I'm excited to announce that soon I will be joining WildCare Oklahoma as their staff veterinarian! They helped over 7,000 animals last year, and run only on the donations of compassionate individuals, so it's a real honor to be joining their team. I hope to provide the best medical care possible to all their patients, which means diagnosing what is wrong with each animal in order to prescribe the proper treatment. That's why, in lieu of other graduation and birthday gifts (I'm turning 30 next week... %/#$), I would like to give WildCare Oklahoma a LeadCare II Analyzer. Here is why:
Lead poisoning is a terrible condition that causes a lot of suffering in wildlife, and is all to commonly seen in wildlife rehabilitation centers. It often affects bald eagles, but any animal that eats a carcass or a fish containing lead can be poisoned. I've seen so many cases each year of eagles, cranes, vultures, geese, and even opossums that are sick from lead at wildlife centers around the country, and it's a horrible, draw-out death that would break your heart. Since the signs ( weak, shaking, vomiting, etc) are vague, the only way to know for certain what is wrong odds with a blood test. The good news is that if the level of lead in their body is low enough, it's possible to save them through weeks to months of chelation therapy and intensive nursing. Without a blood analyzer, there is no way to be certain of that is the cause of their illness, nor to monitor when the lead is cleared from their system, so a lot of guess work is involved at the expense of the animals' lives, from not treating those that are sick to drawing out the suffering of those that are misdiagnosed.
Just in the week I spent at WildCare Oklahoma this spring, there was a goose that we suspected had lead toxicity. I wish that I could have known the answer. Please help me buy this expensive piece of equipment, it's a good long term investment in the lives of animals, and would make me a very very happy new doctor and thirty-somethinger =)