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Winter at Wildwoods

What a strange life–a deer in the garage, a raccoon in the basement, a juvenile crow in the aviary, and a whole flock of pigeons, recovering from a variety of issues, in the basement bathroom and spare room of Wildwoods.

This raccoon was curled up by the side of the road, and looks like he might have been hit by a car. When Nancy went to get him, he led her a merry chase before she scooped him up and put him in the kennel. He ate all his food last night, and (of course) tipped over his water dish. He’s headed to WRC with Jeffrey.

We recently got a very small juvenile crow who was found on the ground. He is missing the end of his left wing, just below the wrist joint, as you can see on this X-ray from today.

He hop-flutters around pretty well. We wonder if he might have a good life as an education animal/crow ambassador at a nature center or other program, and have asked various experts to weigh in.

In the meantime, he’s eating all the food we set before him. He is a plucky little guy, and we hope we can find him a happily ever after, even though he won’t be returning to the wild.

After a woman called the police to report a deer in trouble, Proctor Police Chief Walt Wobig and his son came to help. They dug out the snow all around her, and even dug her a path to the nearby road! They also put out some food right beside her. But she wouldn’t eat or move…

So Wildwoods volunteer Nancy and the Proctor authorities loaded her into a truck and drove her to the garage of one of our rehabbers. We bedded her down on blankets with heating pads underneath, and a few blankets loosely overtop as well. She is clearly not doing well.

She is not hypothermic, just out of it and kind of shock-y. Did she get stressed from being stuck in deep snow and then collapse (prey animals stress out quite easily). Or, is there a deeper problem, like brainworm? We talked with a wildlife vet with deer expertise, and she wasn’t sure. She recommended supportive care, to give her space, and to wait and see.

One of our strongest hunches about what might be ailing her is a condition called capture myopathy. When a prey animal like a deer is stressed in some way (perhaps like being trapped and struggling in deep snow as she was here, when she was first found), a cascade of things starts to go wrong.

The animal can die the same day, days later, or even weeks later. Almost all animals who get capture myopathy die of it, no matter what is tried. Deer and long-legged water birds like cranes seem especially susceptible to this.

Peggy found a paper describing the successful treatment of three sandhill cranes with capture myopathy. We’ll try at they did, but we know this doe’s outlook is guarded.

2 Comment(s)

  1. Via WW:

    Today was a difficult day, as we watched the gains our beautiful Casus had made yesterday and the day before (standing on her own, being alert, being steady on her feet) rapidly drain away. Our sweet young doe has collapsed back into herself, consumed by the pain of her damaged and dying muscles.

    In view of her already slim chance of recovery and her mounting misery, we made the painful and difficult decision to take the step we never wanted to take, the step that we abhorred, the step that would break our hearts. However, it has become clear to us, after much earnest conversation amongst ourselves and with our vet consultants, that this is the best gift we can offer our sweet girl now.

    Farewell, Casus--go peacefully and without pain; may you frolic and dance forever in sweet, starlit meadows. We are grateful to have known you, and grateful to all who stepped forward to help you. They say that no act of kindness is ever wasted, but creates a ripple with no logical end, and that seems true. You have changed all who knew and helped you, and helped the world become a kinder place. RIP, sweet girl.

    rhetoricguy@gmail.com | Mar 5, 2014 | New Comment
  2. I am sorry for the loss. Thank you for helping her.

    emmadogs | Mar 5, 2014 | New Comment

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