Foot Booties for All

Thanks to many of our volunteers that have sewing skills, we now have1, 000 pair of re-usable foot booties ready for immediate use in the event of a future oiled wildlife response.

Re-usable foot booties being applied to a western grebe

Re-usable foot booties being applied to a western grebe

After the Cosco Busan, we identified areas within the rehabilitation process that we wanted to make improvements in. One of the areas we recognized as a top priority was the use of techniques to prevent captivity related medical problems. One captivity related problem that develops with some of the pelagic birds we treat when housed out of water is pressure ulcers. These can develop over areas on their body that have abnormal pressure from their own weight when they are housed out of their natural water environment. This pressure can reduce circulation to the area and cause abrasions that if not identified and treated can become problematic to the birds health and its release. Common areas of their body prone to pressure ulcers are the feet and keel (breast bone).

Grebe with both keel & foot wraps

Foot wraps are applied to pelagic birds and other species with sensitive feet to help prevent or mitigate these pressure ulcers while being housed out of water. They can be made with many types of materials. We are moving towards using a re-usable wrap to replace the onetime use bandage material that we use for making foot booties on pelagic birds. The benefits of a reusable, prefabricated booty are that they can be quickly applied reducing handling time and stress to the bird and they can be washed and reused reducing waste. We are also in the process of creating a reusable keel sling that is part of a preventative keel wrap. We have tested many prototypes and I hope to share with you a picture of a successful one in the near future.


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