Even the mightiest birds under our care have routine health exams to ensure they remain in great shape. For the bald eagles, Sequoia, Sucia, Salish, and Cheveyo, this was preventative medicine in action. Having healthy birds allows Head Veterinarian Dr. Allison Case to focus on their continued wellness.
Keepers and the veterinary staff work seamlessly together to take each eagle to the veterinary clinic for exams. It’s a two-day process, and the team starts with Salish and Sucia. Sequoia and Cheveyo have their exams on the second day.
Each bird traveled to the clinic fully awake, and after a careful, giant “hug” from Keepers Wendi and Becky, the eagle received anesthesia. The “hug” is a comfortable position for the eagle, allowing the team to start their exam safely. Keeping their eyes covered makes an incredible difference in helping the birds relax and stay calm.
Once the anesthesia has gone into effect, the exam can begin. The team will start out by documenting weight and checking that their ID transponder microchip is fully functional.
The team takes a close look at their feet and notes anything that stands out. For all birds, their talons will be trimmed and conditioned.
Like their talons, their beaks are also trimmed, smoothed and conditioned. Since the eagles have an excellent, nutrient-rich diet, their nails and beaks can often grow longer than they would in the wild.
Each bird gets its turn on the table for x-rays. Dr. Case and Veterinary Technician Tracy examine for any issues.
Finishing up, each eagle has their wings inspected, a mouth, eye and ear exam, West Nile Virus vaccine and a preventative spray for parasites.
Dr. Allison Case wraps up the wellness exam and proclaims each eagle’s health as “gorgeous.”