A Very 'Merry' Update: Vet Team Creates Innovative Flamingo Brace

You may remember Merry the American flamingo whose treatment story appeared on social media earlier this year.

After Merry's caretakers observed that she wasn’t using her right leg, she was transported to the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital. During her exam, the vet team noticed swelling in her leg, so she was prescribed 'stall rest'. In the meantime, she received regular therapeutic laser therapy on her leg to accelerate the healing process while under observation.

Merry with Mark

Nearly four months later, Merry has rejoined her flock, along with her mate who kept her company during her initial recovery. After brainstorming, the vet team invented a unique approach to modify her brace for the habitat – made of waterproof swimmers tape and wetsuit material, which works to provide extra support for her injured ligament as her weight shifts back-and-forth, when navigating the flamingo habitat.

Because injured ligaments heal slowly, Merry will continue to wear her brace on a long-term or indefinite basis. This healthcare plan provides her with an excellent quality of life, while also enabling her to be a full-time member of her flock.

Merry will continue to be monitored by her caretakers regularly and is now viewable to Zoo guests. Congrats to the bird care team, vet team, and of course – Merry herself!

Mark Romanoski with Merry

-Mark Romanoski, veterinary technician

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