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Common Foot Problems and How to Avoid Them

By November 5, 2006

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Sometimes one of the most important aspects of a bird's health can be easily overlooked -- the condition of the bird's feet. Since birds don't "sit" like many other pets do, their feet are in constant use, and pet bird owners must make sure that they keep their bird's feet in top condition to ensure their pet's health, comfort, and happiness. For an in depth look at some of the most common foot problems that affect pet birds, read over Best Foot Forward from Birdtimes.com. The tips that are provided for improving the condition of your feathered friend's feet are sure to help you and your pet rest a little easier.


May 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm
(1) Edna Stadler says:

My bird has gotten to the point where he gnaws on his leg almost all day long. After doing that he regurgitates his food and tries to pack his foot. I’ve gone to vets, looked on the internet, read magazines and no one can tell me how to help him. I’d apprecitate it someone would e-mail and let me know if they know anything about what he is doing. I am really worried about him. Thank you.

May 28, 2008 at 9:21 pm
(2) Wynne says:

Edna, my bird chews on his toes too. He was born with a joint abnormality, and kind of stands on the side of his foot, so he has some pain. He is on Metacam, and it works quite well. My vet also thinks it’s hormonal for him because it’s spring time. He gets a shot of Lupron to block that hormone a bit and that seems to help too. He has had to have some parts of toes amputated because he actually hacks away at them!! I use a collar made out of a thin exposed x-ray that my vet made for him. It works really well. When his foot is out of his sight he forgets about it!!
Good luck–hope this info is of some help!

March 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm
(3) bruce beatty says:

I am a wildlife rehabilator and I have a red tail hawk that can’t stand on its feet. Both of the feet are like making a fist and the toes won’t straighen out. Any one have an idea as to what I can do for this bird?

October 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm
(4) Benn says:

Hi Bruce,
I have a “musk lorikeet” which has the same problem. Have you been able to figure out how to overcome the problem?
I’m still researching this problem and if it is able to be fixed.

November 9, 2011 at 3:01 am
(5) Missy A. says:

Hi Guys.

I have a problem regarding my pet, tweety. First she lose her foot. Now, the other one’s getting black and looks like a dry lil stick already. :( She can’t do her thing like she used to do. Is this a disease or something? :( She’s trying her best to stay alive by eating and trying to survive but the fact is that she cannot walk, jump, etc. She’s like disabled already. :(

April 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm
(6) Little Owl says:

My bird, a male conure, i think he was born with problems on his foot. He limps a little when he is walking, and I was hoping to know how to cure it, the vet says she cant find the problem though…

April 21, 2012 at 3:48 am
(7) Angela Zelenkovich says:

Dear Bruce & Ben,

We have a Green-Cheeked Conure whose feet ball up too. She has a neurological disorder which causes the digits to close up making her to “stand” on her “elbows” or the upper part of her legs. We give her medication (phenobarbital elixir) on an ongoing basis, which our vet prescribes. Dr. Anne McDonald, an awesome avian vet, owns Night Owl Bird Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. Canada and can be reached at 604-734-5100. I’d advise you to contact her to receive sound counsel for your beloved feathered family member. They’re worth the effort!

April 21, 2012 at 3:57 am
(8) Angela Zelenkovich says:

Dear Friends of the Flock ~

Dr. Anne McDonald is an awesome avian veterinarian and is well known for the treatment of all kinds of domestic and wild birds. She was awarded “Veterinarian of the Year” by her peers in Vancouver, B.C.Canada and has a passion for our beloved feathered family members. She owns Night Owl Bird Hospital and can be reached at 604-734-5100. Do yourself a favour and contact her for sound medical advice. Our pets are worth the effort!

November 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm
(9) lisa says:

I have a 9 year old canary. eats good but likes to stay at the bottom of the cage to sleep. his feet look dry and bent like athritis. noe the toes on one foot look like they are off. this is why he doesn’t like to go on his perch alot. I had another bird who had that foot problem and lived a long time with it. I guess this bird will too. Is it arthritis?

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