Birds of prey encounter many injuries that make treatment a challenging process. These include electrocution, trauma-associated cuts and abrasions, gunshot wounds, barbed wire and leghold trap ensnarement, puncture wounds, and damage from inappropriate housing and husbandry. The mechanism of wound healing is similar to that seen in mammals, with a continuous progression through the phases of inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. Healing by primary closure (suturing) is generally preferable to healing by secondary intention, though the latter is more common in raptors because of the delayed presentation of most wounds. Debridement and lavage, with chlorhexidine at a 0.05% solution being considered to provide optimal results, are required for all wounds. Many topical medications are used to manage open wounds in raptors, including recently developed wound-healing stimulants. Bandage materials used are the same as those used for other species, though the type of bandage varies according to the uniqueness of avian anatomy. Specific injuries such as bumblefoot, degloving, frostbite, digital amputation, and crop laceration may require special consideration.
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Vol. 16 • No. 3