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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello from Moscow,

Couple of weeks ago I found a pigeon. She couldn't fly, dragged one wing, and had a swollen shoulder. The swelling was literally bright green. I gave her a course of azithromycin and put her in a box to limit her movement. After ten days the swelling was gone, and she somewhat held her wing in place, so I let her go.

But, imagine that, two days later she came back. I live on an eighth floor, so, I guess, she can still fly, but her wing draggles again. Now, I fixed her wings with masking tape (because living in a box sucks more) and plan to keep her a bit longer this time.

What medicine is there to speed up the healing process? What human anti-inflammatory ointments are safe for birds? Google says diclofenac kills vultures, for example.
 

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Greetings Moscow

She is a very resourceful pigeon!

Has the swelling you first treated showed again? I'm wondering if there is anything that can be or needs to be done if she has good flight. In our rescues aviary we have one bird who can fly well, but has had a dropped wing for the past 12 years.

I don't know what is available to you, but a painkiller and anti-inflammatory we use for pigeons is 'Metacam' for dogs orally (Google 'meloxicam'). For wounds we may use something like 'Germoline' as an emergency aid, or 'F10'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. The swelling didn't show, but its place is noticeably hotter. I can find meloxicam here. I don't think it's her joint, though. More like a pulled tendon to me. I'd better take an x-ray soon...
 

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The wing should have been wrapped in the figure 8 wrap, so that it was held up and against her body in a natural position. There may have been a break also that you were not aware of. If that be the case, then by wrapping it in a natural position would have helped it to heal more where it should be. If a sprain or something like that, then it will probably bother her on and off. Would be good if you can wrap it now and keep her quiet in a cage to let her rest it. Also with the metacam, only a couple of drops.
 

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After you wrap it, you then put it in a natural position against the body, and use gauze to keep it against the body by going around the wing and over his back, under the other wing, then bring it back to the bad wing. You would go just under the crop, but in front of the legs. Not too tight as you don't want to cut off his breathing comfortably.

 

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If is not a fracture, I'm not sure imobilisation is a good idea, as probably is a joint stiffening that will only agravate if the wing cannot be moved. The wing must be moved and used by the bird, that will make the fluids circulate through join and heal it over few weeks or sooner.

Also, is possible that the bird needs more medication in order to completely heal the infection, but it also is possible the complete healing to have taken place. The swelling which you saw was probably a joint infection, an arthritis, which healed following the antibuiotic treatment but perhaps was not completely healed. Infectious arthritis in most cases is caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which is not cleared as fast as other bacteria, it may take months for a complete recovery, with sessions of 3-5 days of antibiotic treatment followed by pauses of a week or two. The best medicine is Fosfomycin, because of the small molecule, able to pass through the articular capsule, which most antibiotics can't. You can read more on this webpage, is in Romanian but you can translate with Google Translate (pasting the link in the translating space, instead of pasting the text):
http://www.porumbei.ro/artritele-la-porumbei/


And, as in any case of antibiotic use, 2-3 administrations / day of powder of nystatin with water containing higher than usual level of apple cider vinegar, is necessary to combat the infestation with candida (a yeast or fungus) which usually occurs during antibiotic treatment and may become fatal for the bird. Also, giving probiotics for at least several after each session of antibiotics is necessary, as the probiotics are the organism's protection against diseases.
 

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The wing won't stiffen if wrapped for a week. It will rest it. If left wrapped for a couple or few weeks, then it will stiffen.
And you really don't know if there is a fracture, a sprain, or what kind of injury there is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now, to immobilise or not to... Will have an x-ray tomorrow.

I didn't find a bird vet around, but finding a clinic where they receive street birds for an x-ray was not an easy task too. I had to lie she was a pedigreed racing pigeon :)

Today, when I took off the bandage (she wore it for three days) to redo it the right way, she was ok: walked, and stretched, and flew around the room a bit, and held her wing in place. Then there was a bit of Tom-and-Jerry-like chase to catch her back and the wing dropped. Doesn't this fact speak for immobilisation, no? Hopefully, I will know for sure tomorrow.

And again, thank you a lot.
 

