Elderly nanday with swollen ankle, arthritis?

by Andrea
(tampa, fl)

Okay so i just rescued an elderly nanday from an old couple that are having health problems of their own.

The bird is alert but walks funny, has a little trouble perching on dowel perches, and one of his ankles has a knot on the top of it. The toes on that same foot look a little off in their directions as well.

The knot isn't yellow, or bleeding, or oozing, or anything. And he is still very lively and eating and drinking like normal.

The man and woman said that it had been that way for a while and that he was just as old as them lol.

He was kept with 2 other conures i also took in and they have been living together for years and the other 2 are in perfect health.

I have dealt with arthritis in horses so this would be my best guess. What do you think?

If you're thinking the same, what are some home remedies and modifications to a normal lifestyle would you recommend? i want to make sure he is comfortable until the end.

Thank you.

Comments for Elderly nanday with swollen ankle, arthritis?

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 12, 2010
by: Original Poster

All of my birdies are given a multitude of perch types and thicknesses i only mentioned the dowel because that's the one he is having issues clasping onto which is how i noticed his toe direction was off.

They all have ropes, real branches, fun shapen mineral perches and such as well of course.

With me the diet is 20% pelleted kaytee and zupreem blend. 60% fresh fruit and veggies, and 20% seeds, sprouts and nuts in fun treat dispensers so they have to work for.

However prior to me he was fed a seed only diet with occassional monkey biscuits for treats. yipes

As i feared this poor man has gout. He is now off of all protein rich foods, given vitamin supplements in his water, only on rope perches, heavily monitored for deterioration, etc.

He is making a tremendous turnaround already. He has grown back 80% of his feathers, is dancing and eating happily, and going to be able to live out his final few years as painless and carefree as possible.

Thanks for trying to help though. Best wishes

Feb 26, 2010
Elderly nanday with swollen ankle, arthritis?
by: Linda

For one thing, the dowels are WRONG, WRONG WRONG, for ANY parrot of any species. All parrots need natural branches which vary from end to end in the diameter giving birds' feet and legs some much needed rest.

Birds kept on dowels will ALWAYS develop arthritis in feet and legs, and it will only get worse as they are forced to sit on these un-natural perches.

There are many online and regular pet stores who carry the branch perches with hardware installed. If you prefer to make them yourself, the hardware needed will be hanger bolts, caps for the part of bolt on the outside, washers inside and outside and wing nuts. There is a list of safe woods out here, and if you are using any of your own trees, they have to be safe wood like Apple, Walnut, Birch, Manzanita and they have to have NEVER been sprayed either with pesticide or fertilizers as both chemicals become part of the fiber of the trees. Natural, organic products would not leave a tree unusable, but only with the biodegradable and quickly dissipating kinds bought from certified organic supply stores.

This would be where to start in making the birds more comfortable. Perch size for the Nanday and other similar sized conures is 1/2" to 1", and so your natural branch perches can be from and to on the diameter. Nandays need large cage at least 3 feet around so they can stretch out their wings. Actually, all parrots need a much larger cage than manufacturers offer as the cage size as those are just minimum, get you started sizes.

Diet is extremely important here, and an organic, high quality pelleted diet is highy recommended. It is partly the way these birds have been fed and partly the way they've been housed that is the problem here. Tracie carries several kinds of the organic pellets on this site, and our favorite is Harrisions along with their Birdy Bread Mix.

Since this Nanday is older, it will also be good to take him to an Avian Vet for something to help with the swelling and pain associated with his arthritis. Since he is old, be very careful to tell vet that, as bird's kidneys and liver may have been under stress for many years if on a poor diet. IMPORTANT NOTE: USE NO HOME REMEDIES OR OVER THE COUNTER MEDS WITH BIRDS AS THEY CANNOT PROCESS ANY OF THAT. They have no fat and hollow bones, so any overdoses go directly into liver. Take parrots to an Avian Vet as they are the only ones licensed to treat birds, and the only ones who actually KNOW HOW TO TREAT BIRDS.

Thanks for writing, and I wish more people would find out the best perches, caging and food to feed their parrots. There would be a lot less of the aging feet and leg problems if they would ONLY ASK or find out on their own like you are doing.

Feb 26, 2010
Possible arthritis in bird
by: The Avian Vet

This bird needs to be seen by an avian veterinarian for a diagnosis. Arthritis in a differential but there are other problems that can cause these symptoms such as gout, bumblefoot, and abscesses. I cannot recommend treatments without examining the bird and there are not home remedies that would help any of these problem. These diseases are made worse with a poor diet and improper perches. You need to be sure the birds are eating 80% pellets, like Harrison's , and 20% healthy treats. They need a variety of perches including natural branches (not from outside), rope, and a pedicure perch.

Dr B

Click here to add your own comments