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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I was just given a pigeon that had string wrapped around her foot. One toe looks like it is about to fall off and the other is really swollen. So far I have removed as much string as I could, soaked the foot in warm water, applied neosporin, and put her in cage in a warm room with a blanket over it with food and water inside. Anything I forgot to do, or you recommend doing while it's healing?

Thanks,
Calder
 

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Hi Calder,


Sounds like you are doing a veryt nice job of it.

Maybe post some images of any of the details of the Foot or Toes, if you would like specific evaluations of those.

Images of the Bird themseves, too of course!

Is this 'string' as in a Cotton String? Or, as is usually the case, some sort tof ultra fine filliment synthetic fiber?


The very fine strand stuff can be hard to get it all removed, especially if scar Tissue is covering it or flesh has grown over it so that filiments are literally 'in' the solid Tissues.



Phil
Las Vegas
 

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All good so far. Thanks for caring !

Do you happen to have any antibiotics in the house ? Pet or human grade ? Penicillin, Amoxycillin, Ceclor, Cephalexin, Baytril/Ciproflaxin, Augmentin....anything like this ?

Or how about some liquid Ibuprophen (Motrin, Advil) ?

If one toe has turned black and shriveled, it will eventually fall off on its own...
 

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Hi Calder.

Pretty girl, indeedy. For the longest time I had some Feral friends living in my lightwell that were that color.

Motrin is an anti-inflammatory, it isn't an antibiotic. Motrin will help a bit with the pain and it may even reduce some foot swelling. But antibiotic will actually insure that the feet and bones do not become infected. Ask your folks if they have any antibiotic around. If not...you can order some Trimeth Sulpha or Amoxycillin from jedds.com or foys.com online, and have them overnite it or Priority Mail it to you (call their order tel # as opposed to placing an online order). Jedds is West coast, Foys is East coast...call whichever's closer.

Or, if you happen to live near any sort of farm feed store, call and ask if they carry Trimeth Sulpha.

She looks fairly OK, it would probably be OK if the antibiotics didn't start for a few more days....but within 3 or 4 days you wanna start her on it. The back toe is partially a goner and might fall off even after you remove the striing. But the very swollen front toe...the antibiotic combined w/ Motrin can help save that toe.

Is the Motrin a pill or a liquid ?

In the meantime, you can slather her feet once a day with some Cortizone cream...it will sooth the skin and will also help soften-up the string. In the next day or so, you are gonna have to go at the feet again and see if you can get some more of that stuff off. I typically use a needle or the tip of a small X-acto blade because you can 'dig in' there a bit more. You just wanna find wherever the string is clearly wrapped around the toe or foot, and try to at least snip it if you cannot remove the entire strand.

Usually one cannot get all the string in the first or even second go-around. But you just try to make progress each time, and give the feet a day or two rest in-between. If you draw some blood, staunch the prick/cut quickly with a cloth and moderate pressure. It usually only takes a few minutes for a Pigeon's/Bird's foot to clot.

BTW...she should heal OK with proper treatment and be able to use that foot just fine, despite the loss or damage of a couple of toes....
 

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If you can, go to any Drug Store and get a fine slender-blade pair of Cuticle Scissors, and, some long slender sharp point Tweezers.

These are very useful for removing filliments such as those seen in the 'Toes' image.

The filliments will be wound around in differing directions, or, one un-winds them according to how they are wound, anyway.

In instances where there do not seem to be any winds to get a grip on to the end of, one can carefully slide one of the narrow pointy ends of the Cuticle Scissors parralell to and under one winding, and, gently coax it up and out far enough to snip it, and, then, elect either of those now 'ends' to use the Tweezers with, to see about un-winding it acording to the direction it was wound in.

All embeded filliments need to be removed.

Afflcited area may then have 'Neosporin' gently rubbed in.


Some demonstration of method -


http://good-times.webshots.com/album/468669808EgjJHs


Again, and, showing the two crucial Tools -


http://good-times.webshots.com/album/548827625dbNzVH


This procedure often takes quite a bit of time to accomplish, and, it is important to have way of holding the Bird so one can have access to the Feet and Toes, and, for the Bird to be comfortable.

In instances which do take quite a while, I usually take a break, and, let the Bird have a break also, where, we have some Seeds on a Towel on my Lap or a drink or both.

I have found it useful to simply talk with the Bird, as I hold them at my own eye level, and, show them the Tools, and, explain what I have in mind to do, and, assure them in various ways, letting them know I wish to correct the bother they have been havng with the foreign material on their Feet, and so on, and, with rare exception, they are very co-operatative and accepting and patient, and, relax the Leg I need to be holding and working on, and this is a great help.

If the Bird is distrusting or stuggling, the procedure would be impossible to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses. As of today I got all of the string off of her toes and started her on Ornacyn-Plus which is an antibiotic that we had at the pet store where I work. Also I have her on a probiotic that will help boost her immune system. It looks like I wont be able to save her front toe because it has turned black and is just being held on by a piece of skin, but her back toe looks alright. It's still swollen but it looks like blood is still getting into it.


Calder
 

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Hi. Good work on the string.

Ornacyn-Plus is Erythromycin. While it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, so it's not a bad guess to make at an antibiotic.....it is not the first nor second choice an Avian Vet would go with in the instance of a bone or tissue infection of this sort.

If after a 5 days you see no improvement in the swelling...you should switch to Cipro or Amoxycillin or Trimeth Sulpha. Also, keep up the topical cream once a day (cortizone or heal-x or silvedene or something like that).

The black toe will fall off. If it's really hanging there and actually interfering with how she uses the foot, you can actuually probably snip it with a sharp Xacto blade. This is ONLY if it is really only being held there by a piece of cartilege or necrotic tissue or something. If you sense any blood flow, leave it. And if it doesn't seem to be interfering, let it finish atrophying and fall off on its own.

Great work so far...that string removal can get hella dicey sometimes !
 
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