Compound fracture above the knee.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by EthanJM, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. EthanJM

    EthanJM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2014
    Hello, my fiancee and I have a young female turkey (about 10 months), today she somehow broke her leg right above her knee. I am pretty sure her femur and tibia are both broken since the leg feels like it is in two pieces, as far as I can tell the tendons are still attached. Her tibia was sticking out about a third an inch, I managed to place it back under the skin and I put one suture on the small hole which the bone wanted to keep popping out. We clipped most of the feathers on her leg and cleaned the area, wrapped it in gauze, medical tape, and put a homemade splint on so her leg is straightened out. We have her in inside a plastic tub inside the shed next to food and water, she did not want to eat much. Now, I am not completely certain her bones are set correctly, but we did our best, with her leg pointing straight the broken tibia was not trying to push through the skin, and that is the way we splinted it. The splint is a type of hock splint that is two pieces that covers the top and the bottom, it will not allow her to bend her leg, so she is having to lay on her side. I will be keeping her on antibiotic shots right under the skin on the breast to help ward off infection.

    Now, for my question, I have been reading that the dressing and splint are supposed to be replaced daily, I understand the importance of this to help fight infection, but how are we suppose to redress it every day and still allow the bones to fuse back together? It seems to me that if we keep undoing her dressing that any fusion that had begun will break again. She is on antibiotics, would it make more sense to give her a week without taking it off to give the bones a chance to set a little before redressing it? It was very tedious and difficult to get her wrapped and splinted correctly, I have trouble seeing how we could keep everything perfectly straight and still every time we undress it.

    Unfortunately the vet is not an option, we are already in large debt to the veterinarian due to a sick cockatiel. Among other debts and expenses we just can't do it even though we want to. It is a glaring reality we are trying to deal with. We want her better and will try our best, we are looking for answers from those who may have more experience. I have dealt with a lot of sick birds, but this is the first compound fracture I have had to deal with.
     
  2. Animal Quackers

    Animal Quackers New Egg

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    Feb 21, 2015
    A few years ago, I had a peahen break her leg just below the knee. I managed to catch her and splinted the break using two pieces of 1/8" welding rod I (I am a welder) and wrapped the splints with duct tape. I caught her again 2 months later and removed the tape/rods. She just had a lump on the leg. She lived for several years after that, without even a limp. Of course your break sounds much worse. If I remember last Thanksgiving, there is only one bone in the drumstick part of the Turkey leg. I would be worried about infection from the open wound. Keep us posted.
     
  3. EthanJM

    EthanJM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2014
    Thanks Animal Quackers. Yea, if it wasn't a compound fracture I would feel much more at ease right now, I could just splint it and leave it on like you did.
    I just got off the phone with the vet, she said I was doing everything right, and the biggest danger right now is infection. It is not the femur that is broke, I don't know how I ever thought that, it is just her tibia. Setting it is difficult, and without an x-ray I did the best thing by splinting it so she has to keep her leg straight. Aspirin might be a good idea to help her eat better, and she even recommended I tube feed her. Lastly, for the main question I had, I need to keep it wrapped and splinted for a few days, not to undo it as this will inhibit the bone from fusing.

    More suggestions and tips are always welcome. I will post updates. Thank you.
     
  4. EthanJM

    EthanJM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2014
    Well, she somehow manage to get her splint off, so I took that time to redress it. It is quite alarming, her leg is very swollen and puffy and there is a lot of green, I'm hoping it is bruising. I can't see gangrene setting in that fast after two days, especially with all the antibiotics.
    My fiancee and I went ahead and made a frame and a sling to put her in, so now she is suspended, that should give the leg the best chance. I washed it pretty thoroughly, the area I put the suture in looks good, no signs of infection, it actually looks like it is in the first stages of healing. I made her a better splint this time as well, hoping it can stay clean. She pooped once through the hole in the sling, but that was before the splint was on, now her leg is straight and pointing slightly back, I'm hoping it won't get pooped on.
    She will be getting more antibiotics tonight, and she has a very healthy appetite. For hydration I'm going to use a tube though, that way I know she is getting enough. Also going to put pulverized egg shell in her water for calcium.
     
  5. EthanJM

    EthanJM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2014
    The circle on the splint is approximately where the break is, and the arrow on the healthy leg is where the break is on the bad leg.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  6. EthanJM

    EthanJM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2014
    She is now on penicillin. It is better for wounds.
     
  7. EthanJM

    EthanJM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2014
  8. ccstar800

    ccstar800 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2015
    Sorry for your lose
     

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