Tape Bandage to Support Tendon and Ligament Injuries in Birds (Disease Investigation & Management - Treatment and Care)

Summary Information
Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Management / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords See also: Hinged Brace for Soft Tissue Joint Injury Support (Techniques)
Description The following is a description of taping used to support a partially ruptured Achilles' tendon in a crane, caused by a traumatic injury.
  • Remove feathers from the leg where tape is to be placed.
  • Place tape anchors - strips of tape going around the leg, several centimetres above and below the metatarsal joint.
    • Make sure the tape is applied smoothly; mould the tape using your palm and the heel of your hand.
  • Place the leg in partial flexion
    • Initially, taping was placed to allow motion up to 10 degrees.
  • Place a tape strip from the top anchor to the bottom anchor along the Achilles' tendon
    • Protect any wound/stitches using a small piece of gauze pad to ensure the tape does not stick to the wound.
  • Place another one or two strips on top of the first strip.
  • Use further tape strips around the leg on top of the anchors to secure the strapping.
  • After seven days, remove the strapping and replace, gradually increasing the degree of flexion allowed by the tape.
    • In this crane, the tape was first used at 14 days post injury, after initial healing of skin wounds had taken place; prior to this, a splint bandage was used with a plastic half-pipe. (P6.4.w9)
    • Days 14-42, 10 degrees flexion was permitted.
    • Days 42-56, 20 degrees flexion was permitted.
    • Days 56-94, 40 degrees flexion was permitted.
    • Days 94-122, 80 degrees flexion was permitted.
    • Day 122, tape was removed.
    • Unrestricted use of the leg was possible by 130 days.


Appropriate Use (?)
  • To support injured tendons or ligaments and prevent stretching while maintaining partial weight bearing. (P6.4.w9)
    • This improves strength of the repaired tissue, compared to repairs taking place in the absence of any weight bearing. (P6.4.w9)
Notes --
Complications/ Limitations / Risk Improperly applied tape may be ineffective.
Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
  • Leukotape - very strong, non-elastic adhesive tape, gluing well to skin but with minimal irritation. Available in 1.5 and 3.0 cm widths. (P6.4.w9)

Expertise level / Ease of Use This procedure should be carried out by an individual with appropriate clinical training and practical experience.
Cost/ Availability Inexpensive.
Legal and Ethical Considerations Inappropriate use or poor application of this technique may cause further suffering to the bird and have implications under animal welfare legislation.
Author Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
References P6.4.w9

Return to Top of Page