Growing skull fractures have been reported in humans for many years, usually resulting from injury to the soft skull during the rapid growth period of an infant's life. Nestling raptors have thin, fragile skulls, a rapid growth rate, and compete aggressively for food items. Skull trauma may occur, which may lead to the development of a growing skull fracture. Growing skull fractures may be under-diagnosed in raptor rehabilitation facilities that do not have access to advanced technologic equipment. Three-dimensional (3-D) computed tomography was used to diagnose a growing skull fracture in a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). The lesion was surgically repaired and the animal was eventually returned to the wild. This is the first report of a growing skull fracture in an animal. In this case, 3-D computed topographic imaging was utilized to diagnose a growing skull fracture in a red-tailed hawk, surgical repair was performed, and the bird recovered completely and was ultimately released.
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