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Old Wednesday 15th February 2006, 22:15   #1
equipictures
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Broken Wing - Help???

I am sad to say that this evening i knocked down a pigoen. It looks like a racing pigeon but has not tag and seems to be tame. I stopped and picked up the pigeon who seemed only to have an injured wing. I phoned my vet and took the bird there immediately. When examining the bird the vet didn't seem very sure whether the wing was broken or not, but eventually decided it was. He said to me that there is a chance that the wing would heal if i took care of the bird for about 6 weeks and kept the broken wing immobile and of course i agreed. He then bandaged the bird in a way that neither wing could move and the bird seemed to be top heavy and kept falling over. I now have the bird at home in my spare room. I re-bandaged it so that now only the broken wing is immobile and the bird is now walking about and is very bright. I have since went on the RSPB website to get advice on caring for the bird and read that a bird with a broken wing will never fly again and that puting the bird to sleep is the best thing to do. I am now confused about what i should do for the best. I am more than willing to treat the bird for as long as nessecary and to give it any care required. Could anyone advise me about how to treat a broken and how i should best care for the bird ( who i have named blue).
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2006, 22:56   #2
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Hopefully someone from BF will be with you shortly equipictures - can't help myself but have done a 'heads-up' by bumping up the rating.
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2006, 23:15   #3
Katy Penland
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I would suggest calling the vet back and asking him/her to verify whether this bird will be releasable once healed, and/or ask for the name of a local rehabber who can advise you on its care. BirdForum really isn't the appropriate place to get advice on captive/injured birds.
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2006, 23:24   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katy Penland
I would suggest calling the vet back and asking him/her to verify whether this bird will be releasable once healed, and/or ask for the name of a local rehabber who can advise you on its care. BirdForum really isn't the appropriate place to get advice on captive/injured birds.
I will try and locate a local rehabber first thing in the morning, i will also be back at my vets tomorrow with my dog (pre-arranged appointment) and will ask her for her opinion (she is a different vet from what saw the pigeon). Thank you very much for your help. I will post the outcome.
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Old Thursday 16th February 2006, 10:04   #5
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Hmmm, this doesn't sound good. If the vet could not find an obvious break, eg in the radius or ulna or humerus, then it is likely to be in carpal joint (wrist). If so, then it is very very unlikely that it will ever heal well enough for flight. This area performs the subtle movements needed for flight control, and a break always seems to cause extensive stiffening when healed, and a loss of mobility.

What I would do would be to immediately immobilise the wing using a cardboard splint (folded over the joint of the closed wing and stapled together, then taped over, and also use masking tape to tape the folded primaries together so the bird cannot try and open the wing) for about 14 days, then take it off and see how it is. Give the bird a bit of physio by gently stretching the wing, and see if it is capable of flying. It's chances are virtually nil though, and you would then be faced with euthanasing it after 'making friends', so it may just be better to ask the vet to do it now and save you and it the distress.

Also, a pigeon with a broken wing, even if healed, will be of no use to the owner at all, and they will simply get rid of it if you contact them.
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Old Thursday 16th February 2006, 23:04   #6
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poecile
Hmmm, this doesn't sound good. If the vet could not find an obvious break, eg in the radius or ulna or humerus, then it is likely to be in carpal joint (wrist). If so, then it is very very unlikely that it will ever heal well enough for flight. This area performs the subtle movements needed for flight control, and a break always seems to cause extensive stiffening when healed, and a loss of mobility.

What I would do would be to immediately immobilise the wing using a cardboard splint (folded over the joint of the closed wing and stapled together, then taped over, and also use masking tape to tape the folded primaries together so the bird cannot try and open the wing) for about 14 days, then take it off and see how it is. Give the bird a bit of physio by gently stretching the wing, and see if it is capable of flying. It's chances are virtually nil though, and you would then be faced with euthanasing it after 'making friends', so it may just be better to ask the vet to do it now and save you and it the distress.

