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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just venting as I don't think there's anything I can do to help this bird at present.

I've been hand rearing a fledgling Dunnock, and she's done so well. In fact she started to self feed a bit yesterday. So today she's buzzing, flying all over the cage and eating well.

My daughter and I were about to drive her and a baby Magpie I've been rearing to the rescue centre as they were going put her with other Sparrows ready for release.

I just decided to do something before we set off and popped on here to see if I had any response to another post. In the time I was on here my daughter called me in a panic as she found the bird bleeding badly from it's foot.
I don't know how on earth it's happened, but it's lost two toes and a lot of blood, now in shock. I'm gutted as if we'd set off an hour ago she would have been ok.
Timing was everything, fate dealt a cruel blow just by us delaying leaving.

I don't know if she'll make it and how much losing these toes will affect her chances in the wild even if she does pull through. I feel so bad.

My daughter doesn't want to take her now as she feels the 40 minute drive will be too much for her. Perhaps we'll keep her overnight and see what happens.
Excuse the rant, I'm just gutted as last week I lost three birds and was so pleased that this one had made it.
 

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I think it will be fine without his toes, when he heals. seems feet heal pretty quick. need to find out how in that cage toes could get caught, If yo can not find it I would get a another one. some rehab folks here use this.a laundry basket with screen held on with elastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry to hear about the mishap. Hope the little bird will be ok. I don't know what a Dunnock is, but I'm going to google is now.

PS: Here's a link in case someone wants to see what this little guy looks like. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunnock
Thanks for that link Renee, I learnt some new bits from that. ;)
This little one hasn't got it's full tail yet and is quite golden in colour, very sweet chappie.

I've spoken to the rescue centre and have decided not to take it today and keep it on heat and in the dark to see if it makes it overnight. The journey and change of location might be stressful enough on it's own, and that's all they would do anyway.
I'm still sick we didn't go earlier, I had wanted to go yesterday but my daughter didn't !!, so she said would it be ok if we left it to today. Turns out No it wouldn't, but we weren't to know, what a difference a day makes, or an hour as it happens.
Just got to hope the loss of toes are the only injury. If it's wings are ok then maybe it can adapt.
I'm keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for it now.

Janet
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hi just saw your post after I'd sent mine.
That looks a good idea with the basket.

I've looked hard and really can't see what could have happened.
I had surrounded the cage with branches outside to screen it so it could sit under the trees. It responded to all the other bird's chatter going on.

I wonder if maybe a magpie heard it and came down. It just could have poked it's beak through the bars and caught it. But those minute toes would have been hard to catch hold of unless it was clinging onto the bars of the cage possibly. It's a big cage and it could have got away easily enough.
There's just been a row in the garden with three Magpies chasing some Blackbirds and Stock Doves, a few feathers flying there.

I'm clueless to be honest. (no comments to that please!!).
 

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I am so sorry, Janet. As well as keeping the baby warm prepare some rehydration solution and hopefully he will drink it as he will need to replace the lost body fluids.

Cynthia
 

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Hi Renee, just saw your post after I'd sent mine.
That looks a good idea with the basket.

I've looked hard and really can't see what could have happened.
I had surrounded the cage with branches outside to screen it so it could sit under the trees. It responded to all the other bird's chatter going on.

I wonder if maybe a magpie heard it and came down. It just could have poked it's beak through the bars and caught it. But those minute toes would have been hard to catch hold of unless it was clinging onto the bars of the cage possibly. It's a big cage and it could have got away easily enough.
There's just been a row in the garden with three Magpies chasing some Blackbirds and Stock Doves, a few feathers flying there.

I'm clueless to be honest. (no comments to that please!!).
yes, I would of proboably kept him inside in a quiet spot with a cover part way, I know when I rehabed a cardinal he would get too excited when I put him outside on the porch, had to move him in so he stayed calmer, also if the bird felt threatened , He was thrashing about for some reason, and got his toes caught and then that freaked him out and there ya go, it is so crappie, but sometimes they just get in to trouble, it is an accident. best of luck to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well some good news. He's rallied and come out of his shock, and wants to eat.

