Wing luxations and fractures can result from hauling or breeding accidents. Most cases of wing luxation are actually a radial paralysis rather than a true luxation of the joint. Taping the wings up over the back for 1–2 wk generally alleviates the condition. Fractured wings, depending on the location of the fracture, can be repaired with a half-Kirschner apparatus or splints (or both). Occasionally, intramedullary pinning is required.
Lacerations of the neck involving the trachea and esophagus are common fence injuries. Primary closure of the trachea is required. Primary closure of the esophagus in fresh injuries is successful; if the injury is old, the esophagus will granulate. With severe injuries, an esophagotomy tube, placed in the distal third of the cervical portion of the esophagus, may be required for alimentation.
Lower leg injuries due to cable fencing are also common. Standard principles of wound management (see Wound Management) should be applied, including debriding and bandaging the wound. If bone is exposed in a lower leg injury, radiography at weekly intervals is recommended because stress fractures can occur. Not uncommonly, soft tissues are healing normally 3 wk after trauma, but the bird may have a fracture of the tarsometatarsus. Luxation of the phalanges is common, especially if birds are kept in icy or muddy areas. If the luxation is not treated promptly, casting the foot in a normal flexed position for 5–6 wk generally allows enough soft-tissue fibrosis and repair to hold the luxated joint in place. When casting alone is unsuccessful, arthrodesis of the joint according to standard equine procedures can be performed.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Karen Hicks-Alldredge, DVM