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Raptors: disorders of the feet

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Abstract

Injuries to the skin often result in large hard subcutaneous abscesses on the dorsal aspect of the foot on raptors. spp. are the bacteria most commonly isolated from these lesions. In this chapter disorders of the feet are presented and discussed in alphabetical order.

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/content/chapter/10.22233/9781910443101.chap16

Figures

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16.1 Radiograph of normal foot.
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16.2 Abscess on the dorsal aspect of the foot of a falcon.
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16.4 Bumblefoot. Grade I: early bruising and erythema on the plantar aspect of the foot. Grade I: severe bruising on the plantar aspect of the foot. Grade I: dry proliferative lesions causing hypertrophy of the epithelium to form a corn. Grade I: a fracture on the contralateral foot resulted in pressure necrosis of the skin of the plantar aspect of this foot, which had not been bandaged. Grade II: small superficial scabs. Grade III: an infected small (5 mm) but deeply penetrating scab; the foot is swollen. Grade III: an acutely infected hot, swollen and painful foot oozing pus, but without damage to deep vital structures. Grade IV: chronic bumblefoot characterized by infection of deep vital structures, producing in this case a tenosynovitis but retaining pedal function. Grade IV: large deep scabs and infection of deep vital structures, but still surprisingly retaining pedal function. Grade V: end-stage disease with loss of pedal function and radiograph of the same bird showing severe osteomyelitis. Grade V: end-stage bumblefoot with ruptured flexor tendon.
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16.5 Foam bumblefoot shoe. Shoe in position on the foot. The central hole allows topical treatment. Foot cast. (c, © Michael Lierz)
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16.6 Removal of scab on a Grade III bumblefoot. Plug of infected caseous material beneath the scab. Swabs may be taken for culture. Necrotic material should be removed by curettage. Implanting antibiotic-impregnated polymethylmethacrylate beads. Placing Melolin dressing over the defect, which has also been covered with fucidin cream.
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16.7 Treatment of a Grade II bumblefoot defect using honey and bumblefoot shoes: defect after cleaning and the application of conforming bandage to the digits to prevent pressure ulcers caused by the shoes; honey applied to the defect; Melolin pad applied to the defect; bumblefoot shoe positioned over the dressing; and shoe positioned in place using conforming bandage.
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16.8 Surgery is facilitated by the use of a padded device that supports the foot while the raptor is in dorsal recumbency. A foot positioned in the device for surgery.
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16.9 Bumblefoot surgery showing placement of sutures; and healed foot in the same bird one month after removal of sutures.
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16.10 Hospital ward for patients after bumblefoot surgery. Birds are housed on artificial grass on top of foam to minimize pressure on the healing feet. Padded perch to manage a Gyrfalcon that has thin skin on the plantar foot following bumblefoot surgery. Maintaining captive raptors on textured substrates such as Astroturf is one of the more important ways of minimizing the possibility of birds developing bumblefoot.
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16.11 Although the surgery to repair the bumblefoot defect has been successful in this case, the skin is very thin and bumblefoot can easily recur if the bird is not managed well. Breakdown of a surgical site after unsuccessful surgery. Pressure ulcers caused by poorly fitting bumblefoot shoes.
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16.12 An abrasion to the dorsal aspect of the metatarsus caused by constriction of the jesses. A constriction of the first phalanx can occur with some jesses (in this case Arabian style). A similar case after using hydroactive dressings and bandaging. In this case the tendon has been damaged.
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16.13 Radiographs of distracted talon in a Sparrowhawk. This is an old lesion that has become infected. Note area of lucency (arrowed) at base of P1. (© John Chitty)
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16.14 Poorly keratinized and dry feet in a malnourished falcon.
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16.15 Gangrene caused by a infection. Necrosis of the skin caused by overuse of DMSO cream in a badly bruised foot.
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16.16 Radiograph of a phalangeal fracture of the first digit. Splints made of Vet-Lite to support a fracture of the first phalanx in a falcon.
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16.17 Ball bandage. A simple bandage with a large wad of cotton wool (some prefer to use half a squash ball) held in place with elasticated cohesive dressing. The bandage must be kept dry and the talons must protrude such that the toes are able to flex and extend slightly, thus preventing adhesions between healing bone and tendon. The bandage should be removed after 3–5 days. (© John Chitty)
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16.18 Self-mutilation in a bird with bandaged feet following bumblefoot surgery. This hood has been adapted to prevent auto-mutilation.
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16.19 Removal of a damaged nail on the hallux.
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16.20 A falcon’s nail has been torn off, exposing the underlying phalangeal bone. Repairing a lost claw using cyanoacrylate glue. Severely overgrown nails resulting in ‘corkscrew claws’.
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16.21 Tendinitis caused by spp. in a Saker Falcon. Infected interphalangeal joint.

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