Trust’s overall condition has been improving over the past few days. Her mouth (mucous membranes) is moist and pinker, and she is becoming more feisty and regaining her appetite. All are signs that the internal bleeding is resolving and she is feeling better. On Friday, March 11, we removed Trust’s wing wrap to do some physical therapy on the injured wing.
Physical therapy is an important part of wildlife rehabilitation, just as it is in human rehabilitation. It is necessary to keep the joints mobile, and the skin and muscles elastic and flexible while the fractured bone is healing. The following videos were taken during Trust’s PT session, after we removed the wing wrap. We normally keep raptors hooded during treatments such as this, because it reduces stimulation (and hence stress) on the birds and keeps them quiet. We have found with Trust, that she seems to prefer to see what is going on, and will often stay quieter with the hood off. However, we do need to use the hood when it is safer for the handlers to do so.
Following physical therapy, we reapplied the wing wrap so that her fractured coracoid can continue to heal. The following video shows that procedure.
Trust ate the better part of a Red Perch (fish) earlier today. These days, she waits until she is alone and things have quieted down before she eats her fish. In the evening, however, it is a different story. Her dinner is venison, with medications inserted (but don’t tell her). When she spies the venison, she is much more aggressive about eating than she is with the fish. She doesn’t even wait for me to put down the plate!