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The wing won't stiffen if wrapped for a week. It will rest it. If left wrapped for a couple or few weeks, then it will stiffen.
And you really don't know if there is a fracture, a sprain, or what kind of injury there is.
Jay, I do not know more than you in most cases but before writing something on forum about a subject I have no clue, I make a little research. This is how I proceeded in the case of this thread and found this book page about stiffen joint, or ankylosis at bird's wing:






This is from Practical Wildlife Care by Les Stocker, found online at Google Books.


So you see that the stiffness occurs very rapid, often within 5 days, not after a week, as you said and the cause is the joint being not used.

But why to wrap anyway? For neither arthritis or ankylosis is recommended the imobilisation, only for fracture. On the contrary, ankylosis appears following the lack of movement of a joint and the "treatment" is exactly the movement, the use of the joint, as I stated in previous post.







Now, to immobilise or not to... Will have an x-ray tomorrow.

I didn't find a bird vet around, but finding a clinic where they receive street birds for an x-ray was not an easy task too. I had to lie she was a pedigreed racing pigeon :)

Today, when I took off the bandage (she wore it for three days) to redo it the right way, she was ok: walked, and stretched, and flew around the room a bit, and held her wing in place. Then there was a bit of Tom-and-Jerry-like chase to catch her back and the wing dropped. Doesn't this fact speak for immobilisation, no? Hopefully, I will know for sure tomorrow.

And again, thank you a lot.
Tell the doctor who will make the x-ray to look not only for fractures but for joint inflamation and stiffness. Tell this before making the x-ray, in order to set the machine to capture such kind of details (if somehow it doesn't capture them in default mode).


I had a bird diagnosed with arthritis following an x-ray and lab test. At x-ray, the joints appeared swollen. Following antibiotic treatment, she started to fly again. Now, around an year later, she doesn't fly perfectly, either because ireversible ankylosis aquirred during the imobilisation caused by the arthritis, either because to this date the bacteria from articulation didn't clear off completely. I will do some more antibiotic treatment sessions in near future, when buying some new Fosfomycin antibiotic, as the bottle I have passed the valability term.

Few days ago I picked another bird with wing arthritis, unable to fly and with a big bump at wing joint, that is now under treatment and after two days of antibiotics, shows some recovery.
 

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Our beloved Phoebe had a fractured wing and was able later to fly a little. Thank you for helping the poor bird. You are a wonderful,person to find a place to xray the wing. Am glad you said she was a valuable pedigreed racing pigeon because a lot of places consider pigeons disposable unless they are a valued pet. Good luck and please keep us posted.
 

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Now, to immobilise or not to... Will have an x-ray tomorrow.

I didn't find a bird vet around, but finding a clinic where they receive street birds for an x-ray was not an easy task too. I had to lie she was a pedigreed racing pigeon :)

Today, when I took off the bandage (she wore it for three days) to redo it the right way, she was ok: walked, and stretched, and flew around the room a bit, and held her wing in place. Then there was a bit of Tom-and-Jerry-like chase to catch her back and the wing dropped. Doesn't this fact speak for immobilisation, no? Hopefully, I will know for sure tomorrow.

And again, thank you a lot.
There may be muscle damage there and no break. If that be the case, then unfortunately it will come back to haunt her off and on. She won't do so well in the wild if she can't fly well because of an injury. Sometimes birds wings do heal lower like that but they still do well.
BTW, I wouldn't say it was a pedigreed bird as they may know the difference when they see her. I would just tell them it was your pet bird that you have had for a while. Often they will treat pets, but not ferals.
 

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Jay, I do not know more than you in most cases but before writing something on forum about a subject I have no clue, I make a little research. This is how I proceeded in the case of this thread and found this book page about stiffen joint, or ankylosis at bird's wing:






This is from Practical Wildlife Care by Les Stocker, found online at Google Books.


So you see that the stiffness occurs very rapid, often within 5 days, not after a week, as you said and the cause is the joint being not used.

But why to wrap anyway? For neither arthritis or ankylosis is recommended the imobilisation, only for fracture. On the contrary, ankylosis appears following the lack of movement of a joint and the "treatment" is exactly the movement, the use of the joint, as I stated in previous post.








Tell the doctor who will make the x-ray to look not only for fractures but for joint inflamation and stiffness. Tell this before making the x-ray, in order to set the machine to capture such kind of details (if somehow it doesn't capture them in default mode).


