Location of Rescue: Augusta County, Virginia
Cause of Admission / Condition: Unknown
Patient Status: Current Patient
Dr. Dana gave the owl subcutaneous fluids and scheduled blood work and radiographs for the following day. The next morning, the owl was found hock-sitting (back of legs known as hawks) in its enclosure, but was alert. No significant findings were noted on radiographs, but blood work revealed that the owl was anemic.
Several other blood values were mildly elevated, suggesting muscle damage as a result of trauma, or a possible infection.
The staff continued to monitor the owl over the next few days before moving the owl to an outdoor enclosure. Additional blood work was performed in mid-September; the owl was still mildly anemic and had mild hyperproteinemia – high levels of protein in the blood.
Infection still could not be ruled out at this point, though the blood work did show improvements compared to the blood work taken at admission.
On October 15, blood work was performed again, this time everything was within normal limits. On October 17, the Great Horned Owl was moved to Flight Pen 6 –hopefully its final stop before release.
October 25, 2012 UPDATE
Great Horned Owl #12-2076 has been flying well over the past week -- while the owl is notoriously stubborn for the rehabilitation externs to exercise, the bird is capable of flying well. Rehabilitator Kelli assessed the owl's flight on the morning of October 25, and felt that the owl had good stamina, and was flying silently.
Live prey training -- "mouse school" -- began on October 25.
Look for the owl at night on the Critter Cam and you may see it catch live prey!