The following story was shared with us by the Florida Wildlife Hospital.
On the afternoon of November 17, we received an adult double-crested cormorant. The animal was found lying in the middle of a road in West Melbourne. The rescuer reported the animal made no attempt to fly away when she tried to move him from the road. The patient appeared BAR (bright, alert, and responsive) but had abrasions on its feet and face.
After giving the patient some time to de-stress we completed a hands-on exam. We found no additional injuries during the formal exam and no obvious reason for the bird not to fly, so we took radiographs. The radiographs did not reveal any additional trauma but did indicate some abnormalities in the GI tract.
The following morning we sent the X-rays to our consulting veterinarian who reported the cormorant appeared to have enteritis. We rehydrated the patient with oral fluids and over the course of three feedings weaned the patient onto EmerAid Intensive Care Piscivore diet.
The patient received 60cc at each feeding for three feedings a day. Per our veterinarian’s recommendations he started on a course of oral Baytril and Metronidazole, both given orally and once a day. After a few days in care, we introduced whole fish and discontinued the EmerAid.
After 11 days in our hospital the cormorant finished its antibiotic treatments, and the minor wounds on its face and feet had healed. It was cleared to be moved outside to a pre-release enclosure and evaluated for flight. After only a few days outside the patient was flying laps and was eager to return home. On November 29 after 13 days in care, we returned the cormorant to a pond very near its original rescue site.