How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Pat Your Own Question
Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
Type Your Bird Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Pat is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 18 yr old cockateel appeared to have hurt one of s legs

Customer Question

My 18 yr old cockateel appeared to have hurt one of his legs he can't
Wrap that crawl around any perch so he has to balance on one leg and use his beak to pull himself around the cage there seems to be no discoloration. And he doesn't seem to be in pain. When he son a hard flat surface he walks much better
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 1 year ago.
Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.
What happened?
Can you tell me more about the bird?​
How long has this been going on?
How long have you had him?
What kind of caging, bedding, toys, free flight, etc?
Any accidents or trauma?
Interactions with other birds/pets/children/guests?
What is the usual diet? has it changed recently?
Has the bird gotten into anything?
What is your geographic location and local weather?
These signs are not specific to any one disease. He may have toe, foot, leg, hip, pelvis or spinal fracture or soft tissue injury. If his nails are long, he could have hurt one or gotten it caught--which can injure feet, legs, spine, hip. They can also have stroke-like incidents.
The challenge is to find out exactly what is going on, since treatment will depend on careful and accurate diagnosis.
Without a diagnosis, I cannot recommend any particular course of treatment, except good nursing care at home.
If you feel comfortable with it, examine the bird thoroughly, using gentle restraint via washcloth or hand towel: do not restrict the chest or hold around the body. Check the eyes, nostrils, mouth and beak if possible, having a good look in there for mucus, redness, masses or anything else unusual. Palpate the tummy for pain, fluid, lumps or anything else (eggs, if female or unknown). Check all the joints for swelling, pain, and mobility. The feathers should be parted to view the skin, muscles and skeleton below; this can be done using a q-tip with isopropyl alcohol or KY gel. Look for bruising, lacerations, injured feathers.
Your job is to keep the bird warm, safe, quiet, and confined; and to provide adequate hydration and calories. Do not allow him to climb around a cage or to fly.
Move the bird to a box or carrier with soft towels in the bottom, no perch, and food and water in low bowls that can be reached easily. Put the whole thing on a heating pad on low or medium. Check it frequently, no overheating allowed! Keep the unit partially covered, warm and quiet. White paper towels or white cloth towels will show the true color of the droppings. Small animal/reptile boxes are great for this purpose. The bird, bowls and unit must be kept very clean. Here are some helpful links:

Related Bird Veterinary Questions