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Symposium Handouts-Friday
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Friday, March 8th

Friday Morning


Turtle Workshop

Turtle Workshop
Mark Mitchell, DVM, MS, PhD, DECZM, Louisiana State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, LA

This hands-on workshop provides participants with an overview of basic turtle rehabilitation skills, including how to complete a thorough physical examination, develop a differential list, and institute appropriate therapy. Specific reviews of infectious diseases of chelonians, therapeutic planning (fluids and other medications), and nutrition for captive chelonians (esophagostomy tubes) are discussed.        


Education Session
Leslie Lattimore—Moderator


Educational Superpowers: Designing Custom Programs        
Amanda Wrigley, WildCare, Inc, IN          

Create unique, dynamic, and interactive programs to match the current needs of your community. Learn simple techniques to create programs that are more appealing for schools, adaptable for various ages, and have a quantifiable impact which makes them attractive to potential donors. This system also allows you to track the educational components of each presentation and adapt them to offer multiple versions of each program. Return year after year and surprise the same audience by offering a completely new version (including activity) of the same subject. Best of all, reduce the stress for your presenters and make your programs fun at the same time!


Making Wildlife Education More Impactful      
Debbie Sykes, Nashville Wildlife Conservation Center, TN    
Handout 1 - added March 29, 2019
Handout 2 - added March 29, 2019

As wildlife educators, we can make a greater impact with a more hands-on approach. Students become immersed in a creative way, making wildlife education personable, and the lessons more memorable. Learn what all of this means, how to come up with activities, how to organize the lessons and make them marketable for schools, and discuss ideas to create the most impact.


Education Obstacles, Tips, & Rewards
Elaine Friedman, Corvid Connection, CA     

An education program today involves contracts, insurance, fingerprinting, plus necessary tools to hold each student’s attention. Our goal as educators is to make a lasting positive impression helping the public to coexist peacefully with their wild neighbors. This lecture gives insight into creating programs that both engage and satisfy grade level requirements through the use of props, mounts, puppets, photography, storytelling, and succinct appearances by wildlife ambassadors directly related to the subject matter discussed.


Camps for Kids: Day Camps for Humane, Wildlife, & Environmental Education
Alexis Fitzgerald, Humane Animal Rescue, PA      
Handout 2 - added March 15, 2019

Many people think nostalgically back to when they went to summer camps. This presentation discusses the ways to start a camp at your facility. Camps are an excellent way to educate the next generation of animal protectors. During the last four years, Humane Animal Rescue has increased their camps to include eight weeks of camp plus day camps for more than 100 participants. Learn about teaching and activity space needed, schedule and lesson planning, and how to build a network of participants. Camps can take place at any time of the year, can last from one day to more than one week, and can quickly become an income generating program.


Celebrity Patients: Turning a Communications Burden into a Benefit  
Anita Moos, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc., DE

In August 2018, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research received an eaglet from Washington, DC that had been watched for months by thousands of viewers on an online nestcam. The bird arrived in poor condition and was euthanized within a week, even though media had initially reported the eaglet would be returned and released. This presentation covers the highs, the lows, the pitfalls, and tips on how to navigate social media and how to manage your messaging when caring for a high-profile patient. In the end, Tri-State received a lot of positive feedback, exposure, and financial support with this case.


Mammals I Session
Sponsored by Oaken Acres Wildlife Center
Nicki Rosenhagen, DVM—Moderator


Over-wintered Flying Squirrels: Lessons Learned
Peggy Popp, WI
Handout 2 - added March 15, 2019

This lectures highlights lessons learned from over-wintering eight juvenile southern flying squirrels and includes post-release observations.


Cottontails: Commonly Admitted, Uncommonly Complicated!
Karen McKenzie, Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital, WI  
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Handout 3 - added March 15, 2019
Handout 4 - added March 15, 2019
Handout 5 - added March 15, 2019

Cottontails! One of the hardest species to rehabilitate, yet for many, the most common species admitted for rehabilitation. This interactive session needs you! Please come willing to share your experiences and learn from each other. Discussion follows a loose session plan to ensure we can cover the topics most important to cottontail rehabilitation, including nutrition (formula choices, weaning diets, probiotics and other supplements, feeding techniques); diarrhea (causes, prevention, treatments); and special considerations of neonates.


