Dakota has had his first meal!
The results from Monday’s blood tests were mostly positive. While not all of his levels were improved, he was given the green light to begin introducing solid foods today. The levels that have not improved point to a continued need for caution however, the improvement is welcome news to all those hearts that have gone out to the ambassador bird over these past several weeks.
After his rescue last Wednesday, December 7th, Dakota was examined by Wildlife In Need Center staff who felt that he was dehydrated and very thin. Dakota had lost a total of 27% of his body weight, eliminating not only his fat reserves but moving on to deteriorate his muscle tissue as well. He was given a full physical exam by his veterinarian who also drew blood for testing and oversaw the administration of subcutaneous fluids. Results from these blood tests confirmed his fragile condition. His PCV (packed cell volume) levels were low enough to consider Dakota slightly anemic and his elevated kidney values also confirmed his dehydrated state. Additionally, on Thursday a fecal test was run. The negative results of this test ruled out the existence of any parasites that his already weakened system would have to fight off during recovery. The complete results from this examination made it clear that Dakota was at risk of suffering from refeeding syndrome. Because of this he was prescribed a treatment plan of fluids only.
On Saturday, December 10th, Dakota’s veterinarian completed another exam. She determined that his hydration levels were increasing enough to begin introducing a liquid diet. This liquid diet was given both Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with subcutaneous fluids.
Monday showed a slight improvement in Dakota’s behavior and attitude and cautiously positive results from blood tests were graciously accepted. While Dakota enjoyed his first few bites of solid food since his return, he’ll still be guarded closely for the next 24-48 hours to ensure that his debilitated system doesn’t react poorly.