splinting a leg?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bhadrika, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. bhadrika

    bhadrika In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2007
    Mansfield, MA
    My 4wk old Cuckoo Maran has one leg growing twisted -- at the hock, it bends outward, so she looks decidedly knock-kneed. I've found out that this is not "splay leg" but just twisted leg, happens d/t genes or nutrition (only one in the batch, so I'm guessing genes), and the site I looked at says there's no treatment, but not a lot of mortality from it either. Thing is, in the week since I first noticed it, it does seem to be getting worse, and the hock itself getting larger, I think d/t the muscles growing to try to support her increasing weight at that weird angle. So far she's still walking around on it with no apparent problem.

    So, my question is, does anyone have any experience with this, and has anyone tried splinting such a leg? I'd think if I can straighten it more while she's growing, it may grow somewhat straighter, and that if left alone it will not be able to support her adult weight. But straightening a joint also means immobilizing the joint, so I don't know how losing the ability to bend it will effect her, whether she'll hobble around on a peg-leg and be fine, or go nuts trying to deal with it, or hobble about but end up with a leg with even more issues from being immobilized. Anyone have any ideas? I have both flexible wraps and stiff splints available to choose between.

  2. spencereb

    spencereb In the Brooder

    Feb 17, 2007
    Last year I had a chick, this year a duck. I never got to the bottom of what the issue really was.....dislocated hip, splayed leg, broke leg/joint, neurological issues. My experience...it only gets worse, until they eventually die from associated complications. Their appetite is good, they drink, they don't seem to be in pain. But eventually, they get so heavy, they can't get up right if they roll over. That kind of thing. I tried immobilizing, splinting, holding all weekend, but they are too tiny, active, delicate for all that kind of stuff. If there is anybody out there that has sucessfully raised a crippled bird to adulthood, I would love to see the post and/or picture. I've read several posts where this issue exists, but none where it was sucessfully treated. Good luck and let us know how things go.
  3. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I once watched an old bird reahbber splint the leg of a robin using gauze and an eggwhite. he soaked the gauze in the eggwhite and wrapped the leg up with it. To dry it he used a hair dryer. I don't know if anything else was added to the egg white but I think it was only eggwhite that was used. Obviously if your chick is larger and stronger this would not hold up very well since the eggwhite probably isn't too structurally sound.
  4. Spydrworks

    Spydrworks In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2007
    So. California
    I don't know what's up with the egg white...maybe it adheres the gauze to the bird's body. I rescued a robin once and it had a broken leg. What I ended up doing to splint is pretty much what the bird rehabber did, minus the egg white and used gauze tape to secure the gauze.

    The leg gets splinted to the bird's body. You would bend the leg and wrap it then tuck the leg close to the bird's body and wrap the gauze around the bird's back to secure the leg to the body. This helps keep the leg immobile.

    You might want to keep this chicken separated from others for a while, because the bird will be vulnerable to being picked on and if possible, keep her in a small area free of obstacles to hobble around for a while.
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    go to your DIY store...they have little gauze like "patches" infused with gips...for repairing plaster walls...use that over padding and support system ...
  6. LoisCroft

    LoisCroft Hatching

    Mar 27, 2007
    I just rescued a week-old chick from a wild hen. His left leg moves, but he doesn't walk on it. It seems deformed and he holds it up near his head and hops on the good leg. Any suggestions? Right now, he's in the bathroom with a couple of other chicks under a light. He seems really happy.
  7. bhadrika

    bhadrika In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2007
    Mansfield, MA
    Thanks for the replies. The splints described are more for a broken bone, though -- I don't think secruing the leg to the body would accomplish much. What I need is a joint stabilizer, which has a pivot point built in, like they use on humans after knee injuries. Time to get out the K'nex again, I guess, I'll let you know how it works....


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