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Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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My pet cockatiel seems to have dislocated her wing - all of ...

Customer Question

My pet cockatiel seems to have dislocated her wing - all of a sudden she can't fly and just flops onto the floor when I let her out of her cage. It's as if she's had a fright and hurt herself in her cage ? - which is the only thing I can think of - she has been like this for a few days now and although she seemed ok initially ie: drinking and eating and walking around - she is now withdrawn and uninterested - will a vet be able to help ?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Patricia replied 9 years ago.
Hello. Is the wing being held close to the body in it's normal position or is it extended? Is it drooping down or what? Did you observe her trying to fly? Was she unable to flap that wing or what? Please don't try to get her to fly again so you can see, if you don't know the answer. Were any of her flight feathers clipped before or is she fully flighted? Is she still sitting on her perches or the cage floor? As a just in case, do you already have a true avian vet you can use? If not, I'll help you with that as well. Let me know. Patricia
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Patricia's Post: Hi. The left wing is drooping and seems to be hanging further this evening.

Since she flopped onto the floor - I have been very careful of my handling of her - but there is no indication that she is able to fly or flap that wing.

Her flight feathers have never been clipped and she has always been extremely active.

She is still sitting on her perches - but also on the cage floor.

I do not have an avian vet - there has never been a need for one before now.
Expert:  Patricia replied 9 years ago.

Okay, thanks for that extra information. Keeping in mind I'm having to do this long distance and not able to see her myself, I'd say you are right. It's either dislocated or broken. Tiels are so prone to "night frights", leading to this type of injury, that's one of the reasons they need a cage large enough to not hit their wings on perches, toys, etc. when they do flap. Of course she could have just as easily injured herself somehow, outside the cage. In any case, she is going to need an avian vet for sure. Your second choice would be a vet who really knows birds. All too often regular vets, no matter how well intentioned they are, can cause more harm than good, simply because they do not have the extensive, extra training required to handle birds properly. I'm going to give you several links to assist you in locating one. I would not put this off any longer, especially since you said it has been that way for a few days. The longer you wait, the more likely she is to end up crippled or worse. In the meantime you need to make sure she does not get chilled. She also must stay as quiet and stress free as possible. An ill or injured bird is already under a lot of stress and adding to it can be fatal. Also, the closer we can keep an ill or injured bird to 80F degrees, the better. I'd suggest covering the top and three sides of her cage, make sure she has food and water she can reach if she is staying for long on the cage floor and keep household traffic to a minimum, around the cage. I hope this will help but if you have any more questions, just let me know. Patricia

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