Bald Eagle #19-3231

November 19, 2019
Rescue Location
Accomack County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Stuck in mud
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On November 18, a juvenile Bald Eagle was found down on the ground in Accomack County, Virginia. The eagle was stuck in thick, gloppy mud and appeared unable to extract itself. The bird was able to be contained, and was taken to a permitted rehabilitator on the Eastern Shore, where it was cleaned and stabilized for the night. The next day, a dedicated volunteer transporter drove the eagle to the Wildlife Center.

Dr. Karra, one of the Center’s veterinary interns, found that the eagle had corneal ulcers in both eyes, as well as significant discharge. No fractures were seen on radiographs, though the eagle’s lungs and air sacs were notably opaque; Dr. Karra was also able to readily hear that the eagle was congested, with increased respiratory sounds.

Several diagnostics tests were performed, including an emergency blood panel, a lead test, and a cytology of the bird’s ocular discharge. The technician team found that the eagle had a blood lead level of 0.066 ppm; while this is not considered to be a "clinical" level of lead toxicity, the Center staff treat all notable levels of lead in raptor patients, since no level of lead is safe. The eye cytology confirmed a bacterial infection.

The veterinary team treated the eagle with antibiotics, antifungals, and an oral chelation therapy. They also started the eagle on a regular nebulization therapy with an antiseptic to target the bird’s respiratory tract. The prognosis for the young eagle is guarded to poor due to the concern for infection in the air sac and lungs.

Your donation will help provide specialized veterinary medical care to this injured Bald Eagle. Thank you!

Patient Updates

Sadly, on November 27, Bald Eagle #19-3231 was found deceased in its enclosure. The veterinary team found evidence of regurgitated food in the eagle’s mouth; it’s likely that the eagle succumbed to generalized weakness and was unable to recover after a prolonged period of being down in the wild.