Broken Leg

by Esther
(New York)

My eclectics parrot was accidently stepped on a month ago and badly broke her leg. She was taken in for microscopic surgery which was unsuccessful. Her leg has circulation and our vet has it splinted, rewrapping it weekly. We now need to make the decision to either send her in for another surgery where they would graph a piece of her chest and put it in her leg, continue splinting and wrapping the leg to see if fibers will grow or amputate the leg. This is the only avian vet surrounding us and we are looking for other vets opinions. We want what is best for our bird, we’ve had her since she was an egg and this was a freak accident. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Comments for Broken Leg

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Dec 20, 2009
by: Anonymous

I just wanted to thank all of you for your input. As of right now our family has desided to try and avoid the graph sergery and are hoping the bone will grow. I will keep updating as things change. Thank you again for your input.

Dec 18, 2009
Sorry but think
by: Anonymous

I am a breeder of Eclectus and have also too many other birds as pets. I want to tell you that a bird with one leg is just as happy as with both legs. I have two Blue and Golds (a pair) that have one leg each and they live a splendid life. They are more physical and agile then my normal birds. An animal adapts to its handicaps and dose not sorrow over a lost leg.

I am not trying to talk you into taking the leg but if an attempt to keep the leg fails you will run into a large extra cost, stress on your part, stress on the birds part and the possibility of loosing your pet as prolonged and improper healing leaves the window open for infections and other compromising of the birds general health.

I don?t know what the complications are that involves the tissue aspect of the wounds but the bone issues should be resolved by now it takes 4 weeks to mend a broken leg. Bone cells grow fast. If you can not give this bird good tissue around the bone the bird is better off not to have this defect for life and face future problems that my result too.

Choose what is the least traumatic, the fastest road to recovery and don?t grieve if the leg is lost your bird won?t.

I am sorry and will hope with you for the best.

Bruce Buchanan

Dec 18, 2009
Bird with broken leg
by: The Vet

Splinting alone is never effective for healing a broken bone. Broken bones need pinning or come other form of coaptation besides a bandage. This may be why it is not healing. It may also be that the bone is too damaged to heal. I cannot say without seeing your bird and the x-rays.

If you are working with an avian veterinarian with the skill to do a bone graft, and that is what is needed, then that would be a better road than amputation, but, again, I cannot make any recommendations without seeing your bird and the x-rays.

Dr B

Dec 17, 2009
Broken Leg
by: Linda

There is a Find an Avian Vet page on this site you may want to look at. It may mean driving a ways to see another vet, and you DO need another opinion. If this was a dog or cat, I would say amputate the leg and not cause the bird anymore trauma than is necessary.

Being that birds only have two legs and need both to balance on a perch, I'm not sure what to tell you. I do think you will need a second Avian Vet opinion and/or you can talk with the one you are using now to see how life will be for your bird with only one leg. I know of wild birds who have animals attack them where they lose a leg, and they seem to do okay out there. It is much harder for wild birds than our beloved pets, so she may be able to adjust well.

She'll need special considerations as for perches because she'll need to be able to lean up against the cage when she sleeps and will need perches lowered down almost to the bottom of the cage until she adjusts to her new life. Talk with the vet you have now about what rehab will entail and look like and there are any prosthetics available. The thing I do know about surgeries of this kind is if the first one did not work, most likely, the second one will not work either. Plus, birds are far more sensitive to all the anesthesia and pain meds than dogs or cats, so you risk her life in many ways by trying another surgery that may or may not work.

We have a vet that sometimes answers questions, and he may pick up on this one and be better able to advise you. I suggest you look at the "find a vet" section and see if you can drive to another one and get a second opinion. If you end up having to have her leg taken off in the end, it would be good to not traumatize her anymore than she already is right now with another surgery to try and "fix" the leg.

My heart goes out to you and your sweet little bird, and I'll keep her in prayers and surrounded by the white light of healing and peace. Keep us posted on what you decide to do and how the rehab is going to be done as this information is very valuable to all of us. None of us know when an accident may happen, so please keep us in the loop on this one. Many good wishes for wonderful and warm Holidays and another great New Year with your bird!
Linda and Family

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