A visit from the wild

Last month, Reservoir Vet Clinic had a very unusual patient. A beautiful owl was found injured in the outbuilding of a local resident. The kind citizen brought the owl to the clinic for examination and treatment. On arrival, the owl was given a thorough examination by Dr Bree and it was found that it had a wound near its left wing but was otherwise in good condition.

The team was quite worried as the owl was keeping very still and would not perch like a normal bird. A local wildlife carer was called in and she advised us that this is a normal stress response in these birds. If they feel threatened, they 'play dead', lying stiffly on their backs until they feel it is safe to fly away. The wildlife carer took the owl with her for a day or two of rest and recuperation.

A few days later, the carer returned with the injured owl for x-rays. The vets and the carer were concerned that the wound may have damaged the owl's wing and that it may not be able to fly again. The owl was lying very still with its eyes closed, which made it very easy for x-rays to be taken of its wings and for the vets and nurses to get up close and personal with such an unusual patient.

Fortunately, the x-rays showed that the wing was not badly damaged and no bones were broken. This gives the owl a good chance at recovery. Armed with this good news, the carer took the owl to a wildlife sanctuary where it will continue to be cared for.

Every month, Reservoir Vet Clinic examines and treats sick or injured wildlife. Those in good condition are sent to be cared for by wildlife carers through Wildlife Victoria. If you find any sick or injured wildlife, do bring them to Reservoir Vet Clinic as we would be happy to help. Or you can call Wildlife Victoria on 13000 WILDLIFE or 1300 094 535.

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