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Treatment of snakebite envenomation in sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis)
  1. Cara Lisa Field1,
  2. Robert A MacLean2 and
  3. James F Grillo2
  1. 1Department of Veterinary Science, The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, USA
  2. 2Audubon Nature Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cara Lisa Field, cara.field{at}


Envenomation of people and animals by snakes in the Viperidae family occurs commonly throughout the USA; however, envenomation of birds is rarely reported. Between 2009 and 2011, four sandhill cranes in a Louisiana breeding colony were bitten by venomous snakes. All suffered varying degrees of soft tissue trauma, oedema and tissue necrosis associated with the injury. All four were treated with supportive care and crotalid antivenom. None developed neurological symptoms during or subsequent to treatment, and each crane made a full recovery over the following weeks. As with other species, supportive care is essential in treatment of venomous snakebites and antivenom appears to be a safe and likely beneficial treatment in sandhill cranes.

  • Trauma
  • Alternative therapies
  • Birds
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