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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7353
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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My Cockatiel has broken its leg and was amputated by the Vet.

Resolved Question:

My Cockatiel has broken it's leg and was amputated by the Vet.
Is there a way of supporting the leg with an artificial leg, it is finding very difficult to walk.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.
Oh my! I'm so sorry about Pogo's leg and how stressful this must have been for you.

Whether or not an artificial leg is appropriate should be addressed by the vet who did the surgery; however, for the most part artificial legs aren't provided for birds

Why? Because birds are remarkable, absolutely incredible creatures that adapt to the most challenging situations you can imagine.

Remember, these are the evolutionary survivors of a mass extinction. Every bird you see was once a type of dinosaur!

This isn't to say that certain accomodations shouldn't be made. You might want to provide some rope perches and keep to soft wood rather than use harder perches

Also, choose perches that are wider than you'd usually use for a 'tiel. Pogo will figure out ways to rest, probably by leaning on his 'stub' in order to rest the remaining leg

--- You can also consider some platforms in his cage and play area. Made from soft wood like pine or 'white wood' rather than the more typical metal grate like platforms.

In any case, ask your vet about accomodations for Pogo and ideas they might have.

I respect and admire you for making such a difficult choice for your dear companion



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi,


 


I spoke to my vet, i did not get any clear response on artificial leg support. he is not sure.


 


Could you please tell me, is there such thing exists for birds, any case studies...


 


I need to do something for my Pogo.


 


Regards,


Vijay

Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.
-- For one leg, it's extremely unusual for this to be done. Having a foreign object attached to his body is more likely to cause more stress and aggravation than anything else.

If you take notice of the wild starlings, pigeons, sparrows and other common birds you'll notice a great deal of missing legs and feet. Wildlife has it pretty rough - and yet there they are, thriving despite missing what we humans think are necessary parts.

So I can't say that artificial limbs are "never" done. It's just that it's rarely done.

You can see where a double replacement was done here:

http://www.petplace.com/birds/artificial-legs-help-maimed-bird-walk-again/page1.aspx

and the name of the doctor who did it

--------

I'd like you to review this info on an African Grey who had a single leg replaced with an artificial one and how it turned out for the bird

http://mentalfloss.com/article/18649/animal-prosthetics-leg-bad-break

---------------------

So, is it done? It can be done, yes. Should it be done? It would depend on the type of bird more than anything else. In Pogo's case, I would not do it. I would adjust his environment and support him as he relearns functioning with a disability

----

Right now I am working with a totally blind macaw. He's also badly crippled in one leg and to top it all off he has a bad, permanent beak injury. All of this at the hands of the worst humans a bird could be victim of.

By giving him alternative ways to be 'normal', he is re learning how to be a bird. Just one without sight, without the ability to crack nuts and that needs extra wide perches for sitting because his right leg is 'frozen' at the knee joint.

I'll stand by you with Pogo however much you need. I believe in you and I have no doubt you'll help him be 'normal' in a new way



S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7353
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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