Wild bird hospital, 28.6.17

First of all, I scrubbed the aviary floors which was made 10 times easier with the heavy rain. I then cleaned the water buckets and gave the birds fresh water.
I spent my remaining time inside the hospital, checking the birds to see their progress.

Over the time I have volunteered, my confidence in handling the flightier patients has massively increased. The documentation is clipped onto each cage, so when moving the birds around to disinfect the cages, it is important to remain organised. The admission sheets are a log of the administered medication, which acts as a vital means of communication between the team of volunteers to prevent patients being double dosed. After I had moved the bird, disinfected and placed fresh newspaper, provided clean water and food, I administered any medication on their sheet.
A wood pigeon had an open wound on his wing, so I held him under my arm to open his beak and give 2 drops of metacam as instructed on his paperwork. I then signed this off.

On close inspection, another wood pigeon’s wing appeared to be infected and very sore. Looking on the patient admission sheet, I could see that 10 days had passed with daily antibiotics. It was unlikely that this bird would be able to recover to a functioning stage, so the decision was made to take him to the vets to be put to sleep.

Wild bird hospital, 21.6.17

Cleaning out the aviaries is fun when a pigeon sits on your shoulder!

I scrubbed the floors and changed the waters- it is especially important in this hot weather to prevent dehydration.

A young starling had been attacked by a cat and was found underweight and dehydrated. Mixing salt and sugar in water creates a rehydration fluid for the admitted patients.

Wildlife hospital, 21.5.17

Due to climate change, hedgehog mothers are having litters later in the year. Breeding season starts around May and they may have a second litter in Autumn, these hoglets are named autumn juveniles. Sadly, they often won’t survive the winter due to the harsh weather as they do not have the body mass to live through hibernation. Therefore, this is a busy time of year for hedgehog hospitals to care for them over winter until they can be released.

We are now approaching baby season, so when I was cleaning out the cages and carriers, I had to check there were no hoglets before disrupting them.

One of the hedgehogs had been in a road traffic accident, he had lost many spines so needed treatment to prevent infection. Spines are their self defence mechanism from predators too. I put him in a carrier under a heat mat, as he was quite flat and unresponsive when I was cleaning.

A test for dehydration is to pull the spines and see how quickly they return to their normal position.  


Bird hospital, 5.4.17

I spent my afternoon in the hospital ward, cleaning out and helping to administer medication. 
After moving out the birds, I cleaned the cage and put down clean newspaper, food and water. If the bird was showing signs of foot problems, I placed down a puppy pad on top.

Sadly I found a deceased pigeon in a cage, but this is the nature of working with sick animals.

A few had been admitted for broken wings, so I felt a pigeon’s wing to feel the break. Holding the pigeon under my arm, I lifted its neck and gave it 2 drops of metacam which is a pain reliever and anti inflammatory.

 A baby owl had been brought in, so I hand fed a chick to it.

Wildlife hospital, 2.4.17

I cleaned out the hedgehog carriers and cages in the ward.

As hedgehogs are having two litters, one of them being too weak to survive hibernation this is why many were brought in winter 2016. They are now ready to be released so 50 have gone to a soft release which means they will be fed and cared for during a transitional period before being ”wild”.

I learned about the struggles of albino wildlife, because the degree of paleness is an indicator of the likelihood of survival. Many will not make it to leave the hedgehog nest, which is why some will be permanent residents at the hospital.

Wildlife hospital, 19.3.17

Following the usual jobs of cleaning out the ward, I was surprised by a nursery of young animals including rabbits, pigeons and foxes.

It is important that fox Cubs do not become tame, so one person has the duty of feeding them. They were then taken to be adopted by a vixen.

The other wildlife that comes to the hospital have a quick turn around time, they make rapid improvements and suitable homes are found quickly.