Rusty blackbird head trauma

VeroniqueM

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Oct 15, 2020
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45
Good afternoon,

A rusty blackbird (I think they are sometimes also called rusty grackles) flew into our window yesterday and I've been trying to help the poor bird homeopathically. He fractured transversally the mandibular tip of his beak (just a few millimeters). It did cause mild bleeding from his beak but it stopped rapidly. He's still able to grab his food properly.
My main concern was the right hemiparesis affecting both the right wing and right leg. His left foot is able to grasp things, but his left leg also seems to have some amount of weakness although it seems to be moving properly. The right foot, however, is not grasping anything as if the toes cannot flex, the right leg remains extended and drags behind as he tries to move around, I've seen it move slightly so it's not paralyzed but very weak. I'm not planning to do extensive diagnostics like x-rays, but palpation of the whole right leg does not indicate an obvious fracture although palpation of his back was more difficult to do (not sure if he was more uncomfortable or scared). He moves his head normally in all directions and seems completely alert. He eats the seeds we are giving him and I'm giving him water by seringe as he seems unable to properly position himself to drink.

I started with Arnica 1M one pellet in water, giving him a few drops 10 succussions every 15-30 min at first then every hour or every 2 hours. He seemed to maneuver his body around more with the Arnica (at first he would lay on his back with the legs up in the air and only his head was moving, then he started to stay more on his side lying mostly on his right side and moved around a little more), but his legs and right wing were not improving. By the evening yesterday I changed to Natrum sulphuricum 200ch one pellet in water a few drops per dose 10 succussions (it complements the Arnica and follows well after Arnica): his right wing improved and moves better, but not the legs. He received a few doses in the evening and one through the night as well. Not much change with his legs, so I increased to Natrum sulphuricum 1M in water 10 succussions this morning and gave him about 3 doses 15-20 min apart then a few doses a couple hours apart. He tends to grab the feathers of his tail with his left foot and sometimes even grasps his right foot with his left foot. The right leg remains his worse issue, still dragging and I noticed today that the right leg and foot are colder than the left.

Should I try Hypericum perforatum now or any other suggestion?
Would be nice to be able to release him back outside as he's supposed to migrate from northern Ontario here to the United-States for the winter...
As you can see from the photos, his left toes are flexing but the right toes remain straight (left leg more cranial). IMG_9736.jpg

IMG_9734.jpg

Thanks in advance for all the help!

Véronique Messier
 

GinnyW

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Véronique, I think you may at some point need to accept that there is serious structural damage here. But in the meantime, I think Hyp would be my choice. If you think there might be a fracture, then Symphitum would be apt. I would also apply any sort of energy work: gentle massage and manipulation, searching for the source of the pain or injury, Reiki - as outlined in the webinar notes from several weeks back - laser if you have one. Just sending love and healing, saying that all will be well....
I know you will know if and when to send him on, and how best to do it. Love to you, for your caring.

ginny
 

VeroniqueM

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Oct 15, 2020
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45
Thank you for the advice!

I had considered Symphytum but since I felt he seemed more neurological and I did not palpate a fracture I did go ahead with Hypericum 200ch 2 to 3 times daily Friday evening and Saturday (I even considered mixing Symphytum with Hypericum but decided not to when he seemed to improve with the Hypericum alone). He improved right after his dose and started moving the right leg that seemed paralyzed. He was also flexing/extending repeatedly the tarsal joint of the left leg right after each dose and picking at his lower back with his beak. The improvement was of short duration so Saturday night I decided to go up in potency. I didn't have the 1M unfortunately (had given it a couple months ago to a family member who lost the tip of his finger in a garage door and I forgot to reorder it...) so I had to go with 10M. He improved considerably, started moving his right leg back and forth and moving and flexing the toes which I found really encouraging. I find it hard to assess when to redose on a wild bird so I was redosing when his right leg seemed less mobile again: he had a dose Saturday night, 2 doses on Sunday and Monday about 12 hrs apart and a dose this morning. I know it's a lot, but I thought it's a severe pathology and he was likely a healthy young bird prior to that. I also worry about time because he's supposed to migrate to the United-States for the winter. His peers are still here feeding on our bird feeder, but maybe not for long... so time is an issue here as I really want him back on track if I can before his migration. He was developing mild pressure sores on his right leg (mostly thigh and upper tibial area) and on his pectorals near the sternum from lying mostly on his right side which improved with Calendula salve topically.

He eats and drinks well, I went and bought him live earth worms last night and he was really excited to eat that. I even take him outside a couple times a day, maybe I shouldn't for immobilization healing purposes but it really seems to lift his spirit. This morning he was quacking at his friends that were up in a tree and they were responding to him so he tried to go reach them but he only advances (quite fast at times though) by flopping his wings in the grass as he cannot stand on his legs and can't seem to be able to fly either. He reached the bottom of the tree where they were and quacked with them for a bit. I felt bad taking him back inside after.

