Thursday, October 30, 2014

Uncommon disease

These photos are difficult to look at. This is an immature male Golden Eagle, about seven months old, with a disease I've rarely seen. And that was only in hawks.. It's called avian pox and is very contagious. He was found just outside of Cody and I originally thought it was pox but because it didn't look the same as other's I'd seen, I changed my mind to think they were some kind of chemical burns.

The first thing that came to mind was lime. It's very caustic and is sometimes used on a carcass to speed up decomposition. He was found on BLM land and as people tend to just dump whatever they don't want there, it was possible. I reported him to our local USFWS and BLM enforcement agents so they went out to scan the area but found nothing.

I also sent photos to the University of MN Raptor Center for their opinion. The USFWS agent sent them to one of his pathologists for her opinion. Both of them came back saying that it is pox. Our state lab is now doing tests on some tissues to make a definitive answer but I'm sure it is avian pox. NOTE: the report came back as positive for avian pox.

Unfortunately, at only 4# 10oz, half of what he should weigh, he didn't make it, he died last night. Another problem is that if he had siblings in the nest then they too have the disease and will also probably die from it as they are too young to have built up an immunity to the virus. I have gone through a lot of bleach water on the area where this baby eagle stayed and will continue to disinfect for some time to come.

1 comment:

  1. This is so sad! I have never even heard of this disease before.

    On a brighter note, Ioved the write up in the Cody Enterprise about you and Munchie.