Diseases / List of Miscellaneous / Metabolic / Multifactorial Diseases / Disease description:

Angel Wing in Waterfowl and Cranes

INFORMATION AVAILABLE
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GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

 

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General and References

Disease Summary

WATERFOWL  Deformity developing during growth, resulting in one or both wings sticking out from the body.

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Slipped wing
  • Flip wing
  • Dropped wing
  • Carpal deformity
  • Carpometacarpal deformity
  • Valgus carpal deformity
  • Heeled-over wing
  • Rotating wing
  • Tilt wing
  • Sword wing
  • Spear wing
  • Straw wing
  • Reversed wing
  • Aeroplane wing
  • Airplane wing
  • Drooped wing
  • Dropped wing
  • Crooked wing

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Disease Type

 Miscellaneous / Metabolic / Multifactorial

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

High protein diet, hypovitaminosis D, manganese deficiency, vitamin E deficiency, genetic factors, excessive growth rate, restricted exercise, incorrect incubation, hatching problems, trauma, weight of blood-filled growing primary feathers. (J1.20.w6, J23.13.w1, B10.26.w2, B13.46.w1, B14, B15, P4.1993.w2).

In cranes:

  • Considered to be related to excessive growth rate and inability of under-developed muscles to cope with the weight of growing quill feathers.
    • Experimentally, it was found that leg and wing problems developed in greater sandhill crane chicks (Grus canadensis tabida) fed a high protein, high sulphur amino acid diet, but not in the slower growing Florida sandhill crane (Grus canadensis pratensis) chicks. With a high protein (32%), high metabolisable energy (2,830 kcal/kg food), high sulphur-containing amino acid (1.13% diet), 17% of greater sandhill crane chicks developed leg problems at 7-28 days of age and 25% developed wing abnormalities. (J55.84.w1)
    • In the greater sandhill crane chicks, feeding a diet 24% protein diet with 0.73% sulphur-containing amino acids appeared most suitable for slowing the growth rate and reducing the occurrence of developmental problems of the legs and wings: only one chick on the 24% protein 0.73% sulphur-containing amino acid diet developed leg problems and only 6% of those on 24% protein and 0.73 or 0.88% sulphur-containing amino acids developed wing problems. (J55.84.w1, P1.1980.w6)
    • Reducing the energy content of the diet (from 2,830 kcal/kg to 2,160 kcal/kg diet) also slowed growth and reduced development of leg and wing abnormalities. (J55.84.w1)

Infective "Taxa"

--

Non-infective agents

Physical agents

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne
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Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B10.26.w2, B11.36.w4, B14, B15, B37.x.w1, B40, B115.5, B139
P4.1993.w2
J1.20.w6
J7.S1.w4
J23.13.w1

Cranes:
B10.24.w46, B12.56.w14, B115.5.w6, B197.9.w9

Other References

Code and Title List

Cranes:
N4.7.w1
D450, D451

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General

WATERFOWL Deformity of one or both wings in which the affected limb turns outwards and the bird is unable to fly.
CRANES Wing rotated outwards at the carpus, or drooping (B115.5.w6, B197.9.w9).

Clinical Characteristics

WATERFOWL
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  • One or both wings initially droops and later turns outwards. The condition is permanent if not corrected in the early stages. The left wing is more commonly affected than the right wing.
  • Initially becomes apparent while the flight feathers are growing, with the weight of the primary feathers appearing to be too great for the carpal joint muscles, leading to drooping of the wing tip. Primary flight feathers may become damaged.
  • Extension of the wing may allow a return of the carpometacarpus to normal orientation; examination may show a slight (e.g. less than five degrees) decrease in range of motion of the wing.
  • Affected birds are unable to fly.

