This American goldfinch has found herself with bad case of conjunctivitis, or pink eye. A woman brought the bird to VINS last week after observing her on the ground below a feeder, sitting there for hours.
When we examined the bird, we found the tissue around her left eye red and puffy with a little bit of crusty gunk. The eye was so puffy, in fact, it was nearly swollen shut. Her right eye was only slightly inflamed. We treated the finch with a round of antibiotics and have been flushing her eyes daily. Both eyes are clearing and the swelling is going down, but we're unsure about her vision in the left eye, so her rehabilitation is not quite over yet. We'll continue to flush her eyes and monitor the healing progress.
Like the human form of pink eye, avian conjunctivitis is contagious, so we have to keep this bird separated from our other patients, sterilize any syringes we use to medicate her, and be diligent about washing our hands immediately after handling her. But we don't mind giving this little gal some extra TLC: we think she's worth it!