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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:23 am 
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Growing young goslings in bad weather always seems to result in a problem here. I have found that when they are ranging and getting lots of grass and getting lots of exercise, there is rarely a problem. As soon as we have torrential downpours and lots of bad weather which requires confinement, the leg problems start. My theory so far is that if they are confined and don't move around enough it's not good for them. I also think when they can't graze as much, they tend to alter the balance of their diet by eating too much crumble and not enough high fibre food. I'm guessing, but that's the pattern I've noticed. Then when a gosling has any problem they tend to sit down, stop eating and make themselves sicker.

At the moment I have a four week old one like this. He developed a slipped tendon - very clear and obvious. I am splinting it every day and it seems to be holding in place. He was the youngest of his siblings by about a week so he had a struggle keeping up and competing for feed etc. Now he is about half the size of the others and I wonder if he'll make it. He just doesn't look right, doesn't move around as much, doesn't have the energy or the gusto of the others. Today when strapping his bad leg again, I noticed that his good one is looking odd as well. He is using this leg fine. It moves fine etc, but there appears to be a build-up of something firm around the joint and down the leg. See what you think.

Firstly, outside of leg - could almost pass for normal except that slight bulge:

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Now the inside - you'll see what I'm talking about

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I'm not sure exactly what this buildup is (maybe gout?? although it seems to be down the leg more than right on the joint, kidney problem??), but I'm sure it's not good and it's probably related to the diet. I guess it's possible that he has an underlying problem that explains his lack of thriftiness etc. I'm going to try to increase the fibre in his diet and see how he goes. Sometimes you just get a runt that doesn't make it no matter what you do, but I'll give him a go. I'd like to get him swimming as soon as his other leg is stable enough.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:17 pm 
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what about giving an oral anti inflamatory drug. Im certain there is one for dogs and cats, surely one for geese?

I reckon you are right about the confinement and leg problems..... I have noticed Toula has improved a lot, although still clumsy, now that she can free range the backyard...she is goosezilla...MASSIVE! Sure that dosnt help with the crooked leg issues...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:00 am 
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How firm is it?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:19 am 
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It's very firm - bony.

I wonder if I'm imaginging things. I went and got a healthy gosling to have a look at the joint. It has a bony lump there as well.

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Now back to the lame gosling - unstrapped to compare the two sides:

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The one on the right hand side here is the one I've been strapping. The other one looks a bit lumpier.

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And last pic to show the fluid build-up that's starting to happen due to the strapping. That's what I've been waiting for. I need to find a better way of supporting the tendon.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:35 am 
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With splint on - hopefully tendon in place - he can stand and walk although posture not quite right.

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Without the splint he can swim around in water normally, but as soon as he puts weight on it, the tendon slips out again.

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Misaligned:

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Aligned ready for splinting again. I've just been using a piece of moulded cardboard out of a computer packing box. When it gets wet it collapses though, so I need another system that will allow him to get wet.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:45 am 
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Here's a pic of the older siblings, mum and another male.

In any batch I seem to get a couple of straight feathered birds which I cull. The curly feathers are just starting to come in but four out of the six young look like they will be nice. The mother is at the back and has moulted so no ribbons on her at the moment. The curly boy (second left back) I think has a double dose of whatever makes the curl. He is the father of the second batch of goslings so I'm looking forward to seeing how the feathering comes out.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:16 am 
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There's some stiff called soft-splint I think. It's a very thin sheet of flexible metal coated in soft thin foam / rubber. Yoiu cancut it with scissors and bend it to shape. Perhaps your vet already uses it. I'm sure they would supply you with some.
I hate it when you get oedema below bandages. Ideally he should be bandaged right down to the foot to avoid that, but I can see that that is logistically difficult.

Back to the swelling, if the normal gosling looks similar then could it be that there is soft swelling on the slipped tendon hock hiding normal bony structure?

BTW - beautiful picture of them on the water.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:16 am 
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Good idea. I think I have a bit of that in the cupboard somewhere that I saved from the last case. Bianca chewed it a bit, but I might be able to salvage enough for this little guy's hock. I notice you can buy rolls of it from some first aid supplies. The one we've got appears to be called 'Sam Splint'.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Well I took his splint off today and the edema is much worse.

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I gave him a swim for a while and it didn't go down much. I decided I couldn't put the same splint back on. I got the piece of sam splint and cut it down to his size. I made a splint with a plate under his foot, a bend where it goes up the back of his leg and another bend where his hock is. Then I strapped it on all the way down to his foot. I'm hoping the swelling will not be as bad later today or tomorrow. It was a bulkier splint than he's used to. He was unable to swim due to the foot plate. It's also a little heavier than the little piece of cardboard. He could stand though so I'm going to give it a go. I'll get a snap sometime later on. At the moment we're in the middle of quite a big storm here. After making sure that everything's sheltered and safe, I've come inside until it passes.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:24 pm 
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There has been some positive results from the new splint.

Firstly, this is what his foot looked like splinted:

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This was what it looked like off the bird. I'd put strapping tape over the edges because there was an exposed metal edge there. You can fold the material, but that would have been even more bulky.

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Splint off:

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And this is what his leg and foot looked like this morning. The tendon was in place and the swelling was right down.

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He had half an hour of swimming time. He is not as strong as the others but can swim quite well. Then the splint went back on. It's fairly uncomfortable for him. It's a bit too bulky, however it allows me to bandange right down to his foot and keeps the tendon in place. I'm hoping that as he grows the tendon will heal. I don't know about that because all the literature that I've read appears to say otherwise. I have ordered another roll of sam splint and I'll see if I can construct anything that's easier for him to walk in.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:28 pm 
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And for fun.

I had the camera in hand when one of his older siblings from this season did a big wing stretch. Pretty despite the poor feathering!

I have two straight feathered sebs that need to go, sadly, so if anyone wants them just let me know.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:30 am 
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Looking heaps better.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Today I went down and took his splint off. I was surprised to find that he was walking, but his legs are both turned inward. I haven't noticed that to this degree before. I don't know if the splinting has altered his posture and caused it, but that would have been one leg. I think it's more likely there's some sort of growth abnormality or something like that. When he walks he's tripping over his own feet. It reminds me a bit of Rita's gosling. In this case it's both legs though.

What surprised me as well is that when I took the splint off the tendon stayed in place. I've left the splint off. It's difficult to know the best thing to do, but if the tendon will stay there I think he's better off without it. I've noticed repeatedly that if you can get geese in a range environment where they can feed continuously, swim and behave and move in a normal way, that things sometimes improve naturally. That may be a bit optimist, but I think doing nothing is worth a go. My OH is already making noises like, 'Don't you think this has gone on long enough?' and 'What do you think, then?' but I'm going to give it a few more days and see if there's any further changes.

This picture shows you his posture and you can compare to the healthy gosling behind him.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Stunning photo chicken07, almost makes me want to get one. Almost!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Good news about the tendon but I'm a bit concerned about the degree of the hock varus deformity. I think now, seeing that, that your bony hock swellings may be related to this. The outside of the distal tibial growth plate is growing faster than the inside on each leg.
Yes, sometimes these things do correct themselves but that is quite a severe deviation.
It's what I'm going through with my foal at the moment except she is turned out at the hock, not in. And thankfully only one leg.
I don't know what to advise, if it were a horse I'd be more in my comfort zone.

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