Injured Bald Eagle’s Wound Healed with Donated Cook Biotech Graft
October 14, 2013
Veterinarians at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) recently used a biologic graft donated by Cook Biotech to nurse an injured bald eagle back to health – and ultimately back to freedom.
The female adult eagle, believed to have been struck by a vehicle, suffered a deep soft-tissue wound to its left wing as well as a fracture to the wing’s coracoid bone. Bret Stedman, who supervised the eagle’s recovery at the California Raptor Center at UC Davis, said that although the coracoid bone is critical to flight, “like a strut in an airplane,” the soft-tissue wound presented the biggest challenge to the bird’s recovery.
“It was the kind of wound that is very, very difficult to get to heal,” Stedman said. “Bone was exposed. Tendons and ligaments were exposed. And this was an even more serious problem to the releasability of the bird than the fracture itself.”
Veterinarians at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital treated the eagle’s wound with an advanced biologic tissue-repair graft manufactured at Cook Biotech. “It promotes cellular development and growth, and it facilitates the formation of viable tissue over the wound bed,” Stedman said of the graft. “I think it really helped in this case, as these types of wounds are very difficult, otherwise, to close.”
During the eagle’s rehabilitation at the California Raptor Center, the wound healed completely. “For two months, we managed the wound as the coracoid healed concurrently,” Stedman said. “About another four weeks after the bandaging stopped, the feathers had grown in.”
The eagle, which was found injured on April 9, was released on Aug. 30. “Every time we work to release a bird,” Stedman said, “whether it’s a day or four and a half months until we turn it loose, we always keep our fingers crossed that it’s going to have a long life out in the wild.”