One of the most critical components of our wildlife rescue work is access to a veterinarian with a personal interest in avian veterinary medicine. Our challenge has always been to find veterinarians that are interested not only in handling birds, but also admitting wildlife species and willing to donate some of their services. Fortunately, we crossed paths with Dr. Jacob Adserballe of Uplands Pet Hospital in Lethbridge.
Originally from Denmark, Dr. Adserballe graduated from Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. We approached "Dr. Jacob" a few years ago just after he opened his new clinic in Lethbridge. After initial meeting, he was quite enthusiastic about working with rescued hawks, falcons, eagles and owls. Since that time, Dr. Adserballe and his staff have continued to impress us with their dedication and passion, whether we bring a tiny Merlin Falcon or an imposing Bald Eagle.
One of the first times we brought a bird to Dr. Jacob proved how fortunate we were to have him as our vet. A local rancher brought in a Great Horned Owl that was caught on a barbed-wire fence. Judging by the severity of the wing injury, the owl probably struggled for several hours as the tissue covering the wing left a gaping hole exposing its bones. The bird was so entangled in the fence that the owl had to be brought in with the barbed wire still attached.
At the end of a very long day looking after this regular patients, (and an expecting wife at home), Dr. Jacob worked for almost three hours meticulously detaching the wire, irrigating the wound and painstakingly stitching the bird's remaining skin back together. It was an outstanding demonstration of Dr. Jacob's surgical abilities and passion for his work. Six months later, this owl was successfully released. Since then many other birds flying free in the wild have Dr. Adserballe and the Uplands Pet Hospital staff to thank.
Visit the Uplands Pet Hospital Website.