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  Slipped tendon repair
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  Post new topic   Reply to topic The United Peafowl Association - www.peafowl.org Forum Index » Health     
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lhROW
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:28 pm Reply with quote

It appears that one of the three peababies (now almost 5 months old) has developed a slipped tendon. She is getting around on it, but it does not support her properly. She can get the leg pointing straight, but then it rotates on her when she puts weight on it or turns. Crying or Very sad

I've done all the reading that I can find so far, and of course, it is not optimistic. However there seems to be some thought that if this resulted from an injury as opposed to a developmental malformity, there may be some hope for repairing it.

My vet -- who insists he does NOT do birds -- is willing to try. (I'm claiming it's a peadoodle -- a rare cross between a peacock and a poodle...) At least he's a good sport.

So far, we understand from my reading and his phone calls, that one thing that can be tried is replace the tendon and splint or cast the leg in place, then hang the bird in a sling for some period of time to allow healing. He was told to anesthetize the bird before trying to put the tendon back. Someone also mentioned surgery and stabilizing the tendon.

He has lots of technical questions, like what anesthesia is appropriate for peafowl and how much to administer. We don't know how long to leave the cast on and sling the bird. More questions than answers. Don't know where to even start looking for info, or where the nearest avian vet would be...

Has anyone tried either surgery, or casting and slinging a bird this age?

She's very healthy and strong, and I hate to lose her if we can pull her through this. She was pretty cooperative with the vet, and only struggled when he manipulated the bad joint -- was calm throughout manipulating the good leg and all the rest of the handling, so I think she's got a better chance of surviving the sling than if she hadn't been handled so much as a chick.

Interestingly, her siblings are being very supportive of her -- not pecking her at all, but mostly snuggling up to her and helping her support herself. The three girls sleep all nestled together, and seem very attached to each other.

I'd be grateful for any thoughts or suggestions.

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connerhills
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:26 pm Reply with quote

I can give you some advise but wait untill D C T gets on here.. she has a lot of experiance in this field and checks in here often . George
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D C T
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:08 am Reply with quote

Hmmmmm.......All the experience that I have had with this sort of thing
was bad paperbag
There is the case of Lame Tiger, one of those (so called) Java green
peachicks that I drove nearly to Atlanta to purchase. When he was
about six months old one of his hock joints went bad. I put much time
and effort creating a hinged brace and carefully padded this.
In spite of all this padding a nasty infected sore appeared on his
drumstick (tibia) and that fancy brace was never used again. I
phoned a poultry lab doctor who told me to treat that infection
by rubbing it with antibiotic ointment and then rubbing DMSO on top
of that to drive the antibiotic into the leg. This was done twice a day
until he had new skin and feathers, too. But he had a bad leg all his
life. I did build an extra wide perch for him with another perch behind it
so that he could rest his tail on that other perch. He lived around twelve
years and did breed. He is a grandfather of Everest.
---------
Speaking of keeping peafowls in slings---they HATE it passionately.
I had a couple of black shoulder spalding peachicks that had twisted tibias
that I tried keeping in sling chairs. (this was before I learned how to treat
this effectively) Both died of frustration.
About ten years ago I had a one year old peahen with leg broken just above
hock joint. I had to splint this and then immobilize her with sponge carved
to fit between her legs and under her breast with a cardboard box taped
securely to hold her inside--and a channel for her manure to land in a
container which needed to be emptied frequently.
She had to be kept there three weeks and then it took two more weeks
for her to get back her strength and coordination. She seemed to think that
the whole problem was MY fault :wow
---------
I really do not know what to say about having your peachick's leg operated on.
--------
I think that procedures may have been created for exotic wildlife but do not
know what words to put into a search engine Confused
-----
Over a quarter century ago one of my own knees had an operation
(with "atheroscope") to try to repair a martial arts injury.....
and as for the result of that--- gaah

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D C T
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:15 am Reply with quote

The following message is reply that I got when I sent link to this topic to
Kat at paw2consider--who knows more about this than I do
========================================
DCT asked me to chime in and here are my 2 cents......I am with you, DCT, I have not had good luck in a bird recovering from a slipped tendon. I have not come across one this much older, usually with babies (chickens, mostly bantams) and the little ones tendons are so tiny and almost impossible to surgically repair or pop back in the notch.
With one this age, I would think splinting as you described might work. Surgery with someone who has done this successfully before with a bird of some sort could be an option, but is going to be EXPENSIVE. Really, really expensive. There is an avian vet in Memphis, some in MN that work with Chicken Run Rescue and one in CA that works with Mickacoo Pigeon and Dove Rescue with Elizabeth Young that have good reputations. I might suggest contacting one of them. They could possibly advise your vet in how to repair. I would think stabilization would have to be done, like the sling afterwards or at least a confined area for probably 6 weeks healing time after. They should try the splinting and see, then consult with the avian vets or CRR to see if they have had any luck with this. I have one that had nerve damage to one leg as a chick and it will rotate outwards a bit and she is gimpy, but gets around okay in a protected pen. SHe even gets on a roost (although I did make her a platform for roosting) and will sit there with her one leg sticking out to the side. She never recovered feeling. I would check and have the vet or the owner do a simple nerve test to make sure the peafowl has feeling in the extremity as this might affect recovery if surgery is tried. Kat
----- Original Message -----
From: D. C. Townsend
To: paws2consider

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lhROW
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:50 am Reply with quote

Thanks for the help.

