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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20838
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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Our quail were attacked by what must be a weasel as it was

Customer Question

Our quail were attacked by what must be a weasel as it was small enough to fit through the wire caging. My question is...3 quail have badly injured legs. One is chewed up and the other 2 have each a broken leg. Do you think this is fixable if we clean them up and splint them? What are the chances of success? Or shoukd we cull them? I don't want them to suffer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help. Goodness! I am so sorry to hear about your wee ones.If you could post a photo of their legs, so I can assess the level of damage that would be ideal.Otherwise, I have to say that if we have bite wounds into the skin to the point they have fractured the bone; this is not good news and those birds have a very guarded prognosis. This is because not only will we be facing shock and need to treat wound based infection; we likely have infection in the deeper tissues. And for the birds with fractures, this could be bone based infection which can be a nightmare to treat. Furthermore, if we have fractures and open wounds on the same leg, it can be very tricky to splint without compromising the wound healing.Therefore, for those with both wounds and fractures, I would be considering culling them. The road to recovery is very difficult and again the risk of bone based infection (which we often need to use IV antibiotics and pain relief to clear if we can) makes this a guarded case where treatment success wouldn't be certain.Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** chewed up one, it does depend on how severe the bites are. Punctures are often easier to treat then cases where the predator has torn the skin. Some wounds do need to be stitched, but if we just have punctures, we can irrigate them with an antiseptic (ie dilute chlorohexidine) and start systemic/oral antibiotics to treat the infection all the way down the wound. Further to this, we'd want your local vet to dispense pain relief, especially since common options like Aspirin cannot be used here (since its a blood thinner and thus a risk with wounded animals)Finally, in regards ***** ***** care, if you have not already, these wee ones' hospitalization "pen" needs to be somewhere quiet, calm, dimly lit, and warm (~85*F). This will help them cope with the shock and try to get them settled so that you can handle them without them just collapsing on you.Overall, this sounds quite serious for these little ones and I am concerned that the 2 with fractures are not going to be good candidates for care. Therefore, I would advise the above to start but if we have open fractures or wounds on fractured legs, we may need to think about culling to prevent suffering or may need to have them seen so that we can get them on strong pain relief and antibiotics to give them a chance. Just in case you do need an avian vet and do not have one already, you can check where you can find one at near you at AAV (, Avian web( or Birdsnway( take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )