Animal Stories

Injured goose is rushed to animal hospital — then came a ‘tapping at the clinic door’

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An injured wild goose was headed for surgery when the animal hospital staff made a heartwarming discovery.

The New England Wildlife Center’s branch on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, said it found Arnold the goose limping near a pond on Tuesday and decided to take him in for a check-up. That’s when the staff discovered two fractures that could threaten his chance of survival.

But Arnold’s luck quickly turned, thanks to a surprise visitor.

“As we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door,” the wildlife center wrote Wednesday in a Facebook post. “We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic!”

It turns out, Arnold’s female partner had tracked him down and stayed outside the clinic throughout the surgery.

Facebook story:

Through sickness and health…here is your feel good story of the day 😁

Today was a first for our hospital. We often have people ask if they can visit the patients they dropped off, but today we had our first animal visitor! For the safety of our patients we do not accommodate visitation requests, but in this case we had to make an exception!

This Canada goose, we refer to as Arnold, lives on a pond near our facility. He is part of a mated pair that have been together for several years. They are totally wild and usually keep to themselves when people are around, but yesterday our staff noticed that Arnold had developed a significant limp and was continuously falling over. With some effort we were able to catch Arnold and bring him in for a veterinary exam, one of the “perks” of having a wildlife hospital in your backyard. Upon exam our veterinary team found that he had two open-fractures on his foot. This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed.

Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming. In order to save the foot, and give him a chance at survival, we knew we had to perform surgery to amputate one of the digits and suture the other wound closed. We gave Arnold antibiotics and pain medications and fasted him for surgery the next morning.

Today, as we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door. We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic! She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside. She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway. Thankfully the surgery went well and we expect the foot to heal with continued treatment and time.

Once Arnold woke from anesthesia and the wound was closed and bandaged, we decided to let him recover by the doorway so that he could see his mate. We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door.

They both seemed much more at ease in each other’s presence.Arnold will likely need several weeks of treatment in our hospital before he is ready to rejoin his mate in the wild. He will need to be kept inside for the majority of this time in order to keep his wound sterile and prevent infection. We will do our best to get him back out quickly and will perform bandage changes and treatments in view of the doorway when possible so that his mate can check up on him ❤️

And when the procedure was done, the hospital said allowed Arnold to recover near the door. A photo posted to Facebook shows the animal with an oxygen mask over his beak as his partner looked on.

“His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door,” officials said. “They both seemed much more at ease in each other’s presence.”

Arnold is a Canada goose, a species that mates with one partner for life. Or as the animal hospital calls it: “Through sickness and health.”

Social media users couldn’t get enough of the couple’s years-long commitment. By Friday, the wildlife center’s Facebook post had about 2,900 reactions and several comments wishing Arnold a speedy recovery.

The Canada goose, named “Arnold,” was able to eat with his mate “Amelia” nearly a week after Arnold underwent emergency surgery to repair open foot fractures. Source 1

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