Saturday, 23 July 2011

Angel Wing

A few days ago I noticed one of the cygnets appears to be developing a condition called "Angel wing". At first glance it just looks like the new feathers protruding on the wings due to their rapid growth rate, nothing unusual there since they are growing so fast. However having seen and cured angel wing on a duck last year, I thought I better get it checked out just in case. I took a series of photo's and sent them to Claire my vet, and also to Sue my avian adviser down in Wiltshire. Both seem to think it could well be the start of Angel wing ! This creates quite a serious problem, and I will have to make a decision within days as to what course of action I'm going to take. My dilemma is this, if I do nothing and let the condition develop, the cygnet will never be able to fly and will be attacked and maybe killed by the parents when the time comes for them to leave home. If I treat the cygnet successfully which might take up to 10 days away from the family, then the parents might reject the cygnet when I return it to the river ! It's a tough call and a case of the lesser of two evils I think. The advantage of treating it means it will probably be able to fly and will survive even if it means starting alone in loch flemington or some other sanctuary. Not fixing it will leave me guilt ridden knowing I discovered the problem and did'nt act on it ! On vets advice I will monitor it for a couple of days and see if the wing settles down, I sincerely hope it does !


Anonymous said...

"‘Angel wing’ is a developmental problem, probably caused by too-rapid growth due to overfeeding."

for further details. Maybe if everyone stopped giving too much food to these animals then they might be a lot healthier.
The cygnet should only be removed in the presence of the SSPCA or other qualified trained people otherwise too much distress may be caused. Bet this doesn't get published!

jayteescot1 said...

I knew you would pop up again and even guessed correctly what you would say. Check out my latest post and also this link. I Bet your a regular gurner and you won't give your name. If there's one thing I'm certain of it's that I am probably the most qualified swan expert on the Nairn Swans bar none !

Sharon jervis said...

I've a female swan in her second year.... She's had angel wing from being a young cygnet but in the last few weeks the growth has become much much more apparent ... Is there any thing I can do? She is with three others from the wildlife sanctuary ... I have five acres and a lake and pond so they are very looked after and happy. They have much aquatic vegetation and I give them corn daily.

jayteescot1 said...

Hello Sharon, Sounds like these Swans have a good life at your property with all mod cons! Obviously the Pen with Angel wing is surviving well enough, and has a pond and lake at it's disposal. I doubt if much can be done after two years with angel wing. Perhaps it has just molted and the new feathers are growing out more obvious now. You could try bandaging the affected wing area inwards with vetwrap which is what I did with the cygnet a couple of years ago. Perhaps an Avian vet could advise if treatment is possible or not. If you want to send me some photo's of the Swan I might have a better idea if anything can be done. my email is