Case Studies

Case Study 2 - Kingfisher with a Luxation

1 - The Patient

WRC's vet tech Deanna holds an injured Belted Kingfisher. The bird was brought to WRC after it hit a window in St. Paul and couldn't fly.

After examining it, Vet Renee felt some movement in the wing that wasn't normal and ordered x-rays.

2 - The Diagnostics

After anesthetizing the kingfisher, Deanna tapes the bird to the x-ray board. Even though the bird is anesthethized, we tape birds down so we can fully extend their wings and hold them in place.

3 - The Radiograph

The radiograph (x-ray) shows injuries to the right wing in the joint at the radius (note the brighter area in the joint closest to its head). When a joint is dislocated we call it a luxation. If it is only partially dislocated (meaning it pops in and out) then it's a subluxation.

This is a full luxation and it is non-treatable. There's nothing that can be done to permanently resecure the joint together while still giving the bird the range of motion it needs to fly.

4 - Take A Closer Look

Note the difference in the joint on the left side of the x-ray to the joint on the right. If you look closely, you can even see the feather shafts on this x-ray!

Luxation is one of the most difficult things to explain to people who have brought in injured birds. The bird may look and act completely normal in the hand, but just can't fly. Finding a way to explain to people why something that sounds as simple as a dislocation cannot be fixed is hard. The most common joints that we see with luxation are the shoulders and elbow (like the kingfisher) and then the hock (in the leg). Luxation is caused by a traumatic force to the joint.

Other Case Studies

  • Case Study 1 - Healing a Heron
  • Case Study 2 - Kingfisher with a Luxation
  • Case Study 3 - Rehabilitating a Gunshot Swan
  • Case Study 4 - An Injured Sandhill Crane
  • Case Study 5 - One Lucky Duck
  • Case Study 6 - Treating a Blanding's Turtle
  • Case Study 7 - A Surprising Find in a Juvenile Herring Gull
  • Case Study 8 - Hook, Line and Sinker - Spiny Softshell Turtle
  • Case Study 9 - Coyote caught in a Trap