II: Swan Song">Road Trip Part II: Swan Song

Some­times house­calls are not actu­ally houses. A few years back I received a call regard­ing a sick swan. Two swans lived on a lake in the back­yard of a client and one of them was not act­ing right; it seemed lethar­gic. So the day of the visit, I pulled a tech­ni­cian and we packed the car with items we might need includ­ing a scale to weigh the bird, a stethascope, needles and syringes in case we needed to draw blood, some com­mon med­ica­tions that we may need, and of course my exotic for­mu­lary that would help me to fig­ure out a dosage for any med­ica­tions I may need to dis­pense.  Along the way, I got lost –which is a very com­mon theme for me any­where I go for the first time–but we were able to quickly get back on track and make it to the house.  Once we arrived, we were shown to the back of the house and told we will go to the birds. Then he pulled out the boat. It was  a lit­tle flat boat with a motor.  Appar­ently the birds were on the water and we needed to find them. I could have sworn I men­tioned on the phone that we needed the bird penned in but appar­ently they had not been able to cap­ture it. So we took a ride around the lake for a half hour. It was a beau­ti­ful autumn day so it was fairly pleas­ant. We finally found the swan and it’s mate in the mid­dle of the lake. The owner sug­gested we lure the bird onto the boat with the food…this did not work. I was only able to get a foot away from the bird. The swan seemed a bit lethar­gic, but really I could not phys­i­cally touch the bird to assess. After about fif­teen min­utes, even the owner real­ized it was futile. So we headed back to the house. All I could offer was  an antibi­otic dosed on the aver­age swan weight and rec­om­mend they try to give this in food. Amaz­ingly, a week later, I received a call that the swan was recov­er­ing and doing much bet­ter. I am not sure if it was the meds or tinc­ture of time, but I was glad we did not need to make a recheck visit.

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