stiff fingers

by Philippe

Yesterday i notice that my 19 years old white fronted amazone parrot can't use his fingers, they look like they are paralyse... even when eating, instead of taking food in is claws like usual, he just leaves it in his bowl to eat. He's been on a seed diet all is life, with dayly fruit and vegetable. I'm getting very worried. He eats normally and his behavior seems normal, but walking and going up and down his cage is very difficult because of his feet.
I read a lot about internal problem... i lived in a remote area.. so avian vet are not to be found anywhere.

If it was a liver or renal problem can a diet modification be the answer? could he get back his grasping ability? Or is it to late?

Thank you for your time

Comments for stiff fingers

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Jun 11, 2008
Amazon foot problem
by: The Vet

I cannot diagnose this without seeing your bird, obviously. The symptoms you are describing can be associated with many different causes. The list includes arthritis, liver disease, arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, stroke, gout, and even obesity. Given that this is an (older) Amazon, and that he has been on only seed his whole life, his problems are most likely nutritional.

Feet problems can also be related to bad perches. You should have a variety of perches including natural branches, rope, and a pedicure perch. If you are using round dowels, these are contributing to his feet problems.

Some of his ailments may be reversible with diet and exercise, but a treatment regime cannot be prescribed without diagnosing the causes. I suspect he has multiple problems and all of them should be addressed. There are special prescription diets that are used as an adjunct treatment for liver disease or kidney disease; however, they should not be fed to your bird until a diagnosis is made. He is not going to get better without medical treatment, and he will certainly become worse.

The only things you can do at home without a veterinarian is to: 1) Get him on a better diet. The best you can feed is Harrison's High Potency. Feed 80% Harrison's with 20% treats, focusing on fresh vegetables. 2) Improve his perches. 3) Give him a full spectrum light. This will help him look better, feel better, and improve his nutrition because of the production of natural vitamin D3.

Finally, find an avian veterinarian and drive there for help.

Dr. B

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