A few weeks ago we shared an article discussing the impacts of lead in bald and golden eagles across North America. In a timely fashion, we received another rehabilitation patient that had ingested lead. Luckily, we received the eagle before it was showing neurological signs and we were able to aid in the bird casting the lead fragments by providing lots of fur and feathers on its food. The eagle will stay in our ICU to be monitored for the development of neurological symptoms and to monitor its broken wing.
The attached pictures show the radiograph with the lead in the stomach and the radiograph of the dissected cast . The test tube had known lead fragments that were removed from previous casts. Just a note, some of the more vibrant items in the cast were small bones, not lead, which is why we had to investigate each piece of the cast. The paper shows how we tested fragments we thought were lead. Since lead writes (like lead in a pencil), we could drag any fragment on paper to see if it left a line.
As of today, radiographs show no lead in the stomach. While we are avid supporters or our sportsmen and women, we cannot urge you enough to please utilize non-lead ammunitions in your hunting endeavors. Anytime we get a lead poisoning case, it is deemed as critical and the results are not normally as promising as this case.