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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28533
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Is a Quaker parrot and last couple of weeks she has just

Customer Question

Elizabeth is a Quaker parrot and for the last couple of weeks she has just been sitting on her dish and not moving which is not like her at all. Now her head is down and she just sleeps. Yesterday I was holding her trying to examin her and noticed her left leg was black all the way up and peeling. She also had a black spot on her body. I am afraid she will die if I can't get her help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm afraid that I agree with you, Kathy. A black leg is a leg that has lost its blood supply perhaps from trauma or a tumor that has compromised the vascular supply to that leg. Elizabeth must be considered to be critically ill if only because she's appeared ill for at least the last couple of weeks and birds don't act ill until they can't help it any more; otherwise other birds will attack them in the wild.

You can't help Elizabeth at home. She'll need the attention of an avian vet (please see here: who will find Elizabeth a challenge to treat as well but can give her a good physical exam and tell you what might or might not be able to be done for her. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you think there could be another issue since she can stand on that foot/leg? She has never had many eggs but they always seemed to be a problem for her. Could that be an issue. I'm not sure why she seems to keep pushing down. She is still having bowel movements (probably not what is a correct term for birds). The nearest vet is a considerable distance from here so I'm just trying to find out what I can do for her.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

An egg bound bird is usually lost long before now but even if that were the case, she would need a vet's attention at this time. Injectable calcium is given and if the egg can't be manually manipulated out, it's collapsed and either extracted in pieces or allowed to pass naturally. Here's more on egg binding in pet birds:

It's a positive finding that she can still use that leg, but seeing it black is very troubling to me. She's been too ill for too *****, *****. Time is of the essence now.