Tundra swan #124-18 Update: Very High Levels of Blood Lead- Lead Poisoning
Five days ago we admitted a critically ill tundra swan from the Mead Wildlife Area. We did everything possible to stabilize her in those first hours, but worried our best would not be enough.
Blood tests revealed her blood lead was off the charts at greater than 65. She was anemic. Her legs were paralyzed. She was critically dehydrated, her eyes so sunken into her head, they were hardly visible. On top of that she was starving. These conditions are all part of the horrors of lead poisoning. Still, she let us know she didn't want to give up.
The chelation injections used to treat lead poisoning started to work. She began to show signs of improvement, then she started to fail again. X-rays at Antigo Veterinary Clinic, provided the grave news that her intestine contained many lead pellets.
We decided to try one more option. Her digestive system is nearly stalled. We decided to try to flush it in hopes of getting some of the lead pellets with the flush. We are massaging her abdomen and cloaca with warm water twice a day to relax and stimulate the muscles.
Several lead pellets have been recovered in the past few days. She can move her legs and is preening. She is not out of the woods by any means, but she is still with us. We hope #124-18 will be our next miracle case. If not, we are developing new techniques for future cases. Sadly with lead poisoning we know there will always be more cases. Keep her in your thoughts.