I printed off the stuff I could find yesterday afternoon and discussed it with the vet -- he thinks the problem is coming from what he would call the stifle joint -- so perhaps higher up than the problem joint in the slipped tendon problems? I mentioned to him the possibility of a twisted tibia, and he is trying to figure if that could be it. But that doesn't make sense to me, because the bird CAN get the leg straight forward, it just turns sideways when she moves or turns her body. The leg is rotating in ways it shouldn't. He said the joint feels different on that leg -- and the hen certainly does not like having that particular joint manipulated.

I've ordered a vet book that has specifics on avian anesthesia and avian medicine, should be here tomorrow. And found some more folks he can contact that may know what this is and how to fix it (if it is fixable).

She seems fairly stable at the moment. She's able to move around to get to feed and water, and her sisters hang tight with her.

So the current plan is for him to get smart on avian anatomy and try to figure out what is wrong at this joint, and then figure out whether it can be fixed, and how. My sense is that it may take a surgical repair, if he's game to try it -- dunno. He's done some fairly amazing things fixing horses and dogs but we have to start by figuring out how to safely anesthetize the bird and what the repair needs to look like. And who knows? Maybe just casting this will help and surgery won't be needed.

I think if any bird will accept slinging, it will be this one, just based on how calm she has been so far. But it's a lot to ask of a bird that doesn't know what is going on.

If anybody recognizes what this problem would be, based on my not-so-great description, I'd be grateful. Thanks again,

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D C T
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:21 am Reply with quote

OK, let me help by making us understand eachother on the joint names.

Starting at the top the femur's top end has a ball and socket HIP joint.
The lower end of femur is attached to tibia at the STIFLE joint. (much like human knee)
The tibia's lower end is attached to the tarsal bone at the HOCK joint
................
and here my mind wonders off to hum "dem bones, dem bones,
dem dry bones, Now hear the Word of the Lord" bounce

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lhROW
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:33 pm Reply with quote

Sigh. I spent a long time writing an answer & more questions, and it looks like the server ate it.

Let me try again. Sad

I think maybe I misunderstand the problems called "slipped tendon" and "twisted tibia."

After looking at lots of diagrams of "normal" legs -- and unfortunately not finding any pictures of slipped tendon or twisted tibia, here's my confusion.

It seems as though the hen's problem is in the stifle joint. Instead of moving forward and back, the bad (and painful) joint is allowing rotational movement to the side. She gets the leg pointed straight, but when she moves or shifts her weight, the leg rotates to the side, or even slightly back.

Below the stifle (knee), the leg seems to be working as God designed it. The foot seems to work normally, the toes are arranged properly, she can put weight on it and it supports her.

Because of the rotational freedom at the stifle, she has trouble moving the leg into the right position. Sometimes she takes a funny little hop to get onto it. It doesn't stay rotated in one direction, but instead, changes direction as she shifts her weight or moves or picks up the leg.

So does the problem called "slipped tendon" specifically refer to a problem at the hock joint?

And I don't understand the "twisted tibia" problem -- I have been picturing that as a longitudinal rotation in the tibia bone itself, and some kind of problem where the bone itself is twisted and sticks at a bad angle. I didn't picture it as a problem where the leg moves in different directions at different times, but a problem that is of constant orientation in more or less a single bad direction.

The hen's problem seems to be in the joint, or the tendons which stabilize the joint. The vet tech who helped hold her during the exam asked whether the tendon(s) at the stifle could actually be torn or detached somehow?

Does a peacock have an actual knee cap? Can the knee cap become dislodged or dislocated and pushed off to one side?

When the vet manipulated the "bad" joint (which was the ONLY thing that upset the bird -- it was clearly very painful for her), he said it did not feel like the other joint, but he wasn't sure what he was feeling, because he was unsure of the anatomy.

Can someone please explain what is meant by "twisted tibia" and "slipped tendon" as I am afraid that maybe I leaped too far ahead to a misdiagnosis?

Maybe it is a tendon problem, but not the one that is called "slipped tendon?" Maybe the tibia is rotating in bad ways, but is not a "twisted tibia?" Maybe this is a different injury or problem altogether?

Thanks so much for taking the time to help.

