Quaker Parrot holding foot in tight ball and ripping out his toenails - Help!

by Concerned Friend

Quaker Parrot, about six months old, recently had a limp foot and would not put any weight on it. He was brought to where he was purchased where the seller said that it likely wasn't broken and to not go to the vet. Next day he began biting at his toenails and ripping them off, causing it to bleed.

He was brought to a vet (non avian vet) who made a temporary collar and bandaged his foot but he too did not suspect any broken foot or leg. Next day he was brought to an avian vet who removed collar and examined foot/leg. She too felt the leg isn't broken but suspected there may be some nerve damage and placed the toes back in the correct position and re-wrapped the foot.

During this time he was placed in a smaller cage as suggested by vet/breeder. During these five days he started to use the foot a little more and stopped pecking at it. He used it to scratch his head and also put weight on it. Five days later bird was brought back to vet for checkup. Vet liked the progress but did not like the ID band (said it was in the way) and cut it off and re-wrapped foot with lighter material (less padding).

Later that day Quaker Parrot began pecking at the foot again and managed to rip off some of the padding and went back to work on the the nails and managed to rip one of the toenails completely off causing more bleeding. He also balled the foot back up. He was brought right back to the vet,who straightened the toes back in the right position and re-wrapped. Right now he is supposed to go back in a week.

My question is, does anyone here have a clue what is going on with him? He was fine one night then the next he had a limp/curled up foot then started to bite it. I don't know what happened to him. Vet suspects nerve damage - if that's the case will it heal? Will he stop mutilating his foot and pulling out the nails?

Thank you.

Comments for Quaker Parrot holding foot in tight ball and ripping out his toenails - Help!

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Mar 10, 2012
Bird pulling out toenails
by: The Avian Vet

This could have been caused by an injury or it could be caused by a neuropathy with unknown origin. Quakers are also known for self mutilation which can be caused by behavior abnormalities or even phantom pain. I think that someone should have taken x-rays to see if there is an internal problem that could be causing this. Also someone needs to do some blood work and provide medical management with pain medication and others. I recommend that you seek a specialist.

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Dr B

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