Snowshoes in the Summer

California Wildlife Center recently rescued a Northern Mockingbird whose feet were knuckling, meaning she was unable to open her feet to stand or perch.  This was causingbefore and after snowshoes the bird to have to stand on the tops of her toes which were curled under and causing her additional injury.

CWC veterinary staff created “snowshoes” for the mockingbird to retrain her feet to open and allow the injuries to her toes to heal.  The treatment was successful and the bird is now snowshoe-free and on the road to full recovery!

4 replies
  1. Margareta Marro
    Margareta Marro says:

    Absolut fabulous! Can you please share more in detail how the vet treated the injury and how long the bird was wearing the “snow shoes”?

    • protectanimals
      protectanimals says:

      In this particular case, the bird had the shoes on for one week. We will generally keep the shoes on for 5-7 days (depending on the severity of the knuckling) then remove them and see if the bird maintains its digits in correct positioning without the shoes. If it does, we leave them off and recheck daily for the next few days in a row to make sure they stay that way. If they are not maintained in correct positioning when we remove the shoes, we will replace the snowshoes for another 5-7 days. The birds generally tolerate the shoes very well, walking fairly normally with them on, and in cases where they have only one foot with a shoe and the other without, they will even perch on ropes or branches.
      Dr. Lorraine Barbosa

  2. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    Absolutely fabulous indeed! I can’t even handle the picture of the little miss with her snowshoes on, lol. I’m glad she’s on her way to a happy knuckle-free life – do you have any “after” pictures?


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