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Hawkedoc
Hawkedoc, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 138
Experience:  Veterinarian working with dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and exotic pets for over 11 years.
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Hi, my budgie, Bede has hurt his right leg: he can scratch

Customer Question

Hi, my budgie, Bede has hurt his right leg: he can scratch his head/ear area, land and fly seemingly comfortably but when perching he will not put any weight onto his right foot and lays on his tummy. I dont feel that anything's broken but feel that he may've pulled a muscle.
His general demenor is OK: still whistling, talking and playing with toys (gingerly) and eating millett
Could you advise me what I can do to make him comfy?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Hawkedoc replied 2 years ago.

Hawkedoc :

Hello! I'm a veterinarian and would like to try and help you and Bede with your problem. How long has this been going on?

Hawkedoc :

Did this start suddenly or did the problem with his leg come on gradually?

Hawkedoc :

Do you know of any way he could have hurt his leg?

Hawkedoc :

Is there any sign of redness or swelling anywhere on his leg?

Customer:

(i)this occurred yesterday, (thursday)Bede has freedom of our frontroom and has a particular toy which he uses for 'boys things' and he gets hyper excited. We feel that he may have caught his leg in the gap between the cage and the door. (there is a cloth on the door flap usually)

Hawkedoc :

So when he lands, he lands on both legs and then pulls up his injured leg? Or does he land on one leg?

Customer:

he lands on both legs then draws the right leg up. there isn't any redness or swelling.

Hawkedoc :

You mention that he lays on his tummy, does he also sometimes stand on just his left leg with his right leg tucked up?

Customer:

yes, if he's perching/standing the right leg is tucked up

Hawkedoc :

OK, good. Just wanted to make sure that the left leg was fine. Does his leg appear to be properly oriented to the rest of his body? In other words, the foot/toes are pointed the right direction matching the other leg or does it appear to be slightly off to one side of the other?

Customer:

No, his leg is as normal

Hawkedoc :

Good! One problem with bird anatomy is that a good part of their leg, the femur and hip socket, is tucked inside their body so is more difficult to feel for problems. There is still a possibility that there is a problem with his upper femur or his hip joint. For example, if he got his foot caught and twisted around then he could still have fractured the top of his femur or dislocated his hip joint without it being very obvious from the outside. I would recommend that he be examined by an avian veterinarian who may want to x-ray Bede to make sure that nothing like that has happened.


 

Hawkedoc :

In the meantime, I would recommend keeping his calm and quiet to allow his leg to rest. Not allowing his to fly (sorry, Bede) and keeping him in an aquarium or rubbermaid tote or the like with no perches and some soft cloths on the floor to prevent him from perching or climbing around, to force him to rest the leg.

Hawkedoc :

If it is injured, whether a bone, joint or soft tissue (muscle) injury, it is important to prevent further trauma to the area by avoiding the impact of landing or stress while climbing around in a cage or on other objects.

Hawkedoc :

You can put food and water dishes on the floor of the container so that he can get to them without having to climb.

Customer:

Ok, this sounds good. we have an old plastic gerbil tank that we used for transporting that has a lid to it.

Hawkedoc :

Sounds perfect! Just make sure it's nice and clean of course. Hopefully whatever is going on with Bede will be simple to fix, but sometimes the only thing we can do is to continue the strict cage rest until they are healed. It all depends on the exact problem, but it sounds like an x-ray may be required to find that out. I hope you have an avian veterinarian nearby?

Customer:

Naturally, it will be spotless.... (he's sat on my head watching me at this moment) I have a local vet in Hedge End so I'll contact them just in case but will monitor him. To listen to him now he sounds happy and not in too much discomfort but will go and organise his 'hospital bed' and get him to settle quietly.

Hawkedoc :

OK, sounds great! Good luck to both of you and I hope he heals quickly from this injury. Sounds like he's a nice tame little bird, they make such great companions. I have all sorts of birds, but parakeets are still my favorite (used to breed them). If you have any other questions now or later on, feel free to come back here to ask and I will keep an eye out for them. :)

Hawkedoc :

I was looking for a picture of bird leg anatomy for you to see:

Hawkedoc :

Full Size Image

Hawkedoc :

OK, didn't work...

Hawkedoc :

Full Size Image

Hawkedoc :

Here, you can see that above the bird's knee, most of the leg is tucked into the body.

Customer:

Thank you for your information-he was used to hands being around him from a young age: the breeder was known for this. I think he see's me as his mum and Martin as his dad although I'm the preferred 'perch'. I was devistated when I saw him on Thursday evening although Bede wanted a 'cuddle'. it was then that we saw him scratch his head with his dodgy foot so although we were concerned, it was comforting to see that he had this much movement.

Hawkedoc :

That's good, hopefully it isn't too badly injured. Best wishes to him and a speedy recovery!

Hawkedoc, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 138
Experience: Veterinarian working with dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and exotic pets for over 11 years.
Hawkedoc and 2 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Hawkedoc, just to let you know about Bede the budgie with the bad leg......
He was quite disgruntled to go into the tank but was so tired that he tucked his head into his feathers and went to sleep! It must 've been a relief to have a sleep without falling off his perch.
Its done the trick though as the rest has done him good. His leg is so much better: he's using it now as it should be used gripping his millett which was in the bottom of the tank using it as a perch when not scoffing it.
I thought that budgies found it uncomfortable not to perch as they lock off their feet when sleeping but I have learnt something which, although I don't want to experience again will bear in mind if the plonker does it again! Thank you for your advice...... I thought that you would like to hear the outcome. Now I'm going to shoo him off my laptop so that I can shut it down............... again, thank you. Cheryll.
Expert:  Hawkedoc replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the update, I appreciate it! I'm glad to hear that he is doing better. I would continue to rest him for a while longer until he's pretty much back to normal. Hopefully he makes a full recovery!

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