Broken bones sometimes are obvious, sometimes they are not.
1. If bleeding, it is a compound fracture (bone has broken through the skin). Put on Baytril. If bird is small, pull the leg straight and often the bone will realign inside the skin. Use stiff tape (1/2 waterproof first aid tape) to immobilize the leg and allow for healing for 2 weeks. See vet for difficult fractures.
2. If skin is not broken, you can attempt to splint if you feel comfortable doing so. Usually the joint above and below the fracture should be immobilized.
3. If the break is up high near the body, it cannot be splinted, so try to keep the bird as immobile as possible until healed (2-3 weeks). All birds with fractured legs need to be in a flat container, no perches and kept quiet. They will start putting pressure on the leg as it begins healing, 1-3 weeks. Splints usually come off after 2-3 weeks.
4. Put on Baytril for compound fracture (#1), or very swollen, badly bruised, or swollen joints, or if bird appears sick, or has other wounds.
A bird has weak legs if it cannot stand on its legs. If you pinch the toe and the bird can still pull back a little, the leg is usually not broken, just unable to support the bird. This can be caused by a virus, (most common in doves), a bacterial infection, environmental poison, contamination or inadequate nutrition, especially in a young bird. Often adolescents are affected because their immune system is not developed enough to fight off the virus. Doves and pigeons most commonly affected but it can happen to other species too.
1. Baytril 2x per day for 14 days.
2. Good nutrition - handfeed formula as the bird will be dehydrated and usually skinny.
3. Add vitamins/minerals (one drop of baby vitamin liquid, like Poly Vi Sol) once or twice per day, or other good bird vitamin supplement and can give extra calcium.
4. Support between rolled towels so bird is upright and less stressed.
5. Check butt frequently and keep raised so bird does not develop skin infection from sitting in poop. Change paper towels frequently.
6. Worm the bird! (Strongid and Droncit).
Baby and young birds that have one or both legs growing out at an odd angle or just slightly turned are usually caused by slippery surfaces, where the legs and feet cannot stay tucked under the body where they belong.
1. Legs must be kept in place for small babies, use a makeup wedge.
2. Keep bird in small container or secure nest-like shape to limit movement for two weeks.
Avoid this problem by using sturdy paper towels and nest lining and cup the nest so the baby/babies are supported. Especially mynah babies with long legs can use twigs or straw like lining to keep legs in place.
Older or bigger babies with more developed problem may need to see the vet for a stronger support to correct the splay (if possible).
This looks like a splay leg, because the lower part of the leg is turned out at the joint. Often there is redness or swelling around the joint or along the leg. Happens in babies/youngsters. The joint needs to be taped in a figure 8 style to hold the tendon in place, usually for two weeks. Treatment is only successful about 50% of the time.
1. Bird should probably see an avian vet until we get more experienced at diagnosing and wrapping the slipped tendons.
2. Housing is a cone-shaped nest out of stiff paper towels, so the body is supported, and the legs hang down without putting pressure on them.
Give us a call to speak with an experienced rehabber.