Leg splay? (Astrid) - Pigeon-Talk
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 25th August 2019, 04:32 PM
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Leg splay? (Astrid)


Hi all. So I thought I finally had an easy case after some tricky birds recently, but it turns out not so much 😕

Astrid was found by a neighbour in her disgusting interior terrace. The neighbour came to find me and basically used me as a pest removal service because she knew that I help pigeons. She's a baby - still a squeaker - and by far the most solid bird I've ever had. She's built like she goes to the gym regularly, it's amazing the heft of her. She was covered in parasites and wasn't able to fly out of the terrace - it's in between two tall buildings.

At first I thought she was just stuck, but when I set her loose on my terrace it was clear she couldn't fly away. We went to the vet, and she had canker and coccidiosis. The vet thought that was causing her to be weak and hence unable to fly away. While the vet was doing something I noticed that one leg was kicked back and pointed it out to the vet. She said it looked a bit swollen so she put a shoe (little cast thing) on it to hold it stable.

Well, after our return to the vet two weeks on she's clear of her illnesses and the shoe is off. Only it turns out that this looks more like a leg splay than anything else. I've never seen it in person and it's only on one leg which goes backwards rather than outwards. She doesn't seem much inclined to fly when taken out with other birds, though she regularly stretches her wings and flaps in her cage.

Is there anything I can do to rectify this and put her in a position to be freed? I am dreading having yet another bird to re-home although I suspect that is what's going to happen here. She can use both feet and stand on them, but by and large she stays off her right foot. I'd have thought I'd have noticed this earlier but since she had the shoe on and often stands on both legs, I really didn't.

I attach a photo and here is some video:
https://youtu.be/rVGwWrgb3v0

Thanks for any thoughts/advice. I understand she could need some calcium supplements or something, and I'm particularly wanting to know if any kind of physiotherapy/practice could put her in a position to be wild.
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Frank2620 Frank2620 is offline
Posted 25th August 2019, 09:23 PM
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Looks to young to fly at this point .

Best of luck to you ,

Frank
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 01:48 AM
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Thank you, Frank! I don't think it's that - I've had a lot around this age and younger who fly and her wings are very strong. She struggles to land with her leg the way it is. I'm going to hope you're right, though. It would be much better if it's just that she's not ready yet.
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 05:12 AM
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In the picture you posted her legs are holding her upright and the both legs are straight. So I donít see anything but a pigeon standing .. With splayed leg they can not stand up on it.

If it is stiff, then it could stay that way or loosen up over time and perhaps some physical therapy may help? As frank said young pigeons do not fly much.. she looks young and perhaps her start in life as it was , has retarded her development and she is just behind and not ready.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladygrey View Post
In the picture you posted her legs are holding her upright and the both legs are straight. So I donít see anything but a pigeon standing .. With splayed leg they can not stand up on it.

If it is stiff, then it could stay that way or loosen up over time and perhaps some physical therapy may help? As frank said young pigeons do not fly much.. she looks young and perhaps her start in life as it was , has retarded her development and she is just behind and not ready.
Yes, I deliberately chose that picture to show that she can support her weight sometimes. So perhaps it is not a splayed leg after all, which was my first assumption. However, she usually stands on one leg - if you watch the video, you will see that she hops. Usually she has the "bad" leg tucked up backward through her tail feathers.

Perhaps it is a simple delay with her flight, but I really think there is more to it than that and that the leg is a problem although it's not clear exactly how/why if it isn't splayed. It isn't broken, because that was checked when I found her. There was some small swelling where the joints meet (the leg with the toes).

She is a really big baby - solid, and weighed already 220g at our check-up on Thursday. The biggest pigeon baby I have had and I've had ones significantly smaller who are flying. Perhaps she is TOO big ! She is flying in place in the cage. The reality is that whatever is wrong likely won't be improved by acting in the next couple of days, so I will take her out flying/walking and see how she reacts and if she flies some more. Give it a little time.

Thanks for your input. If you know of anything which isn't a leg splay or a break but could impact the legs/feet, I'd be interested.
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 08:56 AM
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Her leg is working.. With the leash on maybe she feels restricted. If she does that without the leash then it is probably just catching up to using it normally form the leg being bound.

The pigeon looks ok to me.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ladygrey View Post
Her leg is working.. With the leash on maybe she feels restricted. If she does that without the leash then it is probably just catching up to using it normally form the leg being bound.

