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More Raptor Talon Care

February 18th, 2013

More Raptor Talon Care

The maintenance and care for your raptors feet and talons is a primary area of focus for maintaining a healthy raptor.   Regularly checking on the condition of talons and feet is an important part of my daily routine so when some odd-looking lesions appeared on Cedar’s feet last week, I immediately started to focus my attention on treatment.  These sores appeared (pictures below) approximately two-weeks after a hunting expedition that nearly ended in tragedy with Cedar alighting upon some high-tension wires. Luckily, she did not completely land on the wires, but found them uncomfortable and she decided against landing there. In attempting to land, however, her feet came into contact with the wires. I inspected Cedar after the hunt, but was unable to notice anything at that time.  A few weeks later, I noticed some sores on her feet that appeared to be similar to bumblefoot, but were not seeping, weeping, or causing any apparent discomfort to Cedar.  I am currently in the process of healing up these sores with regular feet soaking in a mild solution of warm water and betadine.  Additional treatment with Silvadine should clear these up in a few weeks.  Healing foot injuries takes a great amount of time for raptors as there is decreased circulation in raptor feet.

My personal feeling about hunting near electrical towers and wires is quite simply “no way”.  The risk to injury to the bird is too great to take a chance and no matter how well your bird is trained, you can never completely control them when they are off the leash hunting on their own.  On this occasion, I had forgotten about the electrical lines in this particular area and was blinded by the plentiful abundance of rabbits in the underbrush.   Subsequent hunts at this *particular* location have been quite fruitful, however I still arrange hunting differently when coming near the wires.

 

Left Foot

 

Right Foot

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