By Dave Crawley

OHIO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Ohio Township has treated countless animals, but Karen Phillips has just arrived with their very first blind emu.

The 11-month-old patient is one of 140 rescue animals at her Hope Haven Farm sanctuary in Franklin Park. Karen says “Guinness” was blinded when a bird of prey attacked him in his pen. Clinic employees take the opportunity to give him some loving.

“He has a litter mate, and that helps to orient himself,” Phillips says. “Probably a week to ten days after the injury, he needed to be tube fed. He was on quite a bit of medication, but now he’s fairly self-sufficient. But he does have to be kind of led to his food dish and his water dish, and once he’s in front of it he eats and drinks really well.”

Though she’s a veterinarian herself, Dr. Phillips comes to ophthalmologist Kara Gornik for the opinion of a specialist.

While Dr. Gornik has never examined an emu before, she says, “Most birds are pretty much the same as birds as far as structure, and things like that. Their eyes are a little smaller than some of the other eyes, but it’s essentially about the same.”

An ultrasound that followed revealed inflammation that might respond to treatment. There is guarded hope for Guinness at Hope Haven Sanctuary.

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