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Vincent Palmeri- Extern Daily Diary  12/4/18

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Today was another busy day at LBAH.  The first patient I was able to assist with was Milo, a 17 year old cat that came in late the previous night because he was acting depressed, recently had difficulty going to the restroom, and seems uncomfortable in his abdomen.  Dr. Kennedy did a thorough job examining Milo to find out that his presenting problems are likely related to a bad back as his x-rays showed arthritic changes (spondylosis) to his spinal vertebrae making it uncomfortable to use the restroom.  Further testing ruled out any kidney or urinary disease at this time and his overnight therapy helped Milo feel much better in the morning. We hope to see Milo back to being the normal cat he always has been.  
Another amazing case we had today was a 2 year old guinea pig named Aubrey.  She came in today to have one of her eyes removed.  Unfortunately over the weekend she seemed to have some type of traumatic episode to her eye that caused an infection and  she lost her vision in that eye, and not it is painful.  Dr. Kennedy did an amazing job removing Aubrey’s affected eye and she recovered fully after her procedure.  Abscesses in pocket pets can be serious problems and unfortunately they can linger for a long time.  It becomes very important to follow with proper postoperative care at home and continue to monitor them for any new changes such as decreased weight or inappetence. We are very hopeful that Aubrey will have a full recovery and will be back to her normal happy self.
Examining her to make sure she is ready before we proceed with the surgery
One of the monitors we used on her during this surgery to make sure there are no anesthetic problems
Ready to assist Dr. K
Terri keeping our friend warm as we leave the surgery room
Our patient is cozy warm as it is brought back to recovery
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update as it will be a fun-filled day with many boarded specialists coming in to work together with the staff at LBAH on some of their cases.  One case in particular is a dog named Frankie, who within the past couple months had been showing episodes of vomiting and lethargy.  He was recently diagnosed by the doctors at LBAH as having Gall bladder disease.  This is a very serious condition in dogs, where an accumulation of bile sludge stays within the gall bladder and has difficulty emptying, and can become life-threatening.  Frankie is scheduled to have his gall bladder removed tomorrow with the amazing Dr. Larsen, a board certified veterinary surgeon who works together with LBAH.  Here is a link to the procedure Frankie will be undertaking tomorrow:  /liver-diseases-2/ 
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Birds in Flight (BIF)- Peregrine Falcon

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First things first, if you want to shoot a flying falcon you need a flying falcon. Dr. Palazzolo has a friend that is a licensed falconer. She has a wild falcon that was given to her when it was young because the parents were attacking it. She has been training it and will be releasing it soon.

This very fast flying bird is an ideal candidate to practice BIF photography. Hang on to your hats for this one, because it doesn’t get any faster than this in the natural world. A peregrine falcon on a dive can go up to 240 mph! On two separate occasions Dr. P had a chance to photograph this female falcon as it was flying around him preying upon pigeons.

Birds in flight is one of the most difficult photographic situations encountered in wildlife photography (or any photography for that matter). Birds fly very fast, faster than people realize. A bird that is flying at 40 mph, which is par for the course, is going almost 6o feet every second!

It usually takes one of the higher end DSLR cameras with regards to autofocus and frame rate to consistently get your BIF shots in focus and with the right pose. More important than that though, is to practice with whatever equipment you have.

Dr. P’s equipment are a Canon 1Dx Mark II camera with a Canon 400mm f/4 D.O. version II lens handheld. The aperture was kept at f/4 for all photos, and the ISO was at 400, giving a shutter speed that varied from 1/3000th of a second to 1/8000th of a second. The camera was set to manual mode, and all autofocus points were active in a custom setting for flying birds.

On a camera that shoots ten frames per second (10 pictures per second), a bird at 40 mph is going 6 feet in between each of those shots. Ten frames per second is just marginal for a bird at 40 mph, let alone the speed of this peregrine which can be much faster. 

The falcon is always transported hooded to keep it calm. Once we got to the beach the hood comes off, although it cannot fly away because of the jesses being held by the falconer. 

The falcon has not been fed, so its senses are keen and it is ready to hunt. You can tell by the way it moves its head, even though it is hooded, that it is primed to go.

The hood is off and its time to find something to eat

In no time it is off

While it is still close now is the time to see if your camera settings are appropriate

It needs height to assess its prey and to have enough speed to dive, so the first thing it does is go up. Now is when the fun starts!

It banked right past as I tried to keep the lens right on her

One time she flew right at me lower than usual because the pigeon she wanted was flying just above the sand

Unfortunately, the falcon was far away when it got the pigeon

It flew off to a sand dune and enjoyed its pigeon dinner

The bird has complete trust in our falconer, and she was able to walk right up even though it was eating

She was able to put the jesses back on with no problem

The bird didn’t miss a beat and kept on eating in between shaking feathers out of its mouth

Another day, another try…….

Off it went to find a new pigeon, and a pigeon it found

It always wants to go high for a good vantage point and to be able to dive

When it spotted the pigeon it banked hard to the right

And streaked down at high speed

This time the pigeon stayed low, and used a garbage can for cover

The falcon closed in…..

….. but the pigeon made a hard turn at the right time

This pigeon lived to see another day

Our falconer called the falcon back for some food she had for it

When it saw the food she had it came right in

Dinner time



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