A Barred Owl Suffers Injuries After Being Struck By A Truck

The following story was shared by the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW).

owl on a branchAn adult barred owl was brought to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) in Sanibel Island, Florida, for treatment on August 17, 2018 after it was hit by a truck in North Fort Myers. The owl had suffered head trauma and was very quiet. There was mild retinal hemorrhage in the bird’s left eye.

The veterinarian placed an intraosseous catheter and gave the animal hypertonic saline to decrease potential swelling in the brain, followed by other crystalloids for maintenance. The animal had lost some blood and his packed cell volume (PCV) was 20%. The barred owl’s weight upon admission was 1.55 pounds (705 grams) with a body score of 2/5.

The bird was tube-fed EmerAid Intensive Care Carnivore for the first day and a half. By that time he had recovered sufficiently and could eat soft pieces of mouse offered on tongs. Soon the patient was bright, alert, and eating whole food on his own.

By the 24th, his PCV had increased to 36%, and he was feisty enough that he was moved to an outdoor cage to rebuild his flight muscles. After one week in the flight cage, he was deemed ready for release. His weight had increased to 1.69 pounds (765 grams) with a body condition score of 3/5, and his ocular hemorrhage had resolved.

Dedicated CROW volunteers drove the bird to a large nature reserve near where he was found and released him on August 31, 2018.