Button quail with dislocated leg?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by elinore, May 21, 2014.

  1. elinore

    elinore In the Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2013
    For months, everything has been going well with my four rescued button quail, but the other day, one escaped, flew to the ceiling, slid down the wall and apparently hurt her leg. I could not see any visible sign of a break or swelling, so I allowed her to rest quietly for a few days without bothering her, hoping it was just a bruise and would heal on its own. Unfortunately, there has been no improvement in her motion, though she seems otherwise perfectly healthy. As far as I can tell, she is not putting any weight on her left leg at all, and lets it just drag behind her, though she gets around fine by hopping on her right leg. There is no visible injury whatsoever, no swelling, discoloration, or other obvious signs. When I touch her toes, they seem to react like they should. I can't see any difference in the angle or length of the her legs.

    I spoke with an avian vet over the phone, and she advised me that there may be nothing they could do to help. She said it sounded like a dislocation at the hip rather than a break or fracture. If it is a dislocation, I could bring her in and they could try to "pop the leg back in," but she told me that when they've done this before, the leg kept popping out and she advised that it may be worse for the bird in the long run to keep subjecting it to the pain of popping the joint in and out. She said they could do x-rays, but they would cost around $200-300, require anesthesia, and the only scenario in which they would help is if there was a break that could be helped with a splint, which doesn't seem like the problem. The vet was also worried about the stress of transport and handling. The vet advised me to watch her for another day or two before making a decision.

    I'm wondering if anyone else has any experience with anything similar? Does anyone have a button quail or other bird that gets around on one foot, since it's sounding like this may be permanent? I understand the vet's concerns, but I'm still hoping there is something I can do for her. I hate not knowing how to help my poor little bird.
     
  2. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    My rule of thumb for injured birds is, if they can eat and drink and move around reasonably to let them be. If she seems to be struggling too much in her everyday motions then you may want to consider putting her down.
     
  3. elinore

    elinore In the Brooder

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    So far, she's doing just fine. The only thing that has changed is her motion. I'm just wondering if there is anything else I can do.
     
  4. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Songster

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    Did you try splinting the leg? I don't know if it would help but guess it couldn't hurt. I agree if she is getting along okay and eating, pooping and drinking then let her be. It is your bird and only you can see how she is doing. Is she alone or with other birds. if with others are they picking on her? some things to check before making your decision. Good Luck.
     
  5. elinore

    elinore In the Brooder

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    UPDATE: About two weeks ago, the leg apparently healed itself. One day she was limping significantly less, and the next she was back to normal, and has been ever since! I'm absolutely thrilled. The little thing is back to her old, healthy though slightly neurotic self. She was a rescue and has some very odd habits, and particularly enjoys pacing back and forth in one section of her cage and practicing her evasive maneuvers, so having full use of both her legs is extra important for her.
     
  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    The pacing is quite normal. Most quail do it when you are near their cage. It's just a nervous behavior. I'm glad to hear she's back in good health, not a lot of jobs out there for a button quail with a bad leg ;)
     

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