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Fractures in birds

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The skeleton of birds in comparison with the skeleton of mammals has a certain feature, which consists in the fact that the pectoral limbs of birds turned into wings during evolution and the pelvic ones are used for walking and support. The properties of the bones of the skeleton of birds are that they are thin, dense, durable, dull white, contain a large amount of minerals. In birds that have not reached physiological and puberty, the bones are filled with bone marrow, with age it is gradually forced out by the air, dissolves and eventually only remains in the bones of the lower wing and pelvic limbs, as well as in the cracks of the spongy substance of some flat bones. Most skeleton bones contain cavities that are filled with air.

Consider those parts of the skeleton that often undergo fractures and dislocations. In a bird, the skeleton of the forelimb has turned into a wing. As a result of these changes, the structure of the bones changed. In a bird, the shoulder is a powerful tubular bone, the front end of which forms a flattened head of the shoulder, which enters the joint cavity of the shoulder joint. The peculiarity of the shoulder joint is that it limits the possibility of rotational movements and ensures the stability of the wing in flight. The ulna, also tubular, is slightly curved. The radius is thin, straight, in large parrots and birds, has an intraosseous canal. The nature of the articular surfaces of the elbow joint provides a strong connection of the bones of the shoulder and forearm and limits the rotational movement in this joint. This allows you to maintain greater mobility in one plane, which makes it possible for the parrot to fold the wing on vacation and change its area when changing the flight mode.
In the proximal part of the wrist, only two independent bones are preserved. They are connected by ligaments almost motionless with the bones of the forearm. The remaining bones of the wrist, and all bones of the metacarpus merge into a single bone (buckle). The skeleton of the fingers is greatly modified. Two phalanges of 2 fingers are saved, they just form the tip of the wing. From one finger, one phalanx is saved, a bundle of feathers forming a wing is attached to it. The third finger also has one phalanx, which is attached to the base of the first phalanx of the second finger.
The skeleton of the hind limb is often characterized by powerful tubular bones. The femur at the anterior (proximal) end has a developed rounded head for articulation with the acetabulum of the pelvic girdle. On the lower (distal) end of the femur there are relief articular surfaces for connection with the bones of the lower leg. The kneecap, which lies in the muscle tendon, is adjacent to the area of ​​the knee joint. The tibia is very massive and is the main element of the tibia. Two proximal tarsal bones merge with the lower end of the lower leg. Together they form a bone complex, which is the tibia-tarsus, or tibio-tarsus. The tibia is also modified in the form of a small and thin bone, which grows to the upper part of the outer surface of the tibia. The lower elements of the tarsus and all the elements of the metatarsus, in birds merge into a single bone - tarsus or metatarsus-tarsus. As a result of this, an additional lever appears. At the lower end of the foregap, articular surfaces are formed to which the phalanges of the fingers join. Most birds have four fingers on their hind limbs. In parrots, the first and fourth fingers are directed back, and the second and third are looking in front. In other birds, depending on the surface on which they move, lifestyle, the number and location of the fingers varies.

A dislocation is a displacement of the ends of the articular surfaces of the bones relative to each other, as a result of which there is a violation of the function of the joint, may be accompanied by a change in the integrity of the joint capsule, and may proceed without violation. Dislocation can occur due to the action of mechanical forces (trauma) or as a result of destruction processes in the joint (arthrosis, arthritis). In a bird, a dislocation can be complete, as a result of a complete divergence of the articular ends of the bones and incomplete, a subluxation in which the articular surfaces remain in incomplete contact. Dislocated is the part that is below the injury.

Dislocations are divided by origin into congenital and acquired.

