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.