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Patricia
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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INJURED PARROT

Customer Question

I HAVE A QUAKER PARROT AND SHE SEEMS TO HAVE EITHER BROKE OR INJURED HER RIGHT CLAW.IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN DO FOR HER I FOUND HER ON HER BACK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CAGE SO I BROUGHT HER INDOORS AND HAVE HER IN A SMALL CAGE.WHAT CAN I DO FOR HER.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Patricia replied 7 years ago.
Hi Margie. Does she normally live in an outdoor aviary or was she just temporarily outside in a small cage for fresh air? I'm sorry I didn't get you question right when you posted it. Since it's now about an hour later, how is she doing? Is she up on her feet? Can she use the foot that seemed to be injured or broken? If you can give me this information and an update on how she is right now, I'll do my best to give you some help with this. Thanks, Patricia
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Patricia's Post: SHE IS NORMALLY OUTDOORS I WAS AFRAID SHE WOULD DIE IF I LEFT HER ON THE BOTTOM OF HER CAGE CAUSE THE FOOD IS ON TOP AND WATER ALSO.SO I PUT HER IN THE CAGE INDOORS AND SHE JUST SITS IN HER FOOD BOWL NOT MUCH MOVEMENT SHE HAS BEEN SITTING IN HER FOOD FOR AWHILE SHE IS EATING CANNOT CLIMBTO THE PERCH CAUSE SHE HURT HER CLAW
Expert:  Patricia replied 7 years ago.

Okay Margie, thanks for the explanation. Since she was outside, that vastly increases the possbilities of what is wrong, and even more serious; what may have caused it. She is at risk of all manner of air borne diseases and parasites carried by wild birds and other critters than can get anywhere near her. She could have been so frightened by a raptor flying overhead, she hurt herself, she may have seen a snake, even a passing stray cat could have jumped at her enclosure. Of course the whys are not that important at the moment but I just wanted to give you a feel for how really unsafe it is to have birds like this in an outside aviary. Unless you can see an actual injury to her foot, leg or toe, we can't assume that is the problem. It may be a symptom instead. If you know for fact she is female, egg binding, especially this time of year is always a prime suspect. A bird who has been egg bound long enough can lose use of one or both legs or feet. The egg presses on the nerves and the blood supply. I am going to tell you how to check for this possibility. If she is totally hand tame, please have her stand on your finger, hold her facing you, raise her body to eye level, looking down her underside, towards her tail. See if you can detect any kind of swelling or lump in her tummy, probably just in front of her vent. If she is not tame, just try to make the same observation without upsetting, stressing, or handling her at all. For her safety, even for her life, we must proceed as if an egg is the problem until we can prove otherwise. Because of that, you must be extremely careful with her. Should she be egg bound, and should that egg rupture inside of her, she will be in even more trouble. Detecting the telltale lump is almost sure proof of the problem. However, not being able to see one does not rule out the possibility. If you do detect a lump, then for sure, get back to me and I'll give you some ideas of what you may be able to try. Your first choice for her sake though, should be to get her to a proper Avian vet, asap. Egg binding is a life threatening emergency. If she only has an injury to a toe, foot or leg, and it's making her behave this way, then it is not a minor issue either. What ever is wrong with her toe may also be totally separate from whatever is making her feel so bad she is mostly sitting like this. It could be a coincidence that both are showing up at the same time. For example, if she has caught something from an outside bird that is only just now manifesting as a symptom, yet she hurt her toe at the same time. One of the problems we have with our parrots is their very strong instinct to mask all symptoms of illness or injury, from us. In the wild, they are prey and to show weakness is to get kicked out of the safety of the flock. By the time we see any symptoms, it's because they are too sick and too weak to keep up the pretense. A couple of the first things we will be able to notice is a change in behavior, (less playing, less or no talking, etc.), any change in the appearance of the droppings that lasts more than 24 hours and cannot be accounted for by diet. For example, a lot of fruits or veggies one day can make more runny droppings but it should not last more than a day, then go back to normal. Other symptoms are sitting with feathers fluffed, giving up the perches and staying on the cage floor, and sleeping an inordinate amount of time. Because of her exposure to the outside, there is too much of a chance that she is really ill and if she were my bird, I'd be off to the vet with her, even if I had to make it an emergency Saturday visit. In the meantime, you need to keep her warm. The closer we can keep an ill bird to 80-85F, the better. You should cover the top and 3 sides of her cage and keep her as quiet and stress free as possible. You need to make sure she can reach both food and water easily and that she cannot hurt herself further. You may have to just remove the perches, put food and water on the cage floor in shallow bowls she cannot tip over and line the cage floor with several layers of newspaper. Don't cause her to have to try to get around on a cage grate. She needs a solid, padded surface for now. In case you don't already have a vet you trust, I'll give you some links that will hopefully help you find one. Your first choice needs to be a true Avian Vet. Second choice is a vet who comes highly recommended as having lots of experience with birds. I hope this will help you out but if you have any more questions at all, just let me know. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that this is a very minor injury to one toe and she will soon be just fine. But it's also too potentially serious to let it go on, unchecked. Let me know if you need anything else. Patricia

Click here: Find your local Avian Veterinarian

Click here: Avian Veterinarians Recommended by Bird Breeders and Owners http://www.birdsnways.com/articles/abvpvets.htm

Click here: Avian Vet List

Click here: BirdsnWays - Avian Veterinarians - Vets - Vet Services for Pet Parrots & Exotic Birds

This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only sold by vets so it's another good list to check. Click here: Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic pet bird diets that were formulated to make your bird as he

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Patricia
Patricia
1543 Satisfied Customers
Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.