Congenital dislocations are formed as a result of abnormal embryonic development of the chick's fetus, and as a result there is an underdevelopment of the articular cavity and femoral head (dysplasia). Congenital subluxations more often occur in the hip joints of the chicks and appear as legs spreading apart in different directions, less often there are dislocations of the patella and knee joint.
Acquired dislocations occur when injured bones (traumatic) or in the event of a disease of the bones of birds (pathological or spontaneous).
Traumatic dislocations occur under the influence of direct or indirect injury, when the place of application of force can be located away from the damaged joint. One of the causes of traumatic dislocation is a sharp contraction of the muscles, which causes a movement that shifts the joint surface beyond normal mobility (dislocation of the mandible with a strong opening of the beak). In parrots this is a rarity. More often, this can occur with a strong blow to the beak. Dislocations from a direct injury (a blow to the joint area) in parrots occur less frequently.
Often during dislocations, the capsule of the joints ruptures, tendons, muscles, bones, vessels and nerves are damaged. These dislocations are called complicated. Dislocations can be classified as closed, without damage to the skin over the joint, and open when a wound is formed as a result of trauma, allowing access to the joint cavity. Pathological dislocation can occur in the hip and shoulder joints, as a result of the destruction of articular surfaces due to the pathological process.
Dislocations are clinically manifested in the form of impaired joint movement. It is enough to compare two wings or two legs in order to reveal a dislocation. With a dislocation in the wing, the wing does not fully adhere to the body of the bird or it hangs below the physiological level, in some cases it can hang out. During extension of the diseased wing, a change in mobility occurs in the damaged joint, which may be accompanied by the impossibility of its extension. During external examination and palpation, the injured joint is enlarged, the skin in the joint area is reddened or blue. Change in skin color depends on the duration of the injury. If the injury is old, then the skin most often has a normal color.
Similar changes occur with dislocations on the legs. Mobility is impaired, the parrot squeezes the sore foot, stands on a healthy limb. The injured foot dangles at the dislocation, fingers with claws can be turned in or out. At the site of injury, redness, blueness and swelling are observed, in the area of ​​the injured joint and below. Deep pain sensitivity saved.
The diagnosis is made on the basis of a clinical examination and the results of an X-ray examination. Differentiate from fractures, sprains, bruises, paralysis and paresis.


Bone fractures in parrots are characterized by a violation of their integrity under the influence of external influences or other traumatic factors. Fractures in birds are divided into two groups, traumatic and pathological. A pathological fracture in a bird arises as a result of changes occurring during pathological processes in the bone (osteoporosis, tumors, etc.). Fractures are closed and open. Almost always, an open fracture can have a bacterial infection, but in birds in this case there is no suppuration like in dogs and cats, but only tissue necrosis.
Also, fractures are divided: periarticular, intraarticular, extraarticular, simple and complex. And the name also depends on the location of the bones, epiphezar and diaphezar. In parrots, fractures most often occur on the wings and legs. Clinically, during an external examination, fractures in birds have the same symptoms as with bruises. With a fracture, pathological mobility occurs in the bone, where there is no joint, with intraarticular fractures it is more difficult to diagnose. With a fracture, the integrity of the surrounding tissues is also violated. Together, a fracture is observed hematoma, redness, turning blue or green, depending on the duration of the pathological process. Most often, as practice shows, there are fractures of the humerus, ulna, radius, femur and tibia. Less commonly, birds develop fractures of the metatarsus (forearm) and metacarpal bones. I did not see fractures of the fingers, more often dislocations. For an accurate diagnosis and characterization of the fracture, an x-ray is needed, simple fractures in the presence of a certain experience can be detected during palpation. Often the cause of a fracture in a parrot is inattention on the part of a person. The parrot is very curious, and always strive to follow his friend man. In such cases, there are fractures of the upper beak and lower beak.
In case of dislocations and fractures, it is important to provide the bird with quick help. If possible, then you need to take an x-ray and invite a specialist. In case of fractures and dislocations of the wings and legs, it is necessary to limit the mobility of the parrot, flights are prohibited. If there is not a large cage, carrying, then it is better to put there. This will reduce injuries. You lower all the feeders and the drinking bowl as low as possible, all the toys and your favorite items must also be lowered so that the bird does not have the temptation to climb higher. The upper poles are removed, one remains opposite the feeders. If you suspect a dislocation or fracture, assistance should be provided within 2-3 days. If it is rendered later, then there is a chance that the injured joint during sprains will grow into connective tissue and subsequently lose its mobility. In the case of a fracture, there is a likelihood of a false joint, a curve of bone fusion and the appearance of gangrene, which will subsequently lead to amputation.
If it is not possible to call a doctor, you need to compare the injured part with the healthy part, for example, the wing and foot. It is necessary to determine the sector of the lesion by pathological mobility. And organize the fixation of the affected area of ​​the bone or composition. It is important when fixing, to fix the bones as motionless as possible and at the same time not compressing the vessels and nerves, otherwise edema will occur below the injury and in the worst case tissue necrosis and gangrene. When fixing the bones, try to move them as little as possible, then they will grow together faster.

