Daily rounds: Domestic Goose with large facial mass


Consider it the month of the goose for International Bird Rescue. As local media helped us to solve a cruelty case involving a goose shot through the neck with an arrow, we also received into care this Domestic Goose from a feral population at a housing development near Suisun Marina, one much beloved by the locals who monitor the flock.

As you can see, the bird was observed at the Suisun Marina in January of this year with a large mass on its face. After several months of attempts to capture the bird and get it the medical attention it clearly needed, local rescuers were able to bring the bird to our center for care on April 7.

On our initial exam, the bird was found to be very thin, although with no other injuries other than the large mass on its head. Prior to surgery, the team attempted to make the goose comfortable, as the mass was pulling the facial skin to the right, making it difficult for the bird to blink. X-rays were taken to determine if the goose had any additional tumors/masses that could be seen on X-ray. No other masses were found, and the bird was scheduled for surgery the following day.

Veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Duerr performed the “lumpectomy” surgery on April 8. The surgery went very well, despite some significant blood loss. The bird recovered well and immediately began drinking and preening — behavior that it may well have been struggling with when the tumor was attached to its head. The tumor weighed 70g, nearly what we would expect the bird’s entire head to weigh.

The mass has been sent to a laboratory to perform histopathology (microscopic examination of tissue) on it. This will let us know if the mass was a tumor or an abscess. If it was a tumor, the test will determine whether it’s malignant.

Post-surgery, the bird is recovering well, although we are closely monitoring its ability to self-feed in addition to monitoring the surgical site. It’s currently housed in an aviary with a companion bird: the goose recovering from an arrow wound.

1 thought on “Daily rounds: Domestic Goose with large facial mass”

  1. Hi, I was wondering how I go about finding someone to help a goose in our state (Indiana ). I want to tell you something about her. She is a white goose I’ve come to call her Lully Gaggle, she lives at Bixler Lake in Kendallville Indiana, she is a sweetheart ( she’ll tuck her head to sleep and I can sit there and pet her.) Here’s the sad part of her story, she is crippled on one leg, there have been many different tales about how it happened. This is one I was told by a pastor whose friend was there at the time, two teenage boys had a fishing line and caught her leg in it then twisted until they had it turned backwards. The pastor friend saw this (and according to him his friend has quit the temper) he knew if he did what he wanted to, to those boys he’d be arrested but he did put the fear of him and God into them.
    As I wrote earlier she is crippled and on top of that she is getting these black bumps on her beak, one eye, the side of her face and her good foot. Unfortunately I live in another town that will not allow people to keep any outdoor birds like, geese, chickens or ducks otherwise I would bring her home in a heartbeat.
    I don’t know who I can turn to so she can get help. I think she has been through enough in her life and is time she was taken care of. So any suggestion you could provide would be deeply appreciated.

    Thank You,
    Lully’s Friend
    Mary S.

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