(J1.20.w6, J23.13.w1, P4.1993.w2, B13.46.w1, B14, B15, B40, B139)

CRANES
  • One or both wings droop or are rotated outwards at the carpus (B12.56.w14, B115.5.w6, B197.9.w9).
  • In a hand-reared Balearica pavonina - Black crowned-crane at about 1.5 months, as the quills were coming through, one wing began to droop and then twist outwards. (N4.8.w2)

Incubation

WATERFOWL --
CRANES --

Mortality / Morbidity

WATERFOWL
  • Not life-threatening in a sheltered situation, such as in a captive collection or on a park lake where safe roost sites (e.g. islands) are present.
  • In the wild an affected bird, being unable to fly, would be unlikely to survive.
CRANES
  • Not life-threatening in a sheltered situation, such as in a captive collection or on a park lake where safe roost sites (e.g. islands) are present.
  • In the wild an affected bird, being unable to fly, would be unlikely to survive.

Pathology

WATERFOWL
  • Progressive lateral (outward) rotation of the distal carpometacarpus; third and fourth metacarpals involved, with displacement of the distal bone laterally. Proximal portion of metacarpals may appear normal, with rotation developing distally.
  • Articulation of distal metacarpus with the first phalanx of the third digit is normal but malpositioned. Sometimes slippage of the propatagial tendon over the carpal area.
  • Development of the condition appears to begin when the primary flight feathers are growing.

(J1.20.w6, B14, B15, P4.1993.w2)

CRANES --

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Human Health Considerations

Not applicable.

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

WATERFOWL Transmission:
  • Thought to be related to excessively fast growth in relatively slow-growing temperate and tropical species.
  • Overfeeding, both a too-high protein diet and too-high energy diet is thought to be important, and a relative vitamin E deficiency (too low for the high growth rate) has also been suggested as being relevant.
  • Canada geese fed high protein levels (20%) developed the condition more frequently than those fed lower protein diets (J1.20.w6).
  • A possible role of incorrect incubation conditions and/or hatching problems has also been suggested.
  • Mechanical damage to the wing may precipitate the problem in some cases.

Susceptibility:

  • Angel wing has been reported more commonly in geese and swans than in ducks.
  • Temperate and tropical, naturally slower-growing, species appear more susceptible. Slipped wing has not been reported in species which breed in the high Arctic and have naturally very high growth rates.
  • The possibility of genetic predisposition has also been considered.
  • Domestic breeds, which have been bred for rapid weight gain, appear more susceptible.
  • Males may be more susceptible than females.
  • The reason for the disproportionate occurrence affecting the left wing is unknown.

(J1.20.w6, J23.13.w1, P4.1993.w2)

CRANES
  • Related to rapid growth of flight feathers (primaries and secondaries), exceeding the development of the supporting tissues of the wing.
  • Can be associated with excess protein in the diet:
    • Angel wing was seen in 16% of greater sandhill crane chicks (Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane) raised on a 24% protein diet with 0.87% sulphur-containing amino acids, but only 5% of chicks raised on a 24% protein, 0.73-0.78% sulphur-containing amino acid diet. (B197.9.w9)
  • Can be associated with too-rapid growth particularly during the seven- to 28-days old period. (B703.10.w10)
  • Note: not seen in parent-reared birds in a large enclosure or human-reared chicks which are constantly exercised. (B703.10.w10)
  •  Occurs more commonly in larger, temperate-breeding species. (B703.10.w10)

(B12.56.w14, B115.5.w6, B197.9.w9, B703.10.w10)

