Leg And Wing Fractures In Wild Birds And How I Repair Them
“Why is this header photo a parrot with a broken wing and leg? That’s not a wild bird in the United States! In the USA I thought all parrots lived in cages.” Well, this parrot wants you to know that it has always been a native bird in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Read more about that here: :
Ron Hines DVM PhD
I haven’t had time to write this article’s text. When I do these are some of the photos that will accompany it:
Because I no longer own an animal hospital, I have to keep my wildlife rehabilitation expenses low. Some things, like specific spools of stainless steel wire, antibiotics and anesthetics I must still purchase from supply houses like Jorgensen. But there are other ways for you to obtain high quality supplies and equipment. One are the traveling medical instrument repairmen who make the rounds of hospitals repairing surgical instruments in your area. When repair costs near the cost of a new instrument, these instruments get discarded. I have the tools that can still repair many of them. Those tools often relate to high-end jewelry fabrication. These servicemen will gladly donate instruments to you rather than discard them. You will probably find a use for them that was never intended. Supplies also come and leave through your hospital’s purchasing department – generally located somewhere near the loading dock. A good relationship with the department manager and a 501c3 IRS designation for your rescue organization is usually all that is required to avoid many veterinary purchases. So is your local salvage yard where metals are separated according to their type. Much of the stainless steel I use to fabricate custom orthopedic devices I obtain that way. That stainless steel must be malleable or rigid according to your intended use and never magnetic.
All these animals have been sedated with ketamine.
Birds that cannot extend their wings have difficulty standing when they first wake up. But they overcome that within 24 hours or less.
Applying Thomas splints is still a common procedure at your local animal hospital. Even when a steel bone pin is required. Their principals and use are the same as mine – custom fabrication, proper positioning, no restriction of blood flow and very frequent checkups, and adjustments. It is just the very small scale, fragility and rapid growth of my fast-growing patients that makes good outcomes more challenging. This photo is of a baby bobcat that came in with a fractured tibia. It healed quite well and I later released it.