Jump to content
BMustee

gangrene finch gets second chance

Recommended Posts

As most people that know me know that I have a real soft spot for the tiny birds and have a flock full of misfits as it is, when the other day I inspected a little Owl finch and to my horror the poor thing had a leg band slip down over his foot and has cut off the blood supply.

 

That Monday his middle toe was already black and I tried to open the split band that was around the foot...only to have blood start gushing everywhere!!! I just about freaked because these birds are so small they really can't afford to loose much blood to begin with so I packed the foot in flower and was able to get the bleeding to stop. The next day I go to check him out again and a second toe had turned black and it had gotten stuck to his torso from the blood/flower mix. I tried running warm water over him to free the leg but it was caked on like cement so I then had to cut the feathers away from his belly before he ripped the skin trying to free his limb. At that point I looked at the leg again and saw more dead tissue and there was a bubble of infection between the band around the foot and the band still on the leg. I knew there was only one option for the little guy...amputation.

 

I told Steph that we needed to take the leg off and when she realized I was talking about doing it myself she brought up that the shock of cutting off the leg could kill him I wasn't so confident in my backyard surgery skills anymore. I started looking online for information on "do it yourself' amputation and was shocked that there was not one site with any viable info on it...who would have thought that you can find videos of two girls eating bodily fluids, secretions and excrements out of a cup and yet nothing on "at home" amputation.

 

After talking with Steph again I decided to give my Avian vet...Dr. McKelvie...a call and see if he could give me some pointers. I talked to the girl at the desk and told her I needed to talk to Dr. M about doing an amputation she said she could 'schedule me in'. I was like 'no, no, no...I need to know HOW to do an amputation!' She went and asked him while he was in surgery and I can only imagine the look on his face when told he had a call about 'instructions on removing a leg' and he told her to just have me come in and he would take a look at him.

 

I rushed him down to see him and was just in time for him to be coming out of surgery and went back to an exam room to meet with him. He took a look at his bound foot and wanted to see if he could save it before we took the leg so off to the O.R. we went. I was kind of suprized when Dr. M whipped out the anesthesia, I don't know why but it was kinda funny to see him put this tiny little bird under the muzzle cup till he passed out. The to keep him 'under' the vet tech had to rig an extention tube with the finger off a rubber glove to keep his head in the gas. Dr. M then took wire cutters and took off the bands. The leg had obviously been broken from the band because the foot was just dangling so Dr. M took the foot in his fingers plucked it off. The dead tissue going up the leg came off along with the foot and just the itty bitty bone was left. He took a pair of surgical scissors and snipped it off and then super glued the stump to close it up. He gave him an injection of Batril to fight any infection still in his system and then mixed him up some pain killers. After he woke up we gave him his first dose of the Butorphenol (which I have to give him every 4 hours) and he didn't fight it at all and as soon as we put him back in the carrier he started using the nub to get around, was making his little beeping sounds and was eating.

 

It's been a few weeks and he is now in with all the other finches and is getting really good at using his one leg and nub to perch. It helps that I already have a Zebra that had a badly broken leg that healed upside-down and made the cage "handicap excessible" for him.

 

 

Here is a pic of his amputated leg.

014-5.jpg<br><br>Post edited by: BMustee, at: 2009/01/09 06:34

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, that's quite a story, Berna. You are a gem for keeping your "little misfits" and caring for them. Aren't these little creatures amazing in what they can adapt to?

 

Karma to you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG Berna, you got more guts than I do, I would have never considered amputating an appendage like that myself, I don't have the stomach for it.

 

The poor little thing, this is why they should not have to wear those bands, it cost this little finch his leg. You are such a good birdie momma and your birds are so lucky to have you.

 

Thanks for sharing this story with us and the pic to show us what is left, and they can and do adapt to having only one leg and I bet he is a happy little fella now that the infection is gone.