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

[N.B. Miscellaneous / Traumatic Diseases tend to be under-reported and the majority are likely to affect all waterfowl species, given exposure to the related disease agents/factors.]
  • Cygnus buccinator - Trumpeter swan, Minnesota, USA (J7.S1.w4).
  • Canada goose Branta canadensis from park lakes in Minnesota, USA (J1.20.w6)
  • Canada goose Branta canadensis in Pennsylvania, USA (P4.1993.w2).
  • Swan goose Anser cygnoides, giant Canada goose Branta canadensis maxima, Hawaiian goose Branta sandvicensis, Andean goose Chloephaga melanoptera, Magellan goose Chloephaga picta, blue-winged goose Cyanochen cyanopterus, Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiacus, Indian spotbill Anas poecilorhyncha, Puna teal Anas versicolor, New Zealand grey duck (Pacific black duck) Anas superciliosa, African yellow-bill Anas undulata, chestnut-breasted teal Anas castanea, crested duck Anas specularioides, red-crested pochard Netta rufina, Rosybill Netta peposaca at Slimbridge, UK, also in captive mountain duck (Australian shelduck) Tadorna tadornoides in Australia and wild-type muscovy ducks Cairina moschata in England (J23.13.w1).
  • Free living mute swan Cygnus olor in Switzerland; Cape Barren goose Cereopsis novaehollandiae in South Australia; Canada goose Branta canadensis in Sweden; Mallard Anas platyrhynchos semi-wild, in parks in the UK (J23.13.w1).
  • Black swan Cygnus atratus (B13.46.w1).
  • Pacific black duck Anas superciliosa in Australia; Australian shoveler Anas rhynchotis (B139).

Cranes

  • In a Balearica pavonina - Black crowned-crane at about 1.5 months old, as the quills were coming through; it was corrected by taping the wing up for two days. (N4.7.w1)
  • In 16% of greater sandhill crane chicks (Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane) raised on a 24% protein diet with 0.87% sulphur-containing amino acids, but only 5% of chicks raised on a 24% protein, 0.73-0.78% sulphur-containing amino acid diet. (B197.9.w9)
  • Experimentally, it was found that leg and wing problems developed in greater sandhill crane chicks (Grus canadensis tabida) (Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane) fed a high protein, high sulphur amino acid diet, but not in the slower growing Florida sandhill crane (Grus canadensis pratensis) chicks. With a high protein (32%), high metabolisable energy (2,830 kcal/kg food), high sulphur-containing amino acid (1.13% diet),  25% developed wing abnormalities. (J55.84.w1)
  • In the greater sandhill crane chicks (Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane), feeding a diet 24% protein diet with 0.73% sulphur-containing amino acids appeared most suitable for slowing the growth rate and reducing the occurrence of developmental problems of the legs and wings: only 6% of those on 24% protein and 0.73 or 0.88% sulphur-containing amino acids developed wing problems. (J55.84.w1, P1.1980.w6)
  • In four of 20 Grus grus - Common crane chicks being reared for release in the UK, at six weeks old; successfully treated. (D450)
  • In five of 24Grus grus - Common crane  chicks being reared for release in 2012; successfully treated. (D451)

Host Species List

Waterfowl

Cranes

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Disease has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

  • Mute swan Cygnus olor in Switzerland; Cape Barren goose Cereopsis novaehollandiae in South Australia; Canada goose Branta canadensis in Sweden; Mallard Anas platyrhynchos semi-wild, in parks in the UK (J23.13.w1).
  • Giant Canada goose Branta canadensis maxima in Minnesota, USA (J1.20.w6).
  • Canada goose Branta canadensis in Pennsylvania, USA (P4.1993.w2).

Host Species List

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

Environmental factors which may predispose to the development of slipped wing include:
  • Long lighting periods provided for tropical and temperate-breeding species (by providing excessive time for eating).
  • Small enclosures, either absolute or in relation to the number of birds being reared (insufficient room for exercise).
  • Excessively high temperatures during rearing (energy not being used to keep warm, therefore more energy available for growth).

(J23.13.w1).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, USA (J1.20.w6, J23.13.w1).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, USA (J1.20.w6, J23.13.w1).

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

WATERFOWL
  • Diagnosis is by clinical examination.
  • Radiographic examination may confirm a bone deformity.

(J1.20.w6, P4.1993.w2).