The pigeon looks ok to me.
I assure you that her leg is not working normally, I wouldn't have posted if it were. She's regularly been off it since I found her (not only with the leash on the one time), and it's only become really obvious to me since the cast came off. She's had it off for more than three days now which is plenty of time to re-adapt. I am going to really hope you're right, and that I'm jumping the gun. Truly. I'll update in a couple of days.
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hekie View Post
I assure you that her leg is not working normally, I wouldn't have posted if it were. She's regularly been off it since I found her (not only with the leash on the one time), and it's only become really obvious to me since the cast came off. She's had it off for more than three days now which is plenty of time to re-adapt. I am going to really hope you're right, and that I'm jumping the gun. Truly. I'll update in a couple of days.
Three days is not long. Give her some time on it. Even if it is going to be stiffer than her other leg, what would do for it?

Massage? That May cause more stress than what is worth. But if she is a calm pigeon who does not mind, then perhaps that can help loosen things up. I would not worry too much over it , because that would be the only option I see to try to correct it, and lots of time .

She is using it so that is a plus.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 11:03 AM
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Yep, fair. I just don't know what could be wrong with it. We're outside now and she is always on one leg. I hope it's not hurting her.

She's not particularly calm, no. I'll see how things go in the next days and take her to the vet on Friday if no change. As u mentioned and as you said too, I don't see much that could be done to improve things beyond massage or some other physio and a few days won't hurt.

At least I have the harness and nappies and my cat is chill around pigeons - it's much easier to have her out of her cage at home on the terrace than taking her outside each time. Plus I have pigeons who visit so she's not short of company.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 11:08 AM
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Ignore the awkward harness/combo nappy setup. It's serving a purpose.
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 26th August 2019, 12:25 PM
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What purpose?

Does she have anytime out not with anything connected to her? Perhaps if she feels more free she will stop doing that?
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 27th August 2019, 01:06 AM
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Her not hopping away and off the edge of my terrace. I can't have her loose in my apartment. It won't make a bit of difference, she's on one foot in the cage. There's something not right with the leg/foot, it's not behavioural unless she's decided she's destined to be a ballerina!

Last edited by Hekie; 27th August 2019 at 01:55 AM..
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 27th August 2019, 05:08 AM
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I’m not saying it is behavioral.

My thoughts were leaning to perhaps she does not have enough free time out , unencumbered, to get her to use it or force her to use it whilst physically loosening up , which could be especially important after it being bound up, because all her activity is restricted.

Is there another rehabber that has room , or an aviary that can give her more natural movement ? which would be a good therapy. If not then , she may just keep doing that with her leg .

Last edited by Ladygrey; 27th August 2019 at 05:10 AM..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 27th August 2019, 10:17 PM
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See what you mean. Even in the first picture where she is standing, I noticed that the right leg is turned a bit inward. Not quite right. But then to see her hold it like that...........that's really weird. Odd that she holds it that way, instead of folding it up under herself, which would be normal. Maybe she can't use that joint at all. It could have been broken at one time when very young, and healed wrong. Or she may have been hatched with a deformity. In any case, I wouldn't message or anything, as you could hurt her more. I would definitely get a good calcium supplement with D3 for her, and try to give her some free time inside where you don't need to have the outfit on her. Maybe with more walking around, she will be able to use it more. Maybe not though. That joint may be frozen that way. Poor baby. Inside is safer because you don't have to worry about her all of a sudden flying to where you cannot get to her. She is not ready to be free. The leg likely bothers her if she stands on the other leg a lot. And if she cannot bend it, then bringing it back is all she can do to get off of it. As I said, I would treat with calcium/D3 to strengthen bones and muscles and give her more time to see how she does.
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Hekie Hekie is offline
Posted 30th August 2019, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
See what you mean. Even in the first picture where she is standing, I noticed that the right leg is turned a bit inward. Not quite right. But then to see her hold it like that...........that's really weird. Odd that she holds it that way, instead of folding it up under herself, which would be normal. Maybe she can't use that joint at all. It could have been broken at one time when very young, and healed wrong. Or she may have been hatched with a deformity. In any case, I wouldn't message or anything, as you could hurt her more. I would definitely get a good calcium supplement with D3 for her, and try to give her some free time inside where you don't need to have the outfit on her. Maybe with more walking around, she will be able to use it more. Maybe not though. That joint may be frozen that way. Poor baby. Inside is safer because you don't have to worry about her all of a sudden flying to where you cannot get to her. She is not ready to be free. The leg likely bothers her if she stands on the other leg a lot. And if she cannot bend it, then bringing it back is all she can do to get off of it. As I said, I would treat with calcium/D3 to strengthen bones and muscles and give her more time to see how she does.
Thanks Jay3. She came from an interior attic with very little light. If she was born there, it is possible that she hasn't had sufficient sunlight to develop perfectly so you may be onto something. I'm looking for a supplement, having some trouble finding something in my location. The ones I want all take too long to arrive. I'll find one.
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