The langets have proven themselves very well. If the surgeons who operate dogs and cats consider it not advisable to use a langet in surgery, then I am in this case for using them with both hands. As multiple cases of fractures have shown, the langets allow the fracture to be healed even with good divergence of the bones from each other. The most important thing is to follow the principles that were mentioned above. This is a tight fixation, not bone mobility, do not pinch blood vessels and nerves and observe the physiology of the location of the bones.

You can make any splint using soft bandages and adhesives. You can make it hard using plastic and other devices.

In this case, a locking constriction is made, which brings both limbs together. The distance between the legs should not exceed the width of the index finger. This dressing is done for 3-4 weeks. Here is one option, but not the most successful.

It is more convenient to fix above the joint where the plumage begins. In case of dislocations and fractures after removal of the langeta, you need to do a stroking massage, from the tips of your fingers and up using ointments that improve blood circulation. Troxevasin gel is more commonly used. Plus, you can do not big flexion and extension of the wings or legs, using ointments in the joints. Antibiotics are indicated for fractures; lincomycin, enrofloxacin, tylosin, amoxicillin and others can be used. In the initial stages, when fixing the limbs, wings, you can use dressings with levomekol, this will help remove excess edema and prepare a possible site for the operation. Such dressings can be used on open fractures, before surgery. In case of fractures of the periarticular and intraarticular joints on the proximal bones that are adjacent to the body of the bird, the use of a splint is not possible. Since there are a lot of muscles, in the case of the humerus on the wing, it is possible to fix the wing to the body, it is very important that the fixing bandage does not interfere with the breathing of the bird. You can use a stocking, dress from the side of the tail, to the base of a healthy wing, in this case it is located outside, on top of the bandage. With such fractures, the prognosis is cautious, there is a big risk that the bones will not heal.

Wing fracture treatment

The main method of treatment in the case when a wing fracture occurred without a bone displacement in the bird is the application of a bandage. The wing is bandaged separately, and in some cases, the body is wrapped, while leg openings are left. The fastening of the ends of the bandage occurs using special threads or pins.

A bandaged bird should be placed in a small cage in which there are no poles. She will be there until the bones are fused, and for a week after full recovery - for the rehabilitation process.

If the bird has symptoms of an open fracture, before bandaging it, the broken bone is set. In the case when the wound is contaminated, it is pre-cleaned. The wound site should be treated with a three percent mummy solution.

In addition, the mummy is the main food supplement for poultry undergoing treatment after a fracture. This medicine does not allow complications to occur, and contributes to the early healing of bones. The mummy is given to the bird before meals once a day at a rate of 0.4 milligrams for every one hundred grams of the weight of a feathered friend. The duration of this course is 25 days.

Treatment of a leg fracture (tarsus)

There is nothing more painful for the owner than to see that his beloved bird has a broken leg. A similar type of injury in birds is the most common. Fortunately, such fractures can be cured, and rarely give complications.

If the sole of a foot or a separate finger has broken in a small bird, it is fixed with an adhesive plaster. For larger birds, a tire overlay is required. The tire, in the vast majority of cases, prevents the formation of bone callus in the lower leg.

When the shin in the upper or lower part of the winged friend has broken, the bird is anesthetized for pain relief, and the operation is started. Its meaning is that a pin must be inserted into the internal canal of the bone.For large birds, special steel spokes are used as such pins, for small birds - thin needles. An adhesive patch is arranged on top. The largest birds with long legs are hung in such a way that a healthy leg reaches the ground, and a bag is put on a broken limb in order to avoid stress on it.

Usually six weeks after surgery, the bandage can be removed. Ten days later, remove the pin itself.

Call home ornithologist doctor

The vast majority of operations required for treating fractures in birds can be performed at home. An ornithologist who arrives on call at home will provide expert help to your feathered pet.

The Moscow Veterinary Clinic VETMIR is open around the clock. At any time, you can dial our phone and call a specialist home. Remember that timely handling will allow your bird to suffer less due to a broken bone, and proper treatment will allow it to avoid complications and recover completely.

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