VCBE Case of the Month

Rio, the bird that avoided surgery
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Rio, a 5-year-old, male Jenday conure, was brought to the Veterinary Center for a large wound adjacent to his left thigh. He was lethargic, was holding his left leg up, and was not his usual talkative self.

His owners were concerned their new cat may have attacked him.  On examination, Rio was very quiet.  The wound was extremely deep and extended into the underlying muscle layers.  We cleaned the wound with a dilute antiseptic solution and applied a topical antibiotic ointment.

We started using cold laser (low level) treatment on the wound for 3 minutes at a time. We sent Rio home on pain medication, an antibiotic, and an antioxidant vitamin supplement, as well as the antiseptic solution and antibiotic ointment to be applied topically. Rio’s owners were warned that if the wound did not heal sufficiently on its own, surgery would be required to close it.  Surgery would be more risky and involved, as Rio would have to be anesthetized. 

Rio’s owners were very diligent about medicating Rio at home, and they followed our advice and returned to the Veterinary Center every 2-3 days over the following 2 weeks for repeated laser therapy.  The wound was treated with cold level laser therapy at each recheck visit for 3 minutes.  Finally, at 3 weeks following the initial appointment, the wound was completely healed!  No surgery at all was needed. We are happy to report that Rio’s feathers are growing back in, and he is back to his normal, active self at home.

At the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics, we are very fortunate to have access to low level therapeutic laser (or cold laser) which is commonly used on both people and animals. Low level lasers do not produce any heat and instead use specific light waves which work at a cellular level to promote healing and to decrease pain and inflammation. This phenomenal new therapy is a terrific advance in wound care and is just another example of state-of-the-art medical care at the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics.



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