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JenniferB
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Location: Up North in Clearbrook, MN
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:00 pm Reply with quote

When I went to take care of my birds this afternoon, I found blood everywhere. I freaked! It took a bit to find out who was injured because several birds had blood all over their backs. I finally saw Ice, my purple silver male with a chest full of bright red blood. I couldn't tell why, but there was even blood splattered all over the wall where he perches. I took him inside my garage where I have a small "medical" cage to see exactly what was going on. Once I saw that it was a broken toe nail / claw, I was very relieved that it wasn't some huge gash in his chest or something very serious. It is amazing how fast these things happen, everything was fine yesterday. This is a nasty break almost down to the skin on the toe. Obviously it bled very bad, but by the time I found it, it had stopped bleeding. I cleaned it up gently with a warm cloth, gobbed it with antibiotic cream and put a band aid on it to try to prevent dirt and germs from it. I also put antibiotic in his water. I am sure he will be just fine and I will check on it daily, I nursed a bird back to life this spring that had a huge gash in her back from a dog attack, so this is nothing.

Is there anything else that I am not doing that you can think of? Does anybody have an idea on how to get all that crusty blood off his white chest feathers besides warm water? How the heck do you bathe these guys? He is very good and sat real still for me on his back while on my lap so I could care for him.

Also, my big concern here is temperature. He is acclimated to being outside in below zero temperatures, even tho there is heat, it is still way below freezing in their cage. So now I have him in a heated garage that sits between 50 and 60 degrees. If I leave him in the garage for a week and then put him back outside, will he die? Any advice on what I should do?

Thank you all...happy holidays!

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Jennifer
Clearbrook, MN
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featherhead
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:04 am Reply with quote

Hi Jennifer
Yesterday, I found exactly the same thing with one of my chickens. Opened the coop and - wow - was I surprised. Took her to the shop and sprayed gentamicin on her toe. After a few hours in there, the wound looked okay to take her back to the aviary. I put her in a poultry cage lined with 4" of straw and gave her an antibiotic. This should keep her a little quiet for another day. If your garage is like ours, you can't turn the heat down too far because you have paint and etc. in there that can't go below 50 degrees F.

When the same thing happened to a peacock last winter, I only kept him in the shop for 24 hours. They heal amazingly fast. He also had dried blood on his chest from sitting on his toes, but after a few days he had cleaned it off when he preened. Your boy might not need to spend a week in the garage. How does the wound look?

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Jeanna
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:33 am Reply with quote

Hello,

The best thing I have found to remove blood is hydrogen peroxide.

We have been using the liquid bandage on a lot wounds when sealing them is one of the main goals. Especially with any animal who gets fecal material on the wound like on a foot, is works very well.

It is similar to nexaband (not the same but similar) which we have been using in veterinary medicine to seal wounds and the outside closure for many surgical incisions for years.

All wounds of course should be cleaned, antiseptic applied, and allowed to dry first. And if using the liquid bandage, nexaband, or anything like it, make sure it is completely dry before releasing the bird. Because it is very sticky and everything will stick to it while it is wet.

I know some people have mentioned that the liquid bandage burns when applied. Well I have used it on myself and my husband uses it for dry, bleeding skin that splits open, especially during the winter months. And neither one of us has felt it burning.

Happy Holidays to all,
Jeanna
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JenniferB
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:17 am Reply with quote

The wound looked good. Just like a broken off nail, not a clean break, but it had already sealed itself and wasn't bleeding. I do worry that he is gonna loose the tip of the toe though. It seemed swollen and harder, like because of the blood it was wet and couldn't stay warm enough so frostbite set in. I sure hope not, maybe it was just irritated instead. I should know tonight when I get home to check it.

I like the idea of liquid bandadge. Never heard of it. I will get that on my way home from work and then probly put him back outside tomorrow morning.

The main reason I put him inside was I worried about the other birds attacking him, beating him up or even killing him because of the blood. Does this happen? I have seen birds pick on and torture injured or weak birds. At this point that is what I am worried will happen.

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Jennifer
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Jeanna
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:45 am Reply with quote

Hi Jennifer,

I would watch him more closely when you put him back in with the others just make sure it does not start bleeding again since birds do like to pick at each other when they see blood. And yes the toe especially the tips could be more apt to get frostbitten since the nail is broke off so far back. It is probably swollen due to the trauma. Do you have something like a heated perch?
Yes a warmer surface does increase blood flow thus increasing the chance it could bleed easier, but it also allows better circulation, thus it keeps the blood flow adequate to the feet reducing the chance of frostbite. And better circulation means better and quicker healing.

I have seen fowl perch on metal outside during the cold weather, and the feet can actually freeze to the metal. And that type of surface will cause frostbite easier.
So I would make sure he can at least sit on his feet on a surface that will not get quite as cold. That is probably why he had blood all over his chest when you found him, he was probably sitting on his feet.

Hope he gets along okay.
Jeanna
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JenniferB
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:52 am Reply with quote

Funny enough, yes...i built a heated perch...he won't sit on it! He has to be close to his woman who likes to sit in a raised nest. He sits on the wood divider between two nests! the boy is love struck I tell ya! lol

Any perch that they have outside is wood, so there is no chance of feet sticking.

I will see how he is tonight and decide to maybe wait one more day before putting him back. He hasn't even been in the garage 24 hours yet.

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Jennifer
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featherhead
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:07 am Reply with quote

Our oldest male was missing a toenail when we got him. The end of his toe was/is like a little knob. We don't know how he lost it, whether thru injury or frostbite, but he has done fine. How does your guy look today?

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JenniferB
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:45 am Reply with quote

He looks real good! His toe was just swollen due to injury. It has gone down considerably and is definately not frostbit. I don't think he is going to loose the nail completely and it looks as though it will grow back.

He cleaned the blood off quite good too, I was completely amazed. I figured he would get rid of all the terrible crusty globs, but not the red color. That is almost not noticable either, light pink. On white feathers I figured that was there to stay untill I attempted to clean it or they fell out.

I left him in the garage for one more day. We are having about 6 inches of snow today, so I think I will put him back out there tomorrow afternoon when it is light out. I get a half day at work tomorrow! Very Happy

Thanks for talking with me about this and asking how he is doing.

Happy Holidays to all!

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Jennifer
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