bird bitting feet

by theresa
(fort myers florida USA)

my blue and gold macaw has a problem with chewing his claws around his nails.. i have taken him to the vet many of times. he as had antibotics, pain meds and something to calm him down.. his diet was changed to eating foods in high vitamin A he has had a collar on and off for over 2 months.

I have used spays for bitting and even put it on the collar so he would not chew the tape that is on to protect the plastic and still keeps on bitting. the vet also said that he has corn and deep cysts which is why he was on the antibotics.. still nothing works.

could you please give me any advise of what else i could do or give him i have come to a point of not knowing what else there is i can do.. please help me or point me in the right direction of help.

Comments for bird bitting feet

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Jan 08, 2010
Bird that bites his feet
by: The Vet

There is little that I can recommend without seeing your bird.

I would recommend that you have him on a pellet diet, 80% pellets, 20% treats. I would also recommend that you look to see if there is anything that he could be coming into contact with that would cause allergic reactions. The one thing that I see consistently is nicotine from tobacco smoking. Nicotine is on the hands of smokers and is absorbed through the skin on the bird?s feet. Other allergens are also possible. Perfumes and hand lotions should be considered. Does your bird have a full spectrum light?

If the antibiotics did not help, it could be that it was not the right one or they were not administered long enough. Dermatitis can need treatment for several weeks in some cases. Collars are not going to help much. They work until you take them off. It is good to use a collar during the treatment period, but without a diagnosis, he could potentially wear the collar forever ? that is no good. I do not use the e-collar, I use a tube collar which is more comfortable long term.

Dr B

Jan 07, 2010
bird bitting feet
by: Linda

What I don't understand is why the Avian Vet would give you antibiotics for corns and/or cysts? What kind of perches do you have bird sitting on? Unless he is on natural branch wood perches, his feet are in mortal danger. If he sits on dowel rods all the time, these will cause corns and cysts. If he sits on any kind of perches long after they have broken down, this will also cause the same problems.

This sounds like a podiatrist area, as foot and leg problems are normally caused by the wrong kind of perch material over a period of time.

Whatever the vet is doing is not working, and I highly recommend you find another Avian Vet in your driving area and get a second opinion about this problem. Your bird is getting worse, and until the right solution is found, he will not get better. Too long toenails will also cause problems with the feet, so hopefully, you've kept up with normal clipping of the nails so that they are not too long and heavy.

My only recommendation at this point is to 1. go to another Avian Vet as soon as is possible and 2. take stock of what kind of perches you have your bird on and 3. This could also be caused from some type of allergic reaction to a food or chemical, so look at that as well. Bird needs to be eating organic pellets , and Tracie has several to choose from out here. They need little fruit and veggies, and NO table food at all. You'll need to give the new Avian vet as much information about how your bird lives as is possible leaving nothing out even if it does not seem important. A complete history from everything he eats, to how cage is set up to what you are using to clean cage and perches. You cannot use bleach or any regular household cleaner on cage or perches. Cleaners have to be safe, safe safe from fumes and corrosive chemicals. Tracie has some natural safe cleaners
out here that works very well, like Mango Pet Focus.

Let us know what the new Avian Vet has to say, and if he affords your bird some real help, then take the report back to the other vet for a refund of your money spent so far. Some Avian vets are not as good as others just like with regular vets and human doctors, so don't wait any longer to get a second opinion as to what the REAL problem or problems are here.

Thanks for writing and hope this is resolved very soon

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