Vets give bill stork a new lease of life by performing life-saving surgery

Before even considering surgery doctors had to patiently wait for the bird to gain weight, it was important to manage the delicate bird as she had broken her wing and was in immense pain. The bird is slowly recuperating and getting back on its feet after the amputation

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The bird which is an Indian open bill stork was suffering from seroma, (seroma is a collection of fluid that builds up under the surface of your skin) at its joint due to an old fracture.

While the bird was getting ready to go to its permanent rehabilitation, it suffered another accidental fracture and the bird was rushed back to the Animal Wellness and Rehabilitation Centre in Chembur.

The bird had accidentally broken an already broken humerus, but at a different level. The extreme pain and visible discomfort lead to loss of appetite leading to drastic weight loss.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Deepa Katyal, a veterinarian from Chembur’s Animal Wellness and Rehabilitation Centre, said, “As the medication kicked in with all other therapies, Buddha (the stork) started to eat on her own in less than 2 days. But those 2 days of force-feed, giving injectables, and avoiding falls due to imbalanced now broken left wing were a nightmare for vets as the bird was on edge.”

She added. “She weighed 3 kgs initially but was down to 1 kg. Over the course of a few days, Buddha gradually gained weight and we performed the surgery on a Tuesday evening.  It was important to perform upon the bird as it had an infection which could have led to gangrene or even death.”

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The surgical process almost took an hour with constant heart monitoring, intermittent ventilation, and delicate anaesthesia, since the fractured bone is close to an air sac.

As the surgery ended successfully, post-surgical care of such a big bird was a challenge and it had to be handled tactfully.

Post-surgery, she (the bird) was extremely unbalanced and untrusting once again but with the care and comfort and good pain management for the next couple of days

Buddha is now learning to live without her wing, just as a person would accept no arm after an accident. Buddha is brave, as she is gradually adjusting to her maimed body. Buddha is indeed a beautiful and courageous bird.

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