Broken breast bone? (Salomé) - Pigeon-Talk
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 27th October 2019, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2018
Country: Spain
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 226

Broken breast bone? (Salomé)


I'm utterly sick right now. Salomé has been with me since September 20. I removed a lot of hair from her leg and one toe was going to need amputation. I had a holiday booked and she stayed with my usual pigeon sitter who had an unusual number of birds, including those sick with pox. I was not happy about leaving her there but didn't have other choices, she was sure there would be no issue and - as I'd feared - Salomé contracted pox.

The necrotic toe has since come off, I've cleaned the injury and pox-affected areas twice daily for weeks and today the last pox scab fell off and I was finally ready to release her. I took her out on a practice flight as I always do to check that everything looked normal with her and she was ready, and she had a bad landing and I think must have broken something. It doesn't seem to be her legs or wings, and I'm concerned it's her breast bone. I cannot believe this. After everything, and on the cusp of release tomorrow morning, and she has yet another major thing to overcome and this one's hugely complicated. She's only a baby. It's just been thing after thing for her.

I've had vets consider euthanasia over this kind of injury due to its complexity. If it is indeed a broken breast bone or a different bone in the same place, has anyone had birds recover from this? Is there some kind of traction you can use? At the moment she's lying on her side and is quiet, but her eyes are open and not droopy. I've given her a heating pad and pain relief, and will go to the vet tomorrow.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 28th October 2019, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2018
Country: Spain
Location: Barcelona
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Salomé has made it through the night and following day. I was so happy the vet didn't say euthanasia would be the best, I really thought she was a case for it. He couldn't find anything broken but she's got some weakness on her right side. He suspects a spinal cord injury or similar and she's basically on bed rest which is all she can do anyway. We'll see how she goes.

She is alert but unable to move, though her legs kick well enough when picked up. She didn't eliminate any waste for a long time but finally, 30 hours post-injury, something has come out which is a huge relief.

From what I understand, getting past day 3 with injuries like this is the goal. So I'm crossing fingers.

I'm starting to wonder if there has always been some kind of delicacy about Salomé. She never flew very well and always hung out at one of the restaurants below my place. We put it down to the infection she had when losing her toe hut in light of her first flight going so wrong, I'm wondering if maybe it was more. Time will tell how she goes. I really, really hope she makes it and doesn't have any more complications.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 28th October 2019, 10:10 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
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I hope she will be ok. Keep us updated.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 29th October 2019, 01:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2018
Country: Spain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marina B View Post
I hope she will be ok. Keep us updated.
Thank you, me too. Will do! She managed to move herself a bit in her cage today. Crossing fingers.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 31st October 2019, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2018
Country: Spain
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 226
No major changes for Salomé. The vet said not to expect any for at least a week so I'm trying to focus on that.

Reading more on spinal cord injuries (if that's indeed what is wrong) it seems there's not so much you can do to diagnose or treat, and it's a matter of waiting and seeing if swelling goes down and things improve. All other signs are positive - she can move her feet, is vocal and lively when I treat her, and is always alert so clearly no mental deficits. It's so weird seeing her just lying on her side.

I'll keep going. If there are no noticeable improvements by next Thursday when we go back to the vet, I'll need to consider euthanasia because she has no quality of life like this. Apparently it can take up to 6 months for improvement in these cases and I don't think that would be fair. But I'll wait and see. It's still early days.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 31st October 2019, 06:08 AM
Join Date: Apr 2018
Country: Spain
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 226
Also, can someone please help me tag a moderator to change the title of this thread? I think it would be better - and easier for someone else to find - if it said "Spinal injury, can't move but not paralysed (Salomé)"
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 1st November 2019, 09:04 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
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Lying on the side must be very akward for her. Can't you put her in a sitting position on a soft blanket and fold the sides around her so that she at least stay in that position? Hope she gets better soon.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 5th November 2019, 12:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2018
Country: Spain
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marina B View Post
Lying on the side must be very akward for her. Can't you put her in a sitting position on a soft blanket and fold the sides around her so that she at least stay in that position? Hope she gets better soon.
Sorry for the delay in responding, it's been an incredibly busy few days with kittens, cats and pigeons!

I thought I was going to lose Salomé on Sunday and yesterday. She started bleeding heavily from her vent in big clumps and it wasn't continuous but it kept happening. I brought her vet visit forward and thought between the bleeding and the lack of major improvement in her movement, I'd have to consider euthanasia.

I am very happy to say that she is still with us. Through all of this, she has always been very alert and bright-eyed. We'll give it another week and see what changes, if anything. The cause of the bleeding turned out to be a combination of things I suspected but the main problem was that she hadn't been expelling all her poo and it fermented inside of her. Very gross. She's on an anti-hemorrhagic medication as well as the rest and the vet got all the poo and blood out. I'll give her a daily massage near the vent to ensure it keeps moving.

As to your question about propping her up, the issue is that she doesn't stay in one spot! I sometimes swaddle her, but trying to prop her up usually involves her pushing herself along with her feet and toppling off the pile and winding up half on her head. Yesterday I tried a kind of disposable muffin thing made of foil and she got herself out of it in 5 minutes. So it's general safer to have her on her side and switch her position up regularly.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 5th November 2019, 06:45 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,361
I really hope there will be an improvement soon. It will be awfull to have her put down. Sounds to me like she wants to live. Are you giving her some exposure to a bit of sunlight every day?
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 6th November 2019, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2018
Country: Spain
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 226
I really hope so, too. She's full of personality and it sucks that she just can't move.

And no, she's not getting sunlight every day. Three days a week, yes. She's with me at work four days a week and I'm not taking her outside during my lunch break. Unfortunately with the seasonal change, it's dark when I get home now.
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