AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - After a biannual checkup in early October, university veterinarians say Auburn's famed golden eagle Nova, War Eagle VII, may be in the early stages of heart failure.

The 20-year-old male eagle received the checkup at the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the appointment was followed by another echocardiogram Oct. 31.

“Nova’s condition has been medically managed and he has remained stable during the past two years, however, during his October exam, we observed decreased systolic function and enlarged vessels in his liver,” said Dr. Seth Oster, faculty avian veterinarian for the college’s Southeastern Raptor Center. “This could be an indication of the early stages of heart failure.”

Veterinarians have adjusted Nova's dosage in hopes of improving his condition. According to Oster, veterinarians will know more about Nova's condition after he responds to the latest rounds of treatment.

In 2017, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which is a chronic disease of the heart. The condition led to Nova being sidelined from flying at football games to reduce stress.“Nova’s condition has been medically managed and he has remained stable during the past two years, however, during his October exam, we observed decreased systolic function and enlarged vessels in his liver,” said Dr. Seth Oster, faculty avian veterinarian for the college’s Southeastern Raptor Center. “This could be an indication of the early stages of heart failure.”

Nova came to Auburn in 2000 and made his first pre-game flight in 2004. He was designated War Eagle VII in 2006 and has helped promote wildlife conservation and awareness at almost 2,000 educational programs and events.

While veterinarians monitor Nova, his appearances at the Southeastern Raptor Center’s educational programs will be limited, according to Andrew Hopkins, assistant director of raptor training and education.