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article imageVet performs mouth-to-beak resuscitation on eagle

By Lynn Curwin     Jul 17, 2011 in World
Bend - An Oregon veterinarian used mouth to beak resuscitation recently to save a bald eagle who had stopped breathing during surgery.
Two women found the injured eagle and took it to Dr Jeff Cooney in June. He had several injuries, including a fractured wing and wounded leg. Last week Cooney felt the bird, who was given the name Patriot after a contest was run, was strong enough for the operation.
While the eagle was under anaesthesia for an examination and physical therapy he stopped breathing and Cooney performed mouth-to-beak resuscitation to save his life. It worked well and Patriot was soon breathing on his own again.
“He has gained 10 percent of his body weight and is eating fish like crazy,” Cooney told KTVZ. “His attitude is greatly improved, and he’s starting to act like a normal, rambunctious bald eagle.”
"The dislocated shoulder and his paralyzed right leg are his major problems right now.”
Cooney said that he is unsure whether Patriot will improve enough to live comfortably.
"His shoulder is really badly damaged,” he told KTVZ. “It’s not a surgical repair, so if he was going to live forever in pain from the shoulder injury, I’d have to euthanize him.”
The Bend Veterinary Clinic website states that Cooney is an associate professor of biology at Central Oregon Community College, as well as a veterinarian specializing in raptor rehabilitation.
Exotic Pet Vet provides information on giving CPR to birds, stating: "If a bird is found unconscious, the same parameters are evaluated: respiration (looking for the breast rising and falling, see if the abdomen is rising and falling, as well), airway (open the beak and examine the oral cavity, clear if necessary with a finger or cotton-tipped applicator, taking care to not have a finger bitten) and heartbeat (since it would be difficult to find and evaluate a pulse on a bird, listen to the chest on either side of the keel bone for heartbeat, or use a stethoscope, if available)."
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