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Golden Retriever spots injured bald eagle and saves its life

The Goldie could tell something was “off.”

Dogs are a man’s best friend. They are the most loving, loyal, and protective of creatures.

And those traits often benefit many other animals as well as you’ll see here.

Kerrie Burns and Pam Weber were out together on a stroll along the Sucker River where it meets Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. That’s when Burns’ dog, Kenai, began barking.

Kenai, a 3-year-old golden retriever, spotted a bald eagle sitting in the brush. The dog kept barking.

“Shortly after this the eagle hopped out of the vegetation down to the shore line,” Burns said. “She fortunately has been trained not to chase wildlife.

Once she alerted me and I saw what she was looking at she stopped barking.”

Kerrie and Pam approached the bald eagle and to their surprise, it didn’t fly away.

“Thinking that it was a little peculiar to see an eagle standing on the shore with us present, we very slowly walked toward it,” Burns said.

“As we did this, the eagle continued to hop away from us. Clearly there was a problem.

At this point we retreated and walked home, both because it was getting dark and because it was too icy to safely proceed.”

The poor, injured bald eagle was perched on a branch near the water.

Kerrie and Pam returned the next day and found the bald eagle still there, so they contacted the Department of Natural Resources.

Burns, Weber and two women from DNR tried to catch the bald eagle, working together in the process.

They took the injured bird to Wildwoods, a wildlife rehabilitation organization.

The eagle’s feathers were frozen.

It was also suffering from a shoulder injury. Upon further examination, the animal showed signs of lead poisoning.

They did believe the injury was fixable, so the staff gave the eagle fluids and pain medication.

Burns and Weber then took the injured eagle to The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

Jamie Karlin is a veterinary technician.

The bald eagle was suffering from high clinical lead levels, a heart murmur and swelling of the left shoulder.

According to Karlin, the bird went through one round of lead chelation, which is a process that binds the lead and allows it to be excreted. Karlin said, “The bird’s prognosis is fair.”

The vet went on to say that lead treatment does take time. The extent of damage from lead was still uncertain.

In fact, some lead cases can take several months to a full year or more to make a full recovery.

And that’s if the lead hasn’t already damaged the heart or organs too severely.

Had it not been for Kenai, the bald eagle may never have made it.

With that said, eagle is expected to make a full recovery. Another testament to just how amazing dogs are and how they continue to surprise us.

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