays showed an old fracture of the left tibia which although stable had healed in a slightly abnormal position. In addition, there was a metallic foreign body present in the abdomen.
Due to this metallic object, a test was submitted for blood lead levels. The test came back showing very high levels of blood lead likely from ingestion of this object. We have begun ?chelation? therapy which will involve a series of injections which will hopefully resolve the problem. We are hoping that the inability to fly is a result of the lead intoxication which may resolve once this problem is treated.
We also saw two pet ducks today. They were in for suture removal following surgery to repair some significant wounds sustained in a dog attack. They looked great and will be happy to return to their pond after about 10 days of restricted activity.
Just another day at ACMP!
Paul Sedlacek, DVM