Punky the Pigeon with One Wing

Dr. Kim is carefully placing a breathing tube  

Dr. Kim is carefully placing a breathing tube

 

Punky is a young male pigeon who found with a broken left wing that left him unable to walk or fly.  He was brought to The Pacific Wildlife Project, a rescue organization dedicated to helping wild animals.  It is unknown how long Punky was left alone with the fracture before he was found.  There were signs that Punky’s wing tried to heal on its own, however it healed in a way that made the wing unusable.  Unfortunately, the broken wing could not be repaired and Punky could not be released back into the wild.  Although the wing was no longer painful, it had healed in a way that made it difficult for Punky to walk.  The wing would drag and he would fall over when trying to move around.  Because of the negative impact it had on his quality of life, a decision was made to amputate the wing.

Punky waking up after Dr. Tani performed surgery

Punky waking up after Dr. Tani performed surgery

Anesthesia and surgery can be complicated in birds.  Dr. Kim and his medical team took great care to monitor Punky very carefully.  Punky was given an injectable medication, and then a small tube was placed in his airway so he could breathe during the anesthesia.  Dr. Tani then performed the amputation and removed the wing at the level of the humerus.  She made sure to suture the remaining muscle around the bone so that Punky would not have any problems after the procedure.   After the surgery Punky woke up just fine and was eating and walking around like nothing happened. 

Punky 2 weeks after surgery

Punky 2 weeks after surgery

Two weeks later he came back for his recheck and suture removal.  Punky has been doing great and can even run.  Now he can walk without any problems and was sent to an enclosed aviary so he can sunbathe all day and enjoy life!