The following story was shared with us by Buz Marthaler at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.
A Swainson’s hawk was brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden after being struck by a car. During our initial examination, we found no fractures. However, there was noted head trauma causing neurological symptoms that included erratic eye movements, weakness, dizziness, and disorientation. The Swainson’s hawk was severely underweight as well. Upon further examination, this patient was also diagnosed with trichomoniasis, a disease caused by a parasite that infects the oropharynx, esophagus, trachea, and other mucous membrane areas.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah immediately started treatment for head trauma and the protozoal infection. We also began feeding Emeraid Intensive Care Carnivore, which was critical to this case. Due to the advanced stage of the protozoal infection, it was very difficult — as well as dangerous — to get whole foods past the esophagus without risking aspiration. The ability to gavage feed Emeraid Intensive Care Carnivore provided this bird the essential nutrition he needed until he was able to recover from the trichomoniasis and was able to safely accept whole foods. This Swainson’s hawk made a full recovery and is flying free today.