I did manage to give him some Aconite when it happened to try and counteract the shock. Now he's gaping again for food, I've just popped some Arnica into him to try and relieve any pain and bruising.

He is moving about by flapping his wings though, and he's holding the leg up high. I've tried to feel if it's broken but can't tell and I don't want to panic him any more. If he's up to it I might still take him tomorrow and see if anyone at the rescue centre can check it out.

Janet
 

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Janet, homeopathic hypericum is good for crushing injuries to the extremities, particularly when there is nerve damage. I dissolve the remedy in spring water, then administer a couple of drops in the beak with a dropper (this method helps particularly with birds prone to stress from handling).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Jenfer, I did manage to give him some Hypericum when he was gaping for food. I crushed a tablet and popped it in bit by bit with a pair of tweezers. He's so tiny and gets so stressed if I try to open his mouth.

I wanted to give him another Aconite, but he wouldn't play ball this time, and kept his mouth firmly closed.

In fact, you might be able to advise me here, I wasn't sure if Arnica or Aconite was the best at this stage seeing as I don't know exactly what's wrong with the whole leg now. He still can't use it. Maybe he's just holding it up due to the pain in his foot, or maybe if he did struggle and trapped his foot, he might have broken or strained the leg, with the end result losing his toes.
Or do you think Hypericum is the best for him all round now by itself?

I'm tempted to keep him a while longer so I can give him some meds as I don't expect he'll get anything once I hand him over.
 

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I would keep him another week at least.
 

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Janet, actually I don't open their beaks to give remedies. I just squeeze in a few drops from outside their beaks so the liquid wicks in. Another way to do it is to dissolve the remedy and use a paintbrush to paint it on the gums.

Aconite well help settle him if he's really frightened. It's good for that sheer terror that many species experience in captivity. Arnica is good for bruising and muscle-type injuries. If you think he's got bone pain, you could try Ruta grav.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Hi,

Well he's really pulled through the shock and is buzzing again.

Jenfer, thanks for the info. I have been able to get him to take the meds now disolved in water from a dropper. In fact he loves to drink from the end of the dropper, so it is easy to get them into him. He won't open his mouth at all since yesterday as he wants to be a big boy/girl, and feed himself. Luckily hunger is getting to him and he is gaping for food again now, he can't self feed as he can't balance on his one leg yet.

His leg is dragging behind him now, and I have tried to feel and can't find an obvious break or damage. So I don't know really which meds would be best.
I spoke to the rescue centre again today to see if they would splint or strap it if they were able to identify what exactly is wrong.
They said not as their legs are so small. They did say it could be dislocated at the hip if it's dragging, so I'm going to keep him for a few more days to see if it settles or he gets any more movement back.

Based on not knowing the problem, is it ok to give him Hypericum, Arnica and Rhuta at different intervals in the hope one is helping? or is that counter productive?

Janet
 

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I haven't done it, but I've heard of rehabbers splinting sparrow legs with masking tape. Can you keep him relatively immobile?

I think I would give him the hypericum and ruta at different intervals and drop the arnica. Ruta is good for bone/tendon pain and I've found it helpful for fractures.
 

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Tiny legs can be splinted with good results, checking after 5 days. I persoanlly wouldn't put a bird outside in a cage, I would have him indoors in a cage (I don't use small budgie cages though) or tank until he's weaned and then put him in an aviary. I would worry putting a bird outside in a small cage would stress the bird, and cats (or corvids and and sparrowhawks) may stress them or try to grab them. If a bird has a suspected broken leg I would keep in a tank (or cat or dog carrier for larger birds) as catching the leg in the cage bars may make the injury worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I haven't done it, but I've heard of rehabbers splinting sparrow legs with masking tape. Can you keep him relatively immobile?
Yes I'm keeping him in a small softly padded box. He keeps fluttering out when I'm feeding him, but he's generally immobile.
I think it's Les Stocker's book that recommends using a feather quill as a splint for a Sparrow type of leg and masking tape, I know I read it recently.
I've not had experience of doing it and as I can't find a break I'd be concerned that I could cause him far more pain by trying to fix it in a position that hurts.
I'll just have leave it to see if rest does anything.

