Healing injured pigeons to fly again

This 2017 video says about itself:

We found an injured pigeon on the street, and because we have past experience with this kind of situations, we tried our best at showing a quick video on how to take care of a baby or injured pigeon.

From ScienceDaily:

Dog and sheep bones help injured pigeons fly again

November 20, 2019

Sheep and dog bones can be whittled into orthopedic pins that stabilize pigeons‘ fractured wings, helping the fractures to heal properly without follow-up surgery. Researchers describe the treatment, which is cheaper and more efficient than using metal pins for pigeon rehabilitative surgeries, November 20th in the journal Heliyon.

“There is no need for the implants to be removed because they will ultimately be absorbed by the body,” says first author Saifullah Dehghani Nazhvani, of the Shiraz University School of Veterinary Medicine’s department of surgery in Iran. “Therefore, the implants can be used for wild birds, such as eagles, owls, and seagulls.”

Nazhvani works at a veterinary clinic at Shiraz University, where they frequently see wild and companion birds suffering from fractures in their wings or legs. They typically use metal pins, which is standard for these types of procedures, but they noticed imbalance in the flight, take off, or landings after fracture repair. Therefore, they wanted a technique to use lightweight pins that they did not need to remove.

Nazhvani’s team thought bones could be the answer. They sanded and processed sheep and dog bones, obtained from animals that had previously died, into pins small enough to be inserted into a pigeon’s humeral bones — the wing bone closest to a bird’s body. After 32 weeks of observation, pigeons with sheep or dog bone orthopedic pins were able to fly as well as before the operation.

“There was no rejection of any of the implanted bones at all,” says Nazhvani. “And for pigeons who underwent the treatment, there was early function of the wing and more solid repair than we thought due to slow absorption of the implant and its contribution to the healing process.”

The researchers are already applying their finding to the birds that come into their clinic. They are also trying to make plates made from cattle or horse bone and compare them to conventional metal plates for other types of rehabilitative bird surgeries.

2 thoughts on “Healing injured pigeons to fly again

  1. In the U.S. and in most countries, it is very important to take any orphaned or injured wild bird to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Although pigeons may not be classed as wild birds, most wildlife rehabilitators will accept them. The first requirement of an injured or orphaned bird is not to have the injury treated, but to be given emergency supportive care and the correct food and housing for that species. Most veterinarians do not have any training in caring for injured wild birds. It is a mistake to treat the injury before the bird is stabilized. Please first take the bird to a wildlife rehabilitator, then that person will work with a veterinarian to treat any injuries. The rehabilitator will provide appropriate care so that the bird has a chance to survive and be released. Thank you.


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