"Buzzard" - Injured Wildlife and Quality of Life
As someone who had the privilege of a childhood in the countryside at the foot of the Campsie Fells, 12 miles North of Glasgow I developed a keen interest in Scottish wildlife. This in fact played a large part in my chosen career as a veterinary surgeon.
Recently I had the opportunity of spending a week-end on the islands of Mull and Staffa and was thrilled by the opportunities available for observing magnificent scenery and wildlife at close quarters. Who needs the Galapagos Islands? Basking sharks, porpoises, fish eagles, puffins and the highlight of the trip. . . sea otters were all on display.
With the euphoria of witnessing such beautiful creatures it is sometimes easy to forget that they are wild animals and their needs are very different from our own domesticated pets.
Recently, at Fairfield, a concerned member of the public brought us a beautiful buzzard with a severe wing injury. The wing was broken in many places and had pierced the skin. Additionally, the soft tissues had been contaminated with maggots (fly strike). In this situation where there is never any prospect of returning the patient back into the wild fully functional and in a position to compete for it's own survival there is only one option and that is euthanasia. Providing an opportunity to end the creature's suffering should only be seen as a positive result.
There is a stark contrast between what we can provide for domesticated pets who are in their owner's care and can function perfectly reasonably with disabilities and wild species who must be equipped for the harsh realities of life in the wild. Otherwise they will suffer unduly through stress by the restriction of not being able to function in the manner that their instincts and nature are designed.
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS