A “fowl” experience for vet students
Daisy Mallard and her brood of nine ducklings are back home swimming happily in their pond at the Lovett School in Atlanta, thanks to the expert medical treatment and compassionate care provided by students at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. Daisy suffered a broken leg on April 1 when she tried to protect her two-week old ducklings from an aggressive goose that had already drowned one member of her brood. The incident took place at a pond on the grounds at Lovett.
The mother of a student was pulling into the school when the attack was ending. With the help of Lovett staff, Keira Camillo collected Daisy and the nine surviving ducklings and took them to her home where they would be safe and so she could seek medical treatment for Daisy.
By Monday, April 4, the Mallard family was transported to Athens and arrived to be evaluated and treated by the faculty, staff and students at the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Wildlife Treatment Center.
While the ducklings were fine, Daisy's leg required surgery. Following surgery, Daisy was confined so that she didn't do further injury to her leg. Her nine ducklings were with her during her recovery and had access to visit her through a small hole that students cut into a cat crate. The ducklings also had a small "pond" nearby.
Veterinary students who worked on Daisy's case prepared a PowerPoint presentation about Daisy's surgery and her temporary home, so that the Lovett students could be assured that Daisy was receiving good care and recovering well.
On June 3, Daisy and her ducklings were returned to their pond at Lovett. The Mallard family's time at the UGA Wildlife Treatment Center totaled nine weeks and included care from multiple veterinary specialists and 16 students from the college's wildlife treatment crew.
Daisy's post-surgical care included weeks of daily physical therapy and medication; she and her ducklings were fed, cleaned and swum twice a day. "This was not an easy job, and I think these animals have really helped the UGA students learn about waterfowl care-taking and medicine," noted Dr. Joerg Mayer, an associate professor in exotic animal, wildlife and zoological medicine service at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine.
Daisy's care, which totaled more than $2,000, was paid for by private donations. The medical care provided to other wildlife brought in to the Wildlife Treatment Center is paid for by donations to the Kate Grant Wildlife Fund.
June 3 Athens Banner-Herald article: "Feathered assault victim on the mend after treatment at vet school."
June 6 Smyrna-Vinings Patch story and photos, "Lovett welcomes back injured mallard and her ducklings."