Monday, November 16, 2015

A pox upon you

Unfortunately that's what has happened to this amazingly beautiful, large, seven month old female Red-tailed Hawk. PUFF was found down in Worland alongside the road. I was told she had a broken wing but that doesn't appear to be the case. She does have a wound on the wrist of her left wing but it looks to be superficial.

Her biggest problem, and it is huge, is the fact that she has avian pox lesions on her feet. There are two varieties of pox, dry and wet. The wet type affects their throat and esophagus, the dry is on their body where feathers are lacking, i.e. their feet and face. The wet kind will kill the bird.

PUFF has the dry kind and so far the lesions aren't horrible. The bad news is that there is no treatment other than supportive care for avian pox. I had one roughie many years ago who had the dry variety and it took months for his body to recover. That will be the case here too. The only thing I can do is spray her bumps, perches and cage with 10% bleach solution. Because this is a very contagious disease she will be kept in this cage which is easy to clean.

To the good is the fact that PUFF is in excellent condition, she's fat, alert and as you can see from the photo, a bit confrontational. Her attitude will carry her far and hopefully beat this disease in short order.

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