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 MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE

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NiteOwl
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PostSubject: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:45 pm

On Saturday, Don and I took a ride up past Boston to meet a rehabber from Gloucester who has been treating a pij with a badly splayed leg, but with no luck. She was getting to the point of considering putting him to sleep, as the leg hasn't gotten any better, and he can't be released in that condition. So, when she emailed me, asking if we would consider taking him, well....................................
Couldn't let him be PTS without trying to do all we can. He is such a sweet and friendly little thing. Bad splay on his left leg. It goes right out to the side. He can use it though, as he gets up against things to push from or hold onto for balance. He uses it like an extra arm, to help him move and turn. We got him home and settled, and set up a cage in our living room. He loves to be held and cuddled. He wasn't very good at eating seed, as he was being tube fed, and he didn't seem to know what water was, or how to drink. We started out hand feeding him thawed peas and corn, then moved on to seed. He is eating seed now like a little piggy, and he has learned to drink. He spends a lot of his time either being cuddled by me, or sitting on Dons lap, where he snuggles and snoozes. I have been trying to get him to depend more on the good leg, as he doesn't stand at all. Pigeons can live with one leg, but this little one doesn't know yet how to balance or stand on the good leg. Just kinda scoots to where he wants to go. He can't fly, as he can't take off when he is on his tummy. So I have been holding him in the air, a couple of feet from the recliner, and when I do that, he can fly to the chair. This evening, he actually made 2 circles before landing on the recliner, and he landed on his good leg, for the first time. He didn't stay up, but he landed on it. That's a start. Now if we can just strengthen that leg, who knows. We have made a vet appointment for Wednesday evening, and should know more then. I would like to try to fix the bad leg, but first we need to know what is going on with it. Whether it is in the hip or what. The problem is that he is now about 2 months old. I wish we had gotten him younger. He is just adorable and we love him already. I take him outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and the birds that come to our backyard. He loves being outside. We'll miss doing that when the cold weather gets here. Anyway, here's a picture of our new little pijjie.

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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:26 pm

Many thanks for posting about your new addition to the family.
What a little beauty.

I'm just curious, was there some reason he had been tube fed all this time and not introduced to seed and apparently water?
Unless there was an underlying problem, he certainly is old enough to have been eating on his own, .

Will be thinking good thoughts things go well with his leg.
Please do update us after the vet appt.

Bless you and Don and little pijjie.

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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pigeonwriter
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:10 am

What a lovely face this little pjjie has. I have seen his picture in the other thread about photographing. I assume it was him?
I find it very strange what you are telling about him. I am really curious to get to know what the vet says. I really hope so very much that you can help this sweet little guy! Pigeon angel
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:55 am

You have such a huge heart. Pigeon angel
Have you thought of a name?
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Cynthia

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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:17 am

I will be interested in the vet's verdict. I have a juvenile wood pigeon with a "splay" leg that I got from the vet, I taped it and he was able to get around quite well, but it didn't correct the splay and when the tape was removed the leg was sliding out when he walked.

I considered permanently taping it, although I felt that could be risky for him, he could get caught or tangled. While I was thinking he started to get around despite the splay and has just started to fly up to perches.

He is staying here permanently, of course!
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:24 am

I've seen them corrected at that age with surgery. Hope it doesn't come to that, though. Having a bad day
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NiteOwl
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:33 pm

I also hope it can be fixed without surgery. He loves to fly. Not that he goes far, but now that I've started doing that with him, by holding him up in the air near something soft to land on, he sometimes goes in another direction. When he feels that he needs to land, he looks for something safe to land on. It's so cute. Of course, I'm right there with my hands a foot or so under him, just in case. Now he tries to fly from the chair. But first he has to learn to get up on that other leg. It makes him try. It's exercise. As to why the tube feeding, I think it was just faster and easier. Seed was left with him, but I don't think he really understood the concept. He didn't much like having peas and corn put into his mouth where he had never been fed that way and he is about 2 months now. But I figured it was about time he learned. He still had a few little pin feathers sticking out here and there, when we got him, but I don't see any now. He is doing pretty good with the seed now, but he eats better when you are with him. He likes company while he eats. I stopped and bought him some new towels today to pad his cage and make bumpers with to push off on, and grab onto. My husband says his towels are nicer than ours. LOL, but I wanted soft ones to pad his tummy, and all the same color so that the colors in his cage would not be always changing. We will see the vet tomorrow night. I'm praying it's good. He such a sweet little bird. As far as a name, Don has his ideas, but since I don't know whether or not it's a male, it has to be generic. Don likes Jake. Any ideas?
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NiteOwl
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:39 pm

