Friday, October 11, 2013

Exam Time

Rusty has been favoring his bad eye lately, holding it shut most of the time, shaking his head sometimes, and even sometimes rubbing his bad eye on his "shoulder."  Also, sometime his poop has yellow urates.  It was high time the boy got a checkup, and we decided to bring Iris also.

Capturing them was easy.  We have a big fish landing net with felt sown in in place of the netting.  When they fly I simply extend the net up so they fly right into it.  Easy squeasy.

Iris rode quietly, but Rusty thumped around some.  I think he wanted a bigger box.

We took Rusty and Iris to Dr. Laura Johnson, nearly a two hour drive from here.  (She's the one who took blood samples from the owlets for sex testing when we attempted to band them the first time.)

Rusty went first, and the biggest concern was his bad eye.

One look at it and Dr. Johnson knew it would have to be removed, a surgery she is not comfortable doing.  The fluid inside the eye is increasing, causing pressure and discomfort.

She also examined his ears, which were fine.

Owls have to say "ahhh" with a tongue depressor too!  He has a little tiny growth on the roof of his mouth, but it's hard so apparently its nothing to worry about.

Dr. Johnson measured the pressure in both of Rusty's eyes, and he seems to like it about as much as I enjoy having that done.

He seemed to have some surface issues on his good eye also, which stained green in this photo. Hopefully this will heal on its own.

Dr. Johnson also listened to his heart and lungs.

Finally he was done and could go back into a larger box for the trip home.  Then it was Iris' turn.

Iris' bad eye was the first thing to be looked at.  The gray scar tissue on her cornea is the same as three years ago, so is fine.  But she's developed scar tissue inside her eye from her original puncture wound that is pulling part of her iris (the yellow part) toward the back of her eye.  Should be OK though.

Iris had her eye pressure tested too, and it was low in her bad eye.  It could keep decreasing and eventually her eye will shrink.  We'll have to make sure that her body doesn't try to reject it at some point.

Iris had to say "ahhh" too, and everything looked good.

Dr. Johnson took a blood sample from Iris' leg, like she had done for Rusty too.

So we'll wait for blood test results and then figure out the best place for Rusty to have his eye removed. Makes me appreciate how healthy Alice is!!

I think Rusty and Iris are quite happy to be back home in their own space with no humans poking and prodding at them.


  1. Good luck, Rusty! Surgery at the Raptor Center, maybe?

  2. Karla, sorry to hear that. they both looked remarkably well behaved during all the procedures.

  3. Thank you for the update, quite a day. I am sorry to hear about Rusty needing a surgery.

  4. Positive thoughts for a speedy recovery for Rusty. You are doing a great thing by caring for these two beautiful owls. Thank you.

  5. The Raptor Center did a wonderful job for my Sassy. We are getting back to exercising and hopefully soon back to weight for hunting. Despite her injury, she can fly!!

  6. Wishing well for Rusty. Hopefully that "GHOW" attitude will prevail :)