Cost Efficient Enclosure to Enhance Behaviour & Welfare of Red Foxes
Cale Matesic, University of Guelph, ON

Design, construction, and testing of a new enclosure to enhance behaviour and welfare of red foxes was conducted in the winter, spring, and summer of 2017. Four red foxes were chosen in the testing of the enclosure to see its effectiveness. Analysis of structural materials was conducted and decided upon based off of price, properties, ease of acquiring, and safety for the animals. Structural integrity showed no signs of weakness and the foxes had no dependency on humans. The analysis suggests that further testing is required in order to cement the findings presented as each set of foxes are different.


Captive Rearing & Rehabilitation of North American Foxes
Lisa Fosco, Walden’s Puddle, Wildlife Center of Greater Nashville, TN  LisaCFosco@aol.comc    
Handout - added March 21, 2019

Fox kits are very commonly admitted to wildlife rehabilitators in North America. This presentation discusses successful methods for rearing them in captive care. Natural behavioral development is emphasized as this is critical for post-release survival in these species. Topics include neonatal concerns, diet and feeding, housing, husbandry, medical considerations, and release criteria.


Wild Fostering Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves
Regina Mossotti, Endangered Wolf Center, MO   
Kim Rutledge, Wildlife Rescue Center, MO

Presenters discuss cross-fostering (wild fostering) of critically endangered, captive-born wolves. The focus includes the partnership between Endangered Wolf Center and Missouri Wildlife Rescue Center and the logistics involved in transporting four critically endangered, 10-day old wolf pups from St. Louis to wild Mexican wolf packs in New Mexico and Arizona in the first ever double foster.


Veterinary Session
Sponsored by Judi and Bruce Goodman
Renee Schott, DVM—Moderator


The Role of Veterinarians in Improving Animal Welfare in Wildlife Rehabilitation
Julia Ponder, DVM, MPH, The Raptor Center, MN 

Ensuring the best possible animal welfare in wildlife rehabilitation requires a strong partnership between wildlife rehabilitators and the veterinarians with whom they work. The individuals in these groups run the gamut from incredibly knowledgeable and experienced to well-intentioned with limited knowledge. Veterinarians are often unaware of their role in the regulatory process and unfamiliar with where to find assistance in clinical wildlife medicine. This presentation describes a model for improving welfare for wildlife in rehabilitation.


Care of the Emaciated Patient 
Leslie Reed, DVM, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, MN   
Handout - added March 15, 2019

Caring for an emaciated patient is much more complex than just offering food and encouraging rapid weight gain. An emaciated state is considered critical, and the animal must be properly rehydrated and electrolyte and other hematologic abnormalities corrected before introducing a full diet. This lecture discusses how to properly assign a body condition score, assess and correct the level of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, and prevent the occurrence of re-feeding syndrome. How to choose a proper elemental diet is discussed, as well as how to determine the need for an esophageal feeding tube. Avian, mammal, and reptile species are covered.


Avian Anesthesia & Analgesia 
Kimberly McMunn, DVM, Tippecanoe Animal Hospital & Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center, IN           

Wildlife rehabilitators with the proper federal permits are often presented with injured birds. We recognize that birds are not dogs and cats, and therefore require specialized protocols for anesthesia and analgesia. This talk covers recent research on anesthesia and analgesia in birds, with a focus on a multimodal approach. Rehabilitators need to work closely with veterinarians to provide the best care for their wild bird patients.


A Retrospective Look at Outcomes of Raptors with Spinal Trauma     
David Scott, DVM, Carolina Raptor Center, NC

Spinal trauma is common in raptors admitted to rehabilitation centers. The prognosis for these cases depends on many factors and standard diagnostic testing is typically not helpful. Identification of any risk factors is crucial for the proper management and triage of these cases. This study attempts to identify factors associated with outcome, which was highly correlated with severity of clinical signs. A simple scoring system (scores ranging from 1 to 3) was developed that can be effectively used to predict the outcome. Choosing appropriate cases to treat can help minimize suffering and maximize use of limited resources.


