Hope the Trumpeter Swan continues to improve. She continues to have physical therapy 2 times a week. For these she must be transported to the vet clinic, where she must have anesthesia for me to work her wing through all its range of motions and work out adhesions that have developed from the injury and lack of use.
Without anesthesia, this treatment would be too painful for her and her resistance would impair progress, so for now she must take her trips. She is a fairly good sport about it and is used to the activity. Her medications are reduced now, so I only have to give her meds 2x a day and she is now not giving me as much fuss with those either.
She got a new outside pool a couple of weeks ago, and we are experimenting with her going out there on sunny days. We have to balance the stress of us catching her and taking her to the pool vs her needing to be completely off her feet and keel. We shall see. It is cold now at night the water is pretty cold for her too. Today she is getting a larger new pool in her room too.
You can see the how far we have come in this side to side comparison of her good wing and the injured. I believe that she will continue to improve in her mobility and range of motion.
We cannot know yet if she will fly. She has another 2 weeks before the pin and plate can be removed from the wing. We will have a better idea at that point.
Wish her well, and if you want to support her please consider donating for her pools and medications.
Hope started her physical therapy Nov 2nd. She goes to Dr. Lodge at Broken Top Vet in Sisters. All of the team there is very supportive and do all they can for this gracious bird. Hope has to be anesthetized for pt given the pain it causes and the stress. We are working to reducing the time under she must endure in order to make the appts quick and easy for her.
During physical therapy, Hope gets range of motion passive movements applied, that stretch her tissues, such as the patagium and the muscles. Our goal is for her to fly again, so this element of rehabilitation is imperative. Without pt her muscles and other tissues would be too bound for her to fully stretch the wing out for flight. We do not know yet how successful pt will be, it may be she cannot regain that mobility, but we work towards that goal regardless. She has several more weeks in rehab.
We switched her up to a 6 foot pool this week, and she is liking that a lot. She really wants to bathe, but full immersion in water is still some days away. In the meantime, I give her a good spritzing with water so she can preen her back well. And she does a good job on her own.
She finally discovered the wonderful deliciousness of Mazuri waterfowl food, her high grade food that I have been eager for her to start eating (so I can stop tube feeding her!). She is now gobbling that up, along with the native vegetation our guy from Summer Lake Wildlife Refuge gets her (thanks Marti!).
She has in her room, 2 swan sized beds, one is 6 inches of foam and the other about 5 inches of blankets. These help take the pressure off of her keel when she rests at night. This is important, as a wound along her sharp edged keel can form from her having her weight on her chest for long periods. This is a key reason to get waterbeds onto some water floating as soon as possible and the injury allows.
Today will be her 3rd pt appt. Wish us well and enjoy these pictures. I am happy to answer questions. And of course we can always use donations. Especially for her new pool!
Author: Elise Wolf
I have been enraptured and fascinated by wild birds my whole life. I finally got involved in avian rescue when it became clear that while we need to do all we can to save habitat and ecological systems, for many populations of birds, every single bird matters. And thus, saving them one at a time is increasingly important.