This beautiful (we believe female) owl was found in early April by good samaritans in Thurston County. She was on the ground with eye and wing injuries of unknown origin, most likely hit by a car. She was treated at Raindancer Wild Bird Rescue in Olympia and transferred to the West Sound Wildlife Shelter in late April where she fell into the capable hands of Dr. Alicia Bye. Dr. Bye knew she would need her wounds treated surgically, so she referred the owl to us here at the All Creatures Animal Hospital. Over the years Dr. Little has been incredibly generous in allowing the expertise of our staff and hospital resources to treat many injured and sick wildlife patients. She was brought to the All Creatures Animal Hospital for an enucleation (removal of the entire eyeball or globe) and wing repair. Her right eye was damaged beyond repair, making a release back to the wild not possible. The damage that was done to her eye required an enucleation to keep her comfortable and to prevent more trauma. In this particular case, our Licensed Veterinary Technician, Constance Kupinski, was the anesthesiologist. She took great care to place a doppler (a device used to measure heart rate and quality), intubate (place a breathing tube to administer anesthetic gas), and monitor her vital signs while the owl was under general anesthesia. She received the same protocol as you might when you have surgery. She was given medication to control pain, an anti-anxiety medication (Versed) prior to surgery. She breathed isoflurane gas mixed with pure oxygen until she was unconscious. Then, her feathers were removed around the surgical sites, and the sites were surgically scrubbed. Dr. Kathryn Krueger surgically removed the eye and the wing laceration was sutured closed. Our owl friend awoke from anesthesia and received fluids and more pain medication. She stood up from anesthesia about an hour later and blinked at us with her remaining eye. West Sound Wildlife found her a new home as an educational outreach bird for schools and public gatherings. Once she has recovered from surgery and her injuries it will take months to train her for this purpose.
She continues to do well after surgery, and will be sent to her new home soon.
The Wildlife shelter is located on Bainbridge Island and to learn more about Owls and the wonderful work that the West Sound Wildlife Shelter does every day to help our injured wildlife visit their website at www.westsoundwildlife.org.