CRANES
  • Clinical examination: drooping or outward rotation of the developing wing. (B115.5.w6)
Related Techniques
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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

WATERFOWL Broken wing (wing droops). May be seen in association with Calcium / Phosphorus / Vitamin D Imbalance, Manganese Deficiency, Vitamin E / Selenium deficiency.
CRANES Other causes of wing drooping - check for fractures (Long bone Fractures in Cranes)

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

WATERFOWL --
CRANES  
Related Techniques

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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

WATERFOWL
  • Taping the feathers up to the wing for several days (three to seven days) may be effective in early cases. Taping must be removed after a maximum of seven days to allow for wing growth.
  • The level of protein in the diet should be decreased and exercise encouraged.
  • Cosmetic and sometimes flight-worthy correction may be achieved surgically by osteotomy, insertion of an intramedullary pin into the radial metacarpus and realignment of the distal limb (see: Surgical Correction of Angel Wing.
  • Pinioning of the affected wing may be an appropriate treatment where the wing tip is being damaged (see: Pinioning- Adult).

(P4.1993.w2, B11.36.w4, B13.46.w1, B14, B37.x.w1, B40)

CRANES
  • Support the wing in a normal position using a figure-of-eight bandage. N.B. Bandage must be left in place for a maximum of two days, followed by at least two to four hours without a bandage before the bandaging is repeated if necessary. A single period of bandaging is usually sufficient.
  • Elastic, self-adhesive bandage (e.g. Vetwrap) or adhesive tape may be used. If adhesive tape is used it should be doubled over and stuck to itself , leaving about 5-10cm (2-4inches) of adhesive surface exposed.
  • Wrap the bandage/tape around the metacarpals (hand) and the radius/ulna (forewing), so that it is held in a normal folded position.
  • Continue to wrap the tape around the wing, and stick the exposed adhesive surface (if tape is used) to the tape, not to the down or feathers.
  • N.B. bandage left in place too long may constrict blood vessels and may alter feather growth and even affect bone growth.

(B115.5.w6)

  • In a hand-reared Balearica pavonina - Black crowned-crane the wing was taped into a normal position for two days and when the tape was removed the wing remained in a normal position. (N4.7.w1)
  • Taping up the wing for as little as one day may be effective; also consider limiting the crane's food intake. (D441)
  • In Grus grus - Common crane chicks being reared for release in the UK, successfully treated by wing taping. (D450, D451)
    • Usually 24 hours of taping was sufficient. (D451)
Related Techniques
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination WATERFOWL --
CRANES --
Prophylactic Treatment

WATERFOWL

--
CRANES --
Related Techniques

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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection

WATERFOWL

  • Avoid excessive growth rates, particularly of temperate and tropical species. Restrict protein level to e.g. 16-19%. Never use turkey grower crumbs (may be 26-28% protein). If using crumbs with relatively high protein level, ensure diet includes substantial amounts of other, low-protein items e.g. green foods such as grass, lettuce.
  • Encourage exercise: give sufficient room for movement. Food and water bowls may be kept apart to encourage movement between them.
  • Restrict daylength for low-latitude species: use brooder lamps which do not give off light for lower-latitude species.

(J23.13.w1, B13.46.w1, B139)

CRANES
  • Avoid excessive growth rate in hand-reared cranes. Provide a diet which is not too high in protein, sulphur-containing amino acids and energy.
    • In the greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane) chicks, feeding a diet 24% protein diet with 0.73% sulphur-containing amino acids appeared most suitable for slowing the growth rate and reducing the occurrence of developmental problems of the legs and wings: only one chick on the 24% protein 0.73% sulphur-containing amino acid diet developed leg problems and only 6% of those on 24% protein and 0.73 or 0.88% sulphur-containing amino acids developed wing problems. (J55.84.w1, P1.1980.w6)
    • Reducing the energy content of the diet (from 2,830 kcal/kg to 2,160 kcal/kg diet) also slowed growth and reduced development of leg and wing abnormalities. (J55.84.w1)
Population Control Measures WATERFOWL --
CRANES --
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening WATERFOWL --
CRANES --
Related Techniques
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