A Great Egret With A Slim Chance Of Recovery

great egret in pen and x-ray great egret on perch in pen great egret in wildThe following story was shared with us by the Wetlands And Wildlife Care Center of California.

On January 2, 2020, Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center admitted a great egret with a fracture to his right ulna (a wing bone). He was unable to walk or fly upon intake, so we immediately did a comprehensive exam. His blood work was normal but with icteric serum (a mark of jaundice), so we flushed the egret with an IV of lactated ringer’s solution.

Due to the fact that his radius (long wing bone) was still intact and able to use to stabilize the ulna fracture, we decided to try a splint wrap to the wing in an attempt to calcify the ulna.

Two weeks later, a second X-ray showed the fracture had shifted and the egret was in danger of his ulna calcifying to his radius, which would render him flightless. After days of feeding EmerAid Intensive Care Piscivore, we decided to try whole foods; however, he would not eat fish and his weight continued to drop. We returned to EmerAid until we realized he preferred whole mice. That was the key! We were able to slowly wean him off of EmerAid once we realized his diet preferences.

After a few days, we offered whole fish again. He finally ate those with his whole mice. Upon the final X-ray, we found that the ulna had mended correctly. Once he realized he could fly again, he stayed on the flight boxes and never returned to the ground again, except to eat.

We released him on February 25, 2020, in our own marsh area. Upon inspection the following day, the great egret was observed in the brush hunting mice instead of being in the water. Every animal has its own peculiarities and his was mice. Without the supplement of EmerAid IC Piscivore to his diet, we may not have had such a successful rehabilitation outcome.