Cockatiel with paralyzed legs

by Jessica
(Hood River, OR)

We have had our cockatiel, Sheila, for 12 years. She is very small, about 75 grams when healthy. She is not a cronic egg layer, but she did have egg peritonitis about 5 years ago and survived.

A little less than 2 months ago she started losing grip with her left foot. We took her to our local vet, who does have avian experience and the x-ray revealed that she had an egg stuck in her, way up high. She went to an avian hospital and had surgery. The egg was very rotten and they were not able to perform a hysterectomy and a large piece of the shell was also not removed. Additionally she had a perforated uterus.

We brought her home and she was doing better, but then took a turn for the worse plus started exhibiting mating behavior. We brought her to our local vet and she was incubated and received celebrex and antibotics. Anyway, after a little less than a week she became paralyzed in both legs.

We brought her home in an incubator that our vet loaned us. The bird can only move with its wings and beak. She is very sweet and we love her dearly. However, I think that whatever is wrong with her is going to kill her eventually. She drags her legs behind her and determinely struggles to get to her food dish, water and to look out the incubator window. We take her out to give her medicine and to give her personal contact.

Can there be any positive outcome for our bird? Is it cruel to keep her alive?

Comments for Cockatiel with paralyzed legs

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Mar 10, 2015
by: shanthikiran

Since 2 weeks my parrot can't stand & his legs are not responding . very slowly responding
And last 2 days his 1 leg is totally now working can u pls tall me why this happnd & he is 2 months old only .. Suggest me medicine for my parrot

Editor's Note: Medicine is prescribed by an avian vet according to what is wrong with the bird. You need to have your bird tested to determine what medicine needs to be prescribed.

Feb 24, 2013
what do i do ?
by: Anonymous

my bird is about two months old she had been flying alot... kept flying in the wall and kept falling to the floor.the very last time she yelpt... when i caught her...she just flapped her wings ... now its been about two hours and she just lays there.. not doing anything ...what should i do ....

Editor's note: Take her to an avian vet ASAP.
In the future if you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, on our Parrot Questions page.

Sep 19, 2011
Our Fred-bird
by: Anonymous

Last week our cockatiel was in the bottom of his cage unable to walk. He tried though. He started using his beak and wings to crawl. He refused to eat and my daughter gave him water by syringe. After 24 hours we decided to euthanize him. Come to find out he had a nerve disorder that could not be fixed. We were and are sad for losing Fred but we could not stand to see him live like that. Fred was about 15 years old.

May 26, 2010
Bird with leg paralysis
by: The Avian Vet

The prognosis for your bird is poor to grave. Unless surgery can be done to remove the inflammatory tissue from around the nerves that lead to the leg, then nothing can be done. You can judge based on her quality of life whether to euthanize her or not. I have not seen her nor her lab results, so I cannot make any recommendation, but my experience tells me that she is probably suffering. I am sorry.

Dr B

May 24, 2010
Thank you
by: Jessica

Thank you for your response. We really do not want our little bird to suffer any longer. We will have her put to sleep and we do take joy from having had her for the 12 years that we did. She was a happy little bird. She flew around the house, took showers and spent a lot a time with her people. We will miss her terribly, but I know that I would not want someone to put me though what she is going through.

Thank you again.

May 24, 2010
Cockatiel with paralyzed legs
by: Linda

The egg and ruined tissue left from her surgery has caused a systemic infection similar to Salmonella, and she is in utter misery at this time. She most likely will not recover from this situation because the poison from the products left in her have already done their work and are killing her slowly but surely. What she had before was egg binding not peritonitis, but what I think has happened is that it DID turn into peritonitis because more egg was probably left in her. Being that she is SO small, there was no way to pass a fully made egg, and to even remove all of it was a stretch.

Though it breaks my heart to say this, my heartfelt and very sad advice is to have her humanely put to sleep. She is suffering in so many ways here, and she does not have any good days left to her, so release her from this sick, broken body and let her little soul fly free once again. I'm SO sorry to recommend this, and believe me, if I thought there was hope for her to recover I'd be suggesting you work really hard to make that so. It is not going to happen, and so, take her back to the vet and stay with her until she has passed. Do not be surprised if she rides home with you in the car in spirit, as I've had several of my poor old, sick dogs do just that. They came back home with us to the only place they'd known love and warmth. She will move on very shortly if she does that, and it is, of course, not something to fear, but something to celebrate. If you're really fortunate, you may even get a little glimpse of her in a perfectly healthy, beautiful body before she leaves the earth plane.If you have children, bring her body home and have a proper funeral for her and let the kids or grandkids say a few words about her. It is called closure, and you all need that.

We had an old, sick cat die some years ago, and she was in awful shape and looked very bad. A day or two after her passing, I felt someone looking at me as I prepared dinner. I looked over at the dining table, and there she was sitting under table in perfect health with a beautiful luxurious coat almost smiling at me! Next instant, she was gone. So, hopefully your little bird will grace you with just one more look.

Many Blessings for you and your family are being sent in this letter.


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