Okay, we're back from the vet. She isn't sure whether or not taping the legs will help at this point. But taped they are, with a little "ski" on the bad leg to try to straighten the toes. So, in this condition, Don had to hold him all the way home, elevated above his lap. We couldn't just pack him back into the carrying case. Now I have to keep him confined somehow so that he doesn't fall over. I mean, he couldn't stand or walk before the hobbling, so he won't know how to do it now. He'd just fall over if we stood him up. So, for now, I made him a little basket, put thick foam rubber around the inside, and covered it with a face cloth. There is a hole that his legs go down through, with toweling under his feet, although, I'm not quite sure if they even touch bottom or not. At first, he pushed himself out of it with the use of his wings and head. Back to square one. So then, I put a stretch stocking bandage over him, which keeps his wings up against his body, and cut a hole out for his feet to go through. He was such a little trooper through the whole thing. Good as gold at the vets. Everyone there fell in love with him. The vet couldn't believe how he just stayed there and let her wrap up the legs. We had an x-ray taken ($85), and she says there doesn't seem to be any problem with the joints. Just splayed and twisted. She wants to keep him hobbled for three weeks. And come back each week to have him checked and I guess re-wrapped. Next week I will ask what else could be done, as far as surgery, and what that would cost. I thought I would let Don take this one step at a time. Let's see what the hobbling does first. We may not be able to afford surgery if this doesn't work, I can just imagine what that would cost. I feel so bad at having to do this to him. He was doing so well. So there he is in his little basket, but he still eat some, and drank water. She said that if it stresses him out too much, we'd probably have to undo the taping. So far, he's been calm with it, but time will tell. Most birds his age could be allowed to walk with the legs taped, and not have their wings confined on top of everything else. But he uses them to escape the basket. Maybe in the next couple of days, I can rig something up to suspend him from, to change his position a bit. This is a pic of the basket with the foam rubber lining.



And here he is in his little wrap. He looks like a little burrito.

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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:54 pm

Maybe you should call him ...Burrito. You are a Saint, my friend.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:16 pm

He is adorable! Circle of Love
It's just too awful to think that he might have been euthanised because of his splay leg when other birds with horrific injuries can sometimes not only survive, but still have quality of life, and be important members of the family.
The basket is very ingenious, and he looks so cosy in it! I confess I like the name 'Burrito', it conveys an instant image of pigeon cosiness! I love it/them I'm keeping my fingers crossed that surgey won't be necessary.
God bless you and Don for taking in the little fellow. I'm sure you will have many happy moments together.
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plamenh
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:31 pm

I hope he recovers without surgery.
I saw another method of keeping bird with immobilized leg(s).
You sort of suspend it from the top with belts wrapped that way that bird can have wings free and some kind of movement.



Addition of calcium also helps as far as I know in these situation.
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NiteOwl
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:55 pm

Thanks everyone. Plamenh, I had planned to work on that tomorrow. I thought we could switch between nesting and suspending him to give him a change in position. Thanks for the picture. I'll have to come up with something. When I do, I'll let you all know. I had planned on taking off the bandage to let him exercise his wings a couple of times a day til then.
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:18 pm

Appreciate the update.
Wishing the best for the little guy.
Please do keep us posted.

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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NiteOwl
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:15 pm

