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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 2595
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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My name is , i have some questions about a sick bird i have.

Customer Question

hello my name is ***** ***** have some questions about a sick bird i have. she is a little budgie about 8.5 years old. i believe she has articular gout.
so i visited my family about 2 weeks ago (she lived with them because i am in college) and apparently she hurt her right foot they said. she couldn't close her fingers but she could walk and use her legs.
but my brother was getting married so they didnt pay attention to her for about 2 or 3 weeks to prepare for the wedding. so when i got there she was very wobbly and clumsy. i was sad and worried so i took her home so i could watch out for her.
she seemed to perk up at my apartment, she was very active (still clumsy) and seemed happy. i did research on what causes paralysis in birds. i thought it was metal poisoning at first, but then the white bumps on the joints appeared and got bigger and bigger fast. so its pretty clear that she has articular gout. additionally she drinks water a lot more and sleeps more often. but in the mornings she seems pretty active.
i lowered her cage branches and padded them up with cloth to make it easier on her feet. but now both of her feet have bumps and she looks like she cant really open or close either one.
i called a vet and they confirmed that she needs some kind of anti inflammatory for the gout. but after doing research it seems she would have to stay on them the rest of her life. i would like to ask if there is an alternative to gout treatment.
i dont have the money to get a lot of medicine and checkups. especially if they are just going to tell me she is going to die.
i heard that burdock root is good for gout. i was wondering if i could get some of that for her. on a few websites it appears on the toxic plant list. but on some others it says that the root part is ok for them.
i also heard that black cherry and blueberry juice is good for gout.
if you could give me your opinion or confirmation on some of these questions/ situations that would be great.
i really dont want her to suffer, but i literally cant afford to take her in for even a checkup's not easy being a poor college student.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Doug Nieh replied 4 months ago.

Aaron - my name is***** and I'll try to help guide you to make the best decisions you can based on your budget. There are many different natural remedies that are available to treat gout but the big question is how efficacious will they actually be. My personal feeling is that based on the severity of the condition you are describing they are unlikely to help to the degree that you would be hoping and from my standpoint, I would prefer you spend that money towards proven treatments and veterinary care.

The most important thing to do right now, is have him seen by a vet to evaluate the little guy and prescribe the appropriate medications needed. For example, bumblefoot can also cause bumpy feet and lameness which is a completely different disease with completely different treatment from articular gout.

If it is gout, we ideally need to know if it's from inappropriate diet or water intake, excessive mineral intake, or kidney disease.

Treatment options are varied and depend on the severity of the problem - but generally revolve around controlling pain in addition to reducing uric acid levels in the bloodstream and reducing inflammation. Some experimental drugs can actually break down uric acid deposits in gout patients.

As far as safe, nutritional supplements - omega 3 fatty acids will help reduce inflammation in the body. Cherries/cherry juice contains anthocyanins which can reduce inflammation and pain in human gout sufferers and may be worth trying but again, with the severity of the condition, I woudn't expect much change without incorporating medications prescribed by your veterinarian.

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