 

Karma coming your way Berna.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are so brave Berna and acted quickly too. Your fast thinking probably save his life. I think it's great when people go above and beyond to help these little guys out and you are one of them. It is amazing how they can adapt so quickly to something as big as loosing a leg or foot. More Karma coming your way!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people think that the small birds aren't smart but I know he knew I was helping him because he is actually pretty comfortable with me. It was so funny, when he was on his pain killers he would let me know when it was time and start making all the noise he could. I had to use a diabetic syringe with the needle removed to give his meds and he would bite down on the tip and drink it drop by drop. I've medicated a lot of birds from cockatiels to cockatoos and they have never been as easy as this finch. We were all laughing about it at the store because he was acting like a junky...and I was his dealer. :laugh: Before I put him in the big cage with all the other finches I had to keep him in a little travel carrier and I felt bad that he was all cooped up in it for so long so I let him free fly in the room for a little bit. I do this with all my finches and when they are done they fly back to the cage but he surprised me by flying around the room and when he was done he flew back to me and landed on my chest!:woohoo: That made all the work worth while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is so sweet to hear Berna, you do have a way with those finches and I am sure he did know you were only helping him, you have such a big heart.

 

Good to see you back with us so don't make a stranger of yourself now ya hear:whistle: :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what a scary story! I was bracing myself when I read the self amputation part! lol

 

This story is another reminder at how dangerous leg bands can be, and I'm glad that our rescue organization had our greys band taken off before we adopted her.

 

Anyways, we have something in common...we both have birds with stumps! ;) We rescued a Fancy Canary that we named "Stumpy" because, of course, he has a stump. The weird thing is...we don't know how it happened because his good leg has the band on it. It's possible that another canary bite it off because some stupid person put him in with another male to breed and the other male plucked out his feathers pretty badly, injured the wing, and he was underweight. The uneducated bird buyer brought him back in bad condition with a nub. Nobody wanted him, but I immediately fell in love because to me he was perfect. He has such a beautiful song and spirit that you'd never know he was injured. We've had him since August and he is looking pretty good now!

 

Here is a picture of my boy that was taken in September or October, he looks even better now and a lot of his wing & tail feathers are coming back!

 

IMG_4010_2.jpg

 

His cage is pretty handicap friendly and he seems very happy. He does much better with dowel rod perches that are square so he can rest his "nub" on it. He tends to slip on the regular round perch. The bottom of the cage is a wooden platform with a wire grate on top of it so that his "nub" doesn't fall through when he's at the bottom. His food is on a platform. We recently bought a rope perch and it's wide enough where he stump rests nicely on it. I love him and wouldn't trade him for the world!

 

Post edited by: Goralka08, at: 2009/01/12 04:26<br><br>Post edited by: Goralka08, at: 2009/01/12 04:28

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BaxtersMom wrote:

Kimberly, that is a gorgeous canary! Quite photogenic too:)

 

He does frequently turn his head during photo shoots! LOL :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is one cute canary. The canaries I have came in with scaley mites so I took them home cleared up the mites with Ivermectin and topical stuff.

 

My guys seem to do good with the ruff textured natural perches that are sized for conures...enough width to support the nubs.:laugh: I also put astro turf down over the grate so they can hope around the bottom of the cage with no worry. I keep saying I'm going to hang tiny handicap signs up on the food bowls for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hahahah! We should photoshop our own handicap bird sign! ;)

 

Astro turf? I would have never thought of that. Whatever works!

 

I heard canary and finches are more prone to mites? Not sure if this is true, but we spray mite spray into the cage when we clean it and their food and water is removed. So far we haven't had any problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only mite issues I have ever had was a possible infection of airsac mites in my old Gouldians and the scaley mites with the canaries. I think the little ones may be more prone to mites because more of them are kept outside than the bigger birds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading these stories makes me feel so bad for the birds, I know exactly how they feel, I have a bum leg myself.

 

I am glad both of you are there to take care of them..

 

I am going to have to go home and hug my greys now...I will tell them it was because of this post too...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

😉

Edited by Jayd
mistake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×