Well, during the night, He not only got himself out of the basket, but got himself out of the wrap, and managed to get over to the side of the cage, move the bumper, and get his wing caught between the two bottom wires of the cage. When I got up in the morning, he was wedged there, and I'm sure, in a panic. He was caught so good that I thought I would have to cute the cage bars with my dremel, so as not to hurt him. But Don was able to work his wing out of the predicament that he had gotten himself into. His splayed leg is so strong, as that is what he uses to push himself around, and to grab hold of things to balance himself, that he must have used it to claw his way out of the basket, and grab hold of the wrap with his claws, and work himself out of it. He's a real trip! He also got the leg back anyway, by pushing it out, and pulling the good leg along with it, and all the tape, and the gauze between his legs and everything. He was one scared and upset little bird. The vet figured we would try this, but wasn't too sure it would help the leg, as it's really a bit late to be doing this. And anyway, I worried that pulling the leg in so much was hurting him. So why do this to him for three weeks, when it was doubtful that it would work. He was soooooo stressed. I won't even tell you how stressed I was. So I took everything off. It would have had to be re- taped anyway.
When I had first heard about this little guy, and then saw the position of the leg, I questioned how a bird like that could possibly have any quality of life. Then someone pointed out that he had really never known anything different, and anything that we could do to improve life for him would be a plus.I thought about what she had said, and I realized that I had to judge quality of life, not by my own experience of it. But try to feel what he must feel. Sometimes what you CAN'T do, isn't as important as what you CAN do, with what you've got. ( Thank you Charis) He loves people, is eating and drinking on his own now, has learned to fly with help by holding him up so that he can take off. He absolutely loves it. He is learning to land well, and mostly on the good leg. So if we keep practicing, I'm hoping that he will be able to strengthen that good leg, maybe even to the point of being able to get up and balance on it. As I type this, he is trying over and over to get up on that leg and balance. He just might make it. He loves picking through the seed mixture we provide, and he can get around all over the cage, even if it is just on the bottom. He's out of the cage with us a good deal of the time, and he seems very content so far. So we're just gonna see how it goes. I will call the vet and see what she says about what else can be done. Don't know if we could afford surgery to try to straighten the leg. Have to talk to the vet first. And simply removing the leg would just take away his ability to get around and balance in the way that he has learned to do. So it looks like we have ourselves a wonderful little house companion. And who knows..................................
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: MEET OUR LATEST RESCUE   Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:27 am

NiteOwl wrote:
Well, during the night, He not only got himself out of the basket, but got himself out of the wrap, and managed to get over to the side of the cage, move the bumper, and get his wing caught between the two bottom wires of the cage. When I got up in the morning, he was wedged there, and I'm sure, in a panic. He was caught so good that I thought I would have to cute the cage bars with my dremel, so as not to hurt him. But Don was able to work his wing out of the predicament that he had gotten himself into. His splayed leg is so strong, as that is what he uses to push himself around, and to grab hold of things to balance himself, that he must have used it to claw his way out of the basket, and grab hold of the wrap with his claws, and work himself out of it. He's a real trip! He also got the leg back anyway, by pushing it out, and pulling the good leg along with it, and all the tape, and the gauze between his legs and everything. He was one scared and upset little bird. The vet figured we would try this, but wasn't too sure it would help the leg, as it's really a bit late to be doing this. And anyway, I worried that pulling the leg in so much was hurting him. So why do this to him for three weeks, when it was doubtful that it would work. He was soooooo stressed. I won't even tell you how stressed I was. So I took everything off. It would have had to be re- taped anyway.
When I had first heard about this little guy, and then saw the position of the leg, I questioned how a bird like that could possibly have any quality of life. Then someone pointed out that he had really never known anything different, and anything that we could do to improve life for him would be a plus.I thought about what she had said, and I realized that I had to judge quality of life, not by my own experience of it. But try to feel what he must feel. Sometimes what you CAN'T do, isn't as important as what you CAN do, with what you've got. ( Thank you Charis) He loves people, is eating and drinking on his own now, has learned to fly with help by holding him up so that he can take off. He absolutely loves it. He is learning to land well, and mostly on the good leg. So if we keep practicing, I'm hoping that he will be able to strengthen that good leg, maybe even to the point of being able to get up and balance on it. As I type this, he is trying over and over to get up on that leg and balance. He just might make it. He loves picking through the seed mixture we provide, and he can get around all over the cage, even if it is just on the bottom. He's out of the cage with us a good deal of the time, and he seems very content so far. So we're just gonna see how it goes. I will call the vet and see what she says about what else can be done. Don't know if we could afford surgery to try to straighten the leg. Have to talk to the vet first. And simply removing the leg would just take away his ability to get around and balance in the way that he has learned to do. So it looks like we have ourselves a wonderful little house companion. And who knows..................................

Welcome, Owl. Happy
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