Gross Pathology of Herons & Egrets (family Ardeidae) at a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Northern California
Molly Horgan, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, CA    
Handout - added March 15, 2019

Gross necropsies were performed on all 145 herons and egrets that died or were euthanized at a California wildlife rehabilitation center over a 6-week period in the summer of 2018. Common findings included metabolic bone disease, Eustrongyloides nematodes, and visceral gout. All 10 birds that died with gout were either receiving or had received the NSAID meloxicam. This finding suggests meloxicam may cause acute renal failure leading to death in these species. Other findings included joint infections, intestinal perforation, hepatomegaly, and aspergillosis. This study describes the gross findings and demonstrates the utility of gross necropsies in determining cause of death.


Friday Afternoon


Post-release Monitoring of Oiled Wildlife: Novel Technologies Workshop


Post-release Monitoring of Oiled Wildlife: Novel Technologies Workshop     
Kyra Mills, UC Davis Oiled Wildlife Care Network, CA     

Technology has come a long way since scientists first started using transmitters and data loggers 40+ years ago. This workshop provides an overview of the types of devices currently on the market, considerations for choosing the right equipment, and what information each unit can provide for monitoring rehabilitated oil spill patients. We also discuss different attachment methods and placement locations, including their pros and cons. This expert-led workshop is an informative and hands-on experience and is beneficial to participants ranging from little-to-moderate experience with monitoring devices, as well as those who simply wish to hear about what is new and “cool” in the gadget world.


Training Ambassadors
Jeff Meshach—Moderator


From Rehabilitation to Ambassador: Choosing, Training, & Maintaining
Lori Bankson, City of Green Bay, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, WI     

Animal ambassadors are wonderful opportunities to teach about rehabilitation. Not every non-releasable rehabilitation patient makes a good ambassador, but some patients are perfect candidates and can be excellent co-workers with you. Learn how to choose proper candidates, different rules and regulations to consider with having ambassadors, basic training techniques, evaluation techniques, and long-term considerations. Discussion includes mammals and reptiles. This presentation can benefit all rehabilitators!


Food & Weight Management in Birds  
Paige Davis, World Bird Sanctuary, MO           

Managing the food or weight of a bird is a useful tool to create motivation and shape behaviors. Learn about these management practices paired with the use of positive reinforcement training to improve the everyday lives of birds in captivity. Through careful management, the trainer is able to create a motivated, healthy, empowered animal. Topics include: how and when to deliver food, how food type can affect training, finding a healthy weight range for a highly motivated animal, factors affecting weight, and how to continuously evaluate and modify the weight of an individual.


Letting Go of the Leash: Empowering our Education Birds
Jackie Kozlowski, Tracy Aviary, UT     
Handout - added March 15, 2019

Recent science data supports that choice is a primary reinforcer and giving our birds power over their environment is invaluable in creating trusting relationships and confident individuals. This talk not only covers the beneficial consequences of empowering our education ambassadors but also looks at ways that we as trainers can set up the environment for the desired choices to be made.


It’s All About Choices 
Melissa Moore, New Mexico Wildlife Center, NM           

Bald eagles are challenging subjects for training and use in education programs. This presentation details the training of one ambassador eagle through its many challenges as we successfully prepared it for education programs both on- and off-site. We talk about what worked and what did not work, and the lessons we learned along the way that made us better trainers and handlers for all of our ambassador animals.


Revamping Your Wildlife Education Program

Debbie Sykes, Walden’s Puddle, Wildlife Center of Greater Nashville, TN       
Handout - added March 29, 2019

Have you been inspired by Gail, Jackie, and Melissa’s “empowering the animal” talks? Want to go back home and change everything your facility does, in order to keep up with the best-practice changes happening in the animal training field? Dive into what it really looks like to change your facility, techniques, mindsets, misconceptions, and discuss the outcomes so far.