I had a bird diagnosed with arthritis following an x-ray and lab test. At x-ray, the joints appeared swollen. Following antibiotic treatment, she started to fly again. Now, around an year later, she doesn't fly perfectly, either because ireversible ankylosis aquirred during the imobilisation caused by the arthritis, either because to this date the bacteria from articulation didn't clear off completely. I will do some more antibiotic treatment sessions in near future, when buying some new Fosfomycin antibiotic, as the bottle I have passed the valability term.

Few days ago I picked another bird with wing arthritis, unable to fly and with a big bump at wing joint, that is now under treatment and after two days of antibiotics, shows some recovery.
Well right now we don't even know for sure what is wrong with the wing, so lets wait and see.
I didn't say to keep it wrapped for long, just for support for a bit, then see how she does.
 

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It is broken. Should have been wrapped. How old is the break?
Not just wrapping!

It should be imobilised only after identifying the broken bone and the area where is broken and then repositioning the bone segments, using the proper splint and avoiding imobilising the joints.


I wrapped "for emergency" as you say a bird with broken bone close to the "shoulder" joint like in this case (as I later found) without having an x-ray made and the bone joined the neighbour bone and she became flightless. I can search and provide the x-ray if curious. Then I made an x-ray and went with it at my vet. He said if I hadn't wrapped the wing, he would have positioned the bone segments correctly and the bird would been made able to fly. He taught me never to wrap a bird again. Now, almost two years later, that bird stays only indoor while the other pigeons are flying outside in front of her eyes.



Broken bones join very fast in birds, not like in mammals and imobilising a fracture without positioning the bone fragments and using the proper splint, means disabling the bird, if at wing or leg.
 

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If you are not a vet Andrei, it is pretty hard to be sure that you are repositioning the bones properly. You do the best you can. And a splint is not always needed. You probably kept it wrapped too long. After a weeks time, it should be removed and let the bird move it a bit so that it doesn't freeze.Without a vet and the X rays, you can't even be sure and without a doubt. of what bones are fractured.
 

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If you are not a vet Andrei, it is pretty hard to be sure that you are repositioning the bones properly.
In this respect, if you can't resort to a vet, following the indications from that guide is the next best thing, not the wrapping-only intervention. Vets themselves don't know much more either. In medical universities, they have the advantage of seeing some dissections, x-rays of concrete cases etc, but the theoretical part is identical with what is presented in that guide, maybe a little more detailed.


You do the best you can.
Now that we talked the stuff below, the "best" is to do what I said about repositioning, I hope you agree. Not to simply wrapping.

And a splint is not always needed.
In most wing and leg fractures is necessary, especially if the broke is close to joint, as in this case. Is almost impossible the bone to join correctly without a splint in such case, because of the physical forces exterted by muscles and ligaments, which pull the bone fragments away from each other.

You probably kept it wrapped too long. After a weeks time, it should be removed and let the bird move it a bit so that it doesn't freeze.
I don't remember how long but from what I've read, joining occurs in few days, less than a week. Time doesn't matter anyway for the success of recovery (bird being able to fly), but the position of bones during imobilising.
 

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You said the time doesn't matter for the success of recovery.
It does matter very much, as if it is wrapped for too long, you will then cause the joints to freeze.
Why you believe that people can find the break, line it up, and hold in place, all without the help of x rays or vet is beyond me.
That's why there are vets. And even then, some breaks are just not going to heal properly. So you may save the bird, but he cannot fly. Many birds do live good lives even if they cannot fly. All depends on their situation.
Like I said, you do the best you can.
A broken Ulna healed well with just the figure 8 wrap and a little padding under the wing.
 

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You said the time doesn't matter for the success of recovery.
It does matter very much, as if it is wrapped for too long, you will then cause the joints to freeze.
Fractures in pigeons take more than a week to heal. That guide recommends ten days (page 6).

Why you believe that people can find the break, line it up, and hold in place, all without the help of x rays or vet is beyond me. That's why there are vets.
Because that guide teach so. Ofcourse, x-ray and vet is better but many people can't afford.


So you may save the bird, but he cannot fly. Many birds do live good lives even if they cannot fly. All depends on their situation.
Is my turn to wonder why you keep defending so much that blind wrapping, when is pretty much logic that is not the best thing you can do for a bird, when you have the guidelines from that paper.

A broken Ulna healed well with just the figure 8 wrap and a little padding under the wing.
Possibly, but in most cases, that will not work.
 
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