Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Injured Black Cygnet
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 12 January 2016
In Response To: Injured Black Cygnet (Bill)

Hi Bill

Try to keep the cygnet in a zero entry water feature so that it can butt scoot into and out of the water. This will cause the cygnet to push off with its legs. Water therapy is good. Try to gently exercise and massage the legs while he is in the water to see if the legs have a full range of motion. Being so young and having had no experience with walking for a time without hurting and being constrained, the cygnet may not think it can still move. You must prevent straddle legs from holding the cygnet for too long or improperly, i.e., the legs held in an abnormal position while on land. With this in mind, we would exercise the legs in the water. Afterwards, using your hand a a sling with butt supported, try to get the cygnet to put weight on the feet, again with your hand as a sling. Do not let the legs flop in an unnatural position. Try this several times a day for a couple of weeks to strengthen the legs and allow the cygnet to understand that he can bear weight. Just ensure that he is not placed on any abrasive or slippery surface while using his legs.

Also, don't let the cygnet stay for too long in water as it may not have water repellency. So, he needs to be supervised while in water. Leg injuries are difficult and sometimes impossible to treat, but not always. Successful rehabilitation and care can help although time consuming. If you do not have the time, you might try to find a wildlife rehabilitator that can work with you and the cygnet. Please let us know how this situation progresses. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Injured Black Cygnet -- Bill -- 12 January 2016
Re: Injured Black Cygnet -- The Regal Swan -- 12 January 2016