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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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I got a dove from someone yesterday and its right leg slides

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I got a dove from someone yesterday and its right leg slides out from its body, like the foot is not gripping the perch well. (of course the person I got it from made no mention of this until I asked about it and she just said it had always done that) was told it is about 9 months old. Could this be splay/spraddle leg? Is there anything that I can do since it obviously has never been corrected?Seems to get around ok.

ps. I have not attempted to hold them to thoroughly check it since they are still adapting to their new environment.



I took a small video and it is not letting me add it.  Says it is wrong file type.  Guess I will just send a pic.Dove right leg


Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear that your new bird is perching abnormally. This certainly could be a case of spraddle/splay leg that was never corrected. Alternatively, this could be a recent injury.

Typically, splay leg is seen in baby birds and young chicks, and if it's present in a physically mature bird, it has been present all along and was either never corrected or attempts to correct the condition failed. In skeletally mature birds, it's generally too late to correct the condition using splinting and other orthopedic methods used in chicks. These birds can still have a good quality of life as long as they can perch, move around, and compete for food. They may need a little extra TLC in terms of feeding on the cage floor or being kept alone or with non-aggressive cage mates to allow them to get enough to eat. Calcium, protein, and other nutritional imbalances can also lead to the development of splay leg in chicks. Feeding a balanced diet now will not correct the condition, but is of course the right thing to do for your bird and may help prevent the condition occurring in any chicks you may hatch. I would be particularly suspicious of splay leg if your bird is otherwise completely normal and non-painful.

There is also the possibility that, rather than splay leg, you are dealing with a recent injury. A full physical exam for pain, swelling, and instability is indicated, and x-rays may be needed to tell where in the leg the problem is and what the best approach to fixing it is (especially if the bird turns out to be painful once he has settled in to his new home).

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
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