He actually hadn't been outside permanently just for that morning while we were getting ready to take them to the centre. He's been living on my dining room table in fact. His cage was completely hidden and covered with branches I'd cut from the trees to cover the cage and hide him so he couldn't see much, much like his natural habitat in hedges. That's why it's so tragic really.

This cage is ideal for hand rearing though as the top opens up completely, so you can get at the bird from above which is better. As I don't have an aviary it gives them plenty of space to try their wings out too. I'll just have to line the inside to cover the bars for tiny birds in future or use a laundry basket set up like Spirit Wings showed me.

I still feel bad about it, so I'm trying to give him the best care I can. Thanks for the advice.

Janet
 

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Well you're doing all you can Janet :) And these accidents happen unfortunately, I still make mistakes after rehabbing for 6 years and having cared for hundreds of birds, and feel horribly guilty afterwards too, so I know how it feels :(
Thank you for caring :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi,

Can anyone tell me if I should give a small bird this size anti-biotics?
If so how do I calculate the amount as he weighs virtually nothing.

I found an open wound at his hip today which I hadn't seen before. This may explain why he hold his leg out at the back.

He is very perky still and is eating and drinking well. He has got very used to me handling him.

His thigh is very red and I'm concerned there maybe an infection brewing, but I don't know for sure, it just maybe sore. I am bathing it with Hypercal Tincture for the moment.

My vets said they will look at him but I have to leave him there for them to decide what, if anything they can do. Obviously I'm concerned they may just PTS. I feel if this is his main problem he could do ok if I could just get it to heal up. I want to try what I can.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

Janet
 

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Hi Janet, yes you can give anti-b's to the tiniest bird, he'll be about 20 grams, will you be giving baytril or synulox? Synulox would be best if poss. let me know what drug you are using and I can work out the dose rate for you, ok?
If the worst comes to the worst vets can amputate a leg if it is damaged beyond repair. Little birds can manage quite well in the wild with one leg, always depends on what species of course, but a dunnock could cope ok, you would have to see that he gets about ok of course and can perch ok and take off and hop about, Hopefully it won't come to that though.
Get the vet to check and feel for breaks/dislocation (and sign of infection-does it smell?) and if unsure they can x ray to check for breaks or dislocation and then take it from there? If the femur is broken the vets may be able to pin it, if the tibia or metatarsus is broken and is a simple break then you may be able to splint yourself or get them to do it. Hopefully it is just sore and that's why he's not using that leg. I would bathe the wound with liquid savlon in water which has boiled and then cooled/still warm.
Unfortunately most vets aren't trained in dealing with wild birds :( Hopefully you have one who is good with birds.

Hi,

Can anyone tell me if I should give a small bird this size anti-biotics?
If so how do I calculate the amount as he weighs virtually nothing.

I found an open wound at his hip today which I hadn't seen before. This may explain why he hold his leg out at the back.

He is very perky still and is eating and drinking well. He has got very used to me handling him.

His thigh is very red and I'm concerned there maybe an infection brewing, but I don't know for sure, it just maybe sore. I am bathing it with Hypercal Tincture for the moment.

My vets said they will look at him but I have to leave him there for them to decide what, if anything they can do. Obviously I'm concerned they may just PTS. I feel if this is his main problem he could do ok if I could just get it to heal up. I want to try what I can.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

Janet
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Janet, yes you can give anti-b's to the tiniest bird, he'll be about 20 grams, will you be giving baytril or synulox? Synulox would be best if poss. let me know what drug you are using and I can work out the dose rate for you, ok?
Thanks Ali,

I have both Noroclav, which I believe is generic Synulox, and Baytril.

I don't have enough Synulox for a full course if it was a pigeon but I expect the dose will be far smaller so hopefully I'll have enough for this little one.

Unfortunately my vets isn't really a bird specialist. I don't have one around here. I do tend to think it's only sore as it does move it.

He's been fluttering around and learning to perch and balance on one leg. he's doing reasonably ok with that. He's even starting to self feed, so I would like to try and keep him going if possible.

Janet
 
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