External Coaptation in Birds: Bandages and Splints

Key Points

  • Orthopedic injuries are rarely a matter of life or death. Stabilize the patient first, providing analgesia and supportive care.
  • Bandages and splints are generally indicated for short-term stabilization only. Surgical fixation often provides the best long-term prognosis.
  • The figure-of-eight wrap is the main technique for support of the wing. A bellyband is incorporated for humeral or pectoral girdle fractures.
  • Lateral splints are a great option for stabilization of the tibiotarsus or tarsometatarsus. Tape splints may work best for small patients.
  • House birds with splints or bandages in a smooth-sided enclosure with low or no perches.

Traumatic orthopedic injuries are relatively common in the avian patient. Although bird bones are strong when intact, they tend to shatter on impact as the cortices are thin and brittle. A lack of abundant soft tissue coverage often leads to open fractures . . .

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