Injured buzzard was released back into Friston Forest just in time for Christmas

Kestrel from Newick SUS-181224-090359001
Kestrel from Newick SUS-181224-090359001

Our new veterinary theatre, The Dave Fox-Dossett Theatre, has been put to good use this week with its first surgical case. Rescuers attended a severely injured hedgehog in Ditchling which was rushed into the hospital.

Our care team assessed the hedgehog and were quite shocked to see the injuries the poor hog had suffering from. It’s unknown what caused the injuries but the poor creature had three large deep lacerations which had turned one of its hind legs inside out. Emergency medication was given and our vet surgeon was called.

Buzzard from Friston Forest SUS-181224-090409001

Buzzard from Friston Forest SUS-181224-090409001

The theatre was prepped and the hedgehog was anesthetised. Our team began the painstaking task of trying to find what went where and how. Eventually the pieces all fitted the puzzle and the wounds where cleaned and irrigated. Our vet then set about the huge task of putting the poor hog back into order. After a two-hour operation the hog was brought round and placed in our post op intensive care unit.

The severity of her injuries means she’s far from out the woods and still may need further wound management as it heals. An incredible job by our vet Mike.

Six weeks ago a buzzard was delivered to WRAS with a very nasty double break to its radius and ulna in the wing. Our care team x-rayed the wing and were quite shocked to see how nasty the fracture was. Luckily it wasn’t an open fracture, but none the less a severe fracture to try and fix.

After some debating on the chances of the wing healing and long term prognosis, our care team knew the chances were slim but decided to give the bird a chance. After being given medication, the wing was gently manipulated as best as possible and external fixation was put in place. After a week a second x-ray was taken and it was clear the bones had moved again. Feeling like we had failed we wanted to try one more time, so again the bones were aligned and the wing was strapped and splinted.

Hedgehog from Newick SUS-181224-090348001

Hedgehog from Newick SUS-181224-090348001

Three weeks in the strapping was removed and the bone had begun to calcify and heal. At week four he was placed in our aviary and flying lessons began. At week six he had built up enough strength in the bones and healed enough to be given the green light for release.

On December 23 our care team took the buzzard back to Friston Forest where he was found so he could be released in time for Christmas and be back with his family and friends. An incredible achievement for all those who rescued him and involved in his care.

A stunning kestrel came into care last Friday, from Newick after he was seen flying low round a barn and then later found huddled in a corner. No wounds were found but being a little underweight and after probably being caught out by the cold weather. He is now starting to perk up and gain weight so hopefully won’t be with us for much longer.