After this morning's dose though of Hypericum 10M, he seemed particularly uncomfortable extending and flexing his wings and legs and picking at his lower back with his beak. He developed wounds on his left toes and they also seemed mildly swollen. The wounds looked like excoriations (see photos below). I was trying to discern whether this was a similar aggravation where I would have to lower down potency and/or frequency of remedy or a dissimilar aggravation where a new remedy might be indicated. Because his right leg was improving I started by giving him a dose of Hypericum 200ch to lower down the energetic level of the remedy and attempt to smooth out the aggravation. It didn't seem to help much and later on I saw him picking at his left toes with his beak: he damaged his skin further and it was certainly more bloody than what is seen on the photos. Reading up on skin sxs of Hypericum, I saw "eczema of hands, intense itching, eruption seems to be under the skin, smarting eruption like nettlerash on hands". I know it's his foot, but by that point he was clearly uncomfortable and picking at his left toes so much that there were drops of blood in the cage and his beak had blood on it. It was clearly getting worse so I opted to change remedy: I remembered Arsenicum being helpful for self-mutilation and intense itching and then I saw that it's an antidote to Hypericum so I went ahead with Arsenicum 200ch one dose mid-pm today. His foot improved in several spots without relapsing neurologically but in evening he seemed to pick at his left toes again with his beak so I gave another dose of Arsenicum 200ch, but he got agitated after the second dose and was trying to bite me more (he seemed calmer in the M/E realm with Hypericum).

Now he's relapsing neurologically again, stays on his back for fair lengths of time, seeming less able to turn to his side (he was doing that at the very beginning). His right leg doesn't seem to be relapsing much, he can still move it but maybe a little less. I'm wondering if I should go back to Hypericum but 30ch instead of 200ch or 10M (I don't have a lower potency than 30ch for Hypericum)?


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Thanks so much for your time again,

Véronique
 

GinnyW

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Mar 3, 2021
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Véronique, I am NOT a homeopath, just an amateur. That said, I tend to be somewhat conservative in dosing. Were it I, I would let him work with what is in him - well-chosen remedies, I believe, but an awful lot for such a tiny guy. Once the primary trauma has been addressed, it may be sufficient to let his body work with it for a bit. But again, that's just me, and I don't count:) I do send blessings on him, and I know his little spirit appreciates all your efforts.
 

VeroniqueM

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Oct 15, 2020
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45
Thank you, you are probably right about waiting. I’m usually more patient than that when it comes to dosing and waiting. I just felt really pressed with time in this particular case because of the imminent migration south.
I just waited last night and did not give Hypericum 30ch yet. Although he seemed worse neurologically last night, he gained back some function I think this morning. And his wounds on the left toes are doing much better and healing fast, he’s not picking at it with his beak anymore.
I’m also not a homeopath yet, I’m a homeopathy student starting my 3rd year at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. I’m also a veterinarian hoping to become a certified veterinary homeopath 😊.

I will be more patient and do my best with this wild little patient 🙂.

Thanks again,

Veronique
 

Dr. Christina

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Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
785
I agree with Ginny - be patient, and watch the changes. There are always a few late migrators, so maybe you do not need to worry about that.

Great job prescribing, V.

Dr. Christina
 

VeroniqueM

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Oct 15, 2020
Messages
45
Hello!

Just to give an update on our injured bird:
I did try as much as possible to follow Dr Christina and Ginny's advice on waiting and watching.
At some point though when he kept reinjuring his toes with his beak, I was finding that Arsenicum 30ch BID seemed to keep it under control for a couple of days then he would start again and Arsenicum 200ch once to twice daily kept it under control for another couple of days. If I was waiting he was really injuring himself. Then when the Arsenicum 200ch didn't seem to work anymore I went up to one dose of Arsenicum 1M: then he really injured himself to the point that one of his feet was bleeding so much it kept dripping blood and I thought I would lose him from blood loss. His leg and wing that seemed paralyzed at first were gradually moving better and better though.
I remembered Dr Jeff mentioning to me during our monthly HMDM call (where we briefly discussed this bird's case) that sometimes Phosphorus or Sulphur will help finish the work of the previous remedies. So with the excessively bleeding wound on our bird I opted to give him Phosphorus 30ch. I bandaged up the bleeding foot and hoped for the best.
Within a few days of Phosphorus, he did great. I was giving it about twice daily at first otherwise he was picking at his toes again. But on the last day or 2, I was down to giving it once daily only.
As I was taking him out several times per day for him to practice moving his wings and feet it became increasingly difficult to catch him again to bring him back in because he was starting to fly again at low heights. His tail wasn't steering properly at first and his toes were not strong enough for him to perch on tree branches yet, but on the day I released him he was able to perch on tree branches and was flying higher again! I was afraid he could make an easy prey though. I wish I had a large netted enclosure where he could have practiced more perching and flying for a couple additional days before getting released, but I didn't have that. I remember they had those enclosures at the Faculty's Birds of Prey clinic where I did a 3 week apprenticeship when I was in veterinary school.
To this day, I still see the grackles feeding at my bird feeder, so I like to think that he had plenty of time to continue recovering locally before the big migration south and he still has plenty of friends around :)
Isn't homeopathy amazing!
After 13 days, I was able to release this seemingly paralyzed bird back into the wild! And of course this was also thanks to the good advice I got from the forum and from my HMDM monthly call!
Véronique
 
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GinnyW

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Mar 3, 2021
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337
Wow, terrific! You helped him, and he taught you.....What a wonderful example for us! I pray he continues to care for himself and stays safe. We all learned....
 

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