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connerhills
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:43 pm Reply with quote

In a slipped tendon, the area will swell from inflamation and you can feel the tendon off on the side and put it back on but, the more they slip it off and you put it back on the worse it seem to be about coming off again.. I have had Javas as old as two years start the leg where it kicks inward and once it starts it seems to be all down hill from there, some just takes longer. I wish to not sound negative too much but over 30 yrs of raising peafowl I have never saved one that ever turned out good. I would suggest you do not invest a lot of money. I know people can be attatched to them. I really admire your vet for wanting to gain more knowledge on this ... maybe you can set a limit to the value your willing to invest.. good luck.... connerhills
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lhROW
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:04 pm Reply with quote

Thanks, George -- I understand it's not a really hopeful situation.

In your experience, is the place where the tendon typically slips out at the hock joint? The joint that looks like a backward knee?

Have you ever had a tendon slip out at the joint up above that? The joint that faces the same direction as a human knee?

I'm just not even sure now what this is... hoping when the avian med book gets here tomorrow it will throw more light on the problem and possible solutions. (If it turns out the book is any good, I'll mention it here.)

The vet really is a good sport, and our families are good friends and neighbors, otherwise I don't think I'd be even talking about possible high tech fixes. I sure couldn't afford to go to a high dollar avian clinic. But he tries stuff on critters and I've seen animals that he has pulled through and restored to functioning that most folks would have just put down as a lost cause, so I figure if there's a decent shot at saving the hen, he may be able to do it. He saw me fussing over the whole hatching thing last summer, so he knows how attached I am to these three half-grown peababies. So yes, he's a thoroughly good guy.

If there's any information anybody can pass along about experiences with problems at the stifle joint (knee), I'd be very grateful.

And if we somehow manage to fix this, I will certainly post how we did it... But not going to get my hopes up too high. Just don't want to lose this sweetie -- the little group is so attached to each other, and she's such a good-natured bird.

Thanks for the help, so much.

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connerhills
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:14 pm Reply with quote

Another thought ,, when the bird dies ask this vet to do a necropsy to look and learn where the problem was if possible ..sorry connerhills
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D C T
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:19 pm Reply with quote

OK, you have managed to confuse me paperbag
but here is some good news. I have upgraded from "dial up"
to DSL so that you can email me a photo with less trouble
on my end. Though my new (used) computer is NOT up with
the front runners it works much, much better than my old one.
-----------
But meanwhile I will try to talk more about the anatomy of the leg.
The human heel is comparable to the hock of birds and horses
and this is where the Achilles tendon is located for everybody.
That tendon connects muscle above the joint with bone below it. Idea
--------
Somehow I do not recall any problems with a stifle joint on a bird--
even if it compares with human knee ....and mine still suffers from
something that happened in 1980 gaah

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:34 pm Reply with quote

Back in 1990 I adopted Murphy Peacock as a messed up chick.
I suspect his problem was brought on because I was not able
to go get him the afternoon that I was called because back then
I had a Tae Kwon Do class to teach that night. I got to him as
soon as I could and my mind goes fuzzy over the details of
why he was down to begin with but I soon had him walking.
However he had a distressed look about him that I should
have given more attention....but I had to care for Mother who
then had Alzheimer's disease. So while I was distracted
one of Murphy's legs began to point outward. This was way before
I began using words such as rotated tibia or twisted tibia...
"twisted" is the better word....
I did try my best to help Murphy but did NOT know then what I
know now about untwisting a twisted tibia.

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lhROW
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:39 am Reply with quote

D C T can you explain what a twisted or rotated tibia looks like?

Is the bone fixed at a bad angle? How does the leg move?

I'm trying to figure out if this hen could possibly have a twisted tibia, or if it is an injury at the stifle.

But am not sure about the whole twisted tibia presentation.

Thanks!

(And anxiously awaiting the vet med book...)

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D C T
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:06 pm Reply with quote

OK Confused
Will begin with how it looks or seems.
A peachick that used to be walking normally will have one
leg begin to go a bit off to one side and this will keep getting worse
but NEVER GET BETTER without the correct treatment.
Back in 1990 I just could not understand why Murphy Peacock's
leg was going to side. Even then I did try something that "almost"
repaired it but as soon as I stopped it got worse. Shocked
It was years later when Firestone was a two week old pea pullet
that I tried a new treatment that repaired her permanently in
just five nights Idea leaving NO evidence that there had ever
been a problem :wow
---------------
Somehow the twisting of a tibia (drum stick) is hard to see
and my mind did want to blame the stifle joint back in 1990.
-------
After having a bad time getting a displaced Achilles tendon
back in place so that it stays there a young chicken or peafowl
may get a twisted tibia on the same leg--so I suspect that the
stress of repairing the hock joint may cause the twisting.
I have already told the tale of Houdini, the bantam who was
brought here for treatment.....and how hard he hits my ankles
as payment for my services gaah

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