Also, a pigeon with a broken wing, even if healed, will be of no use to the owner at all, and they will simply get rid of it if you contact them.
Thank you so much for your very helpful reply. If I am honest, I feel that although the bird is bright and appears healthy I know deep down the chances of a full recovery are slim. I do find the thought of euthanasing it very hard and this is only after 24 hours, I don't know how hard it would be after weeks of caring for the bird. Your reply makes a lot of sense and you are obviously very knowledgeable. I would love the bird to recover but don't want to make its life a misery while I try to rehabilitate it. Decisions like this are so difficult and heartbreaking.
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Old Friday 17th February 2006, 00:37   #7
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Since you have already seen a vet and plan to talk to one again, I guess I won't be too out of line discussing an injured bird, especially since I'm not advising any treatment. I'm just wondering why a bird has to be put down for a broken wing? It may never fly again, but that's not the end of the world. Most people that keep parrots as pets clip the wing feathers to keep them from flying. Don't people have pigeons as pets? I'm not being smart or anything. I had a cockatiel with a broken wing, a crow (he ultimately went to a school science teacher), and a pigeon as a kid. If you can't keep a pet equipictures, maybe you could find the bird a home. Am I nuts? No, don't answer that.
Or maybe in this case the wing is hanging down too far.

Last edited by SueO : Friday 17th February 2006 at 03:51.
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Old Friday 17th February 2006, 02:31   #8
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Hi equipictures ,

Sorry to hear have an injured bird,
contact me for the Scottish SPCA telephone number
If the bird needs to be kept before release, they have the facilities to house it. If it needs humane destruction they have the expertise and equipment.
It is unlikely to be a fancier`s bird if it has no ring but check the primary feathers underside as they may have an owners name and phone number in ink printed on one.

Some Parrots, etc are used to being on the ground or climbing and have evolved to do that. Pigeons have evolved to fly and perch, they can often develop foot problems if they are ground bound.
If the wing is bad, and there is little chance of release, then it would be kinder to humanely destroy it.

Good luck,
John.
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Old Friday 17th February 2006, 09:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrinator
Since you have already seen a vet and plan to talk to one again, I guess I won't be too out of line discussing an injured bird, especially since I'm not advising any treatment. I'm just wondering why a bird has to be put down for a broken wing? It may never fly again, but that's not the end of the world. Most people that keep parrots as pets clip the wing feathers to keep them from flying. Don't people have pigeons as pets? I'm not being smart or anything. I had a cockatiel with a broken wing, a crow (he ultimately went to a school science teacher), and a pigeon as a kid. If you can't keep a pet equipictures, maybe you could find the bird a home. Am I nuts? No, don't answer that.
Or maybe in this case the wing is hanging down too far.
Well, funnily enough, I do know someone who has an injured dove (white pigeon) with exactly the same injury (carpal fracture that caused flightlessness), and they have indeed kept it. It lives with their chickens and seems happy enough. But this is a bit of an extreme situation. Not everyone has the space or the opportunity. And think of the commitment you'd be making - it might live 10 years. If, for any personal reasons, you simply connot face having it destroyed (the vet will do it), then you can give it that 0.1% chance of recovery and give it a go with the splints, then make a decision at the end of it. But, think about what kind of life you could give it if it was permanantly disabled. Would it be stuck in a small hutch all its life? It would have no company from other birds. And, let's be honest, it would be a burden to you.

Your only other option could be a rescue centre - there are places dotted all over that keep disabled birds (although not 100% wisely with all species, imho)
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Old Saturday 18th February 2006, 18:09   #10
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Dear Equipictures,
If Blue cannot fly properly, then perhaps you should try to place him in a bird sanctuary. Here in the states, in Arizona, we have the Oasis Sanctuary. The url is http://www.the-oasis.org/ You might want to email Sybil Erden, the founder, and see what she says about Blue. I'll bet she'll be helpful. Best of luck. - Madam Librarian
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Old Saturday 18th February 2006, 21:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadamLibrarian
Dear Equipictures,
If Blue cannot fly properly, then perhaps you should try to place him in a bird sanctuary. Here in the states, in Arizona, we have the Oasis Sanctuary. The url is http://www.the-oasis.org/ You might want to email Sybil Erden, the founder, and see what she says about Blue. I'll bet she'll be helpful. Best of luck. - Madam Librarian
Unfortunately, I am sad to say that after receiving a second opinion from another vet, it was confirmed that the bird did have a fractured wing and we were advised that the fairest option for the bird was for him to be put to sleep.

Thanks to everyone who offered advice. I wish the outcome was different however I know the final decision was for the best.
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Old Sunday 19th February 2006, 17:01   #12
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Equipictures, you did your best. You gave a little living creature aid and comfort. There was nothing more you could have done. - Madam Librarian
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Old Sunday 19th February 2006, 18:33   #13
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I'm sorry equipictures. Not everybody would have taken the time or spent the money to help out a pigeon. You are obviously a caring individual who did their best.
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