Diets, Nutrition & Radiology Session
Sponsored by PetAg
Carla DeRousse—Moderator


Diet Doctors: Practical Skills for Treating Malfunctioning Diets Workshop Lecture      
Stephanie Herman, Audubon Society of Portland, OR

Good nutrition impacts all aspects of our patients’ health and well-being and is a cornerstone on which high-quality animal care is built. As wildlife professionals, we face challenges designing and assessing nutritional programs due to our patients’ incredibly varied (and often understudied) natural histories. Since we can rarely fully replicate wild foods and feeding methods, we must create alternatives and then depend on our own judgment and assessments to determine the success of our practices. This lecture provides an opportunity to review the basic tenets of wildlife nutrition and feeding and discusses theoretical approaches to the assessment and improvement of existing feeding practices. This lecture is a prerequisite for the Diet Doctors workshop.


Wild Foods Risks 4 Wildlife    
Kate Guenther, Wild Foods 4 Wildlife, VA          
Handout 2 - added March 15, 2019

There are very good reasons why you might want to be that rehabilitator who takes the care and effort to incorporate foraged wild plant foods into your patients’ diets. Yet there are serious risks associated with the top 50 wild plant foods that are eaten by wildlife—toxicological risks such as cyanide, nitrate, maple, or oxalate toxicities. Discussion covers where the greatest hidden risks might catch a rehabilitator off-guard, reasons why wild animals in captivity may be more susceptible to these plant poisonings, and reasons they stand to benefit from the increased use of natural comfort foods.


Farm-to-Cage Feeder Animals
Jordan O’Hara, Grey Snow Eagle House, OK  JO’  

One of the biggest challenges facing wildlife rehabilitators is providing patients with a healthy and balanced diet. Purchasing frozen feeders online is convenient but comes with issues such as businesses going under or being out of stock, care and health of the feeder animals, high shipping costs, and difficulty in obtaining prey for live training. The Grey Snow Eagle House has found it easier and more cost-effective to breed and raise feeder animals for the 65+ raptors in our care. This presentation provides a thorough overview of how we breed, raise, and care for quail, mice, rats, and rabbits.


Avian Radiographs 101
Nicki Rosenhagen, DVM, Progressive Animal Welfare Society, WA     

This interactive lecture reviews basic radiographic anatomy of birds to identify common lesions, including fractures, luxations, metabolic bone disease, bone infections, and soft tissue inflammation.


Mammals II Session
Sherri Cox, DVM—Moderator


River Otter Medicine
Heather Barron, DVM, CROW, FL         

River otters can be challenging patients that may present with a variety of maladies. In this lecture, appropriate medical and rehabilitative care is discussed, with a focus on parasites of significance (including Dirofilaria sp, Dracunculus and Crenosoma), preventative medicine, trauma management, anesthesia and analgesia, and care of orphans. Video is used liberally to help elucidate more difficult procedures and Poll Everywhere used to help ensure audience engagement and understanding.


Captive Rearing & Rehabilitation of Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis)
Lisa Fosco, Walden’s Puddle, Wildlife Center of Greater Nashville, TN    
Handout 1 - added March 21, 2019
Handout 2 - added March 21, 2019

This presentation discusses natural history as well as simple and successful methods for rearing striped skunks, one of the more common rabies vector species admitted to North American rehabilitators. Topics include diet and feeding, housing, husbandry, behavioral and developmental considerations, release criteria, and a discussion on legislation and legalization considerations.


Raising Orphaned Weasels & Mink      
Peggy Popp, WI
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This talk discusses the natural history, care protocols, pre-release conditioning, and release techniques for orphaned weasels and mink, illustrated by pictures and video featuring adorable young mustelids. As time allows, “lessons learned” and post release studies are shared, as well as information about farmed/domestic mink vs wild mink.


Dental Examination & Pathologies in the Mammal Patient
Leslie Reed, DVM, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, MN    

The dental examination is a crucial and oftentimes overlooked part of the wild mammal physical exam. Functions of mammal teeth are numerous, and a healthy mouth is imperative to survival in the wild. This lecture discusses the importance of healthy dentition, and also describes how to efficiently and safely perform a thorough dental exam, how to count and classify teeth, and how to recognize common dental pathologies. Treatment and euthanasia recommendations are also discussed.