Lead shot ingested by Canada goose
When a wild creature comes into care at Fellow Mortals, we always perform an initial examination, including looking for possible fractures.
Sometimes injuries are obvious--a bone is protruding from the skin or a leg is not positioned properly, but other times fractures and other injuries are only indicated by the way an animal is acting. Perhaps the woodchuck is obviously uncomfortable lying on its side, or the goose's honk is unnaturally high-pitched.
Radiographs (x-rays) are extremely useful when diagnosing a wild patient's injuries. Since wild animals do not speak human language, we need to be especially observant of their behaviors, as well as use special diagnostic tools, like x-rays, when observations aren't enough.
We like to see an x-ray that shows strong uninjured bones, but sometimes we do find fractures or other injuries that can be difficult to diagnose with naked sight. X-rays make a crucial difference in patient care by showing us what lies within.
The Canada goose whose x-rays are shown below was not shot, but ate lead shot which was mistaken for harmless gravel eaten by birds to help digest their food. After treatment, this goose is doing great and will be released.
The woodchuck had several fractured ribs and a fractured radius and ulna (lower arm). He was released.
The great blue heron and red-tailed hawk whose x-rays are also shown below have already been released.
Thank you for your gifts, which help make it possible to use this important diagnostic tool for the sake of the wild ones brought to Fellow Mortals.
Close of up lead shot
Woodchuck with fractured arm and ribs
Head and neck of Great Blue heron