Weak legs - physical therapy?

I have a young Sun Conure. He had gotten a bacterial infection in early December of 2012. He lived after many months of being in a plastic bin, hand feedings 3x's per day for 90 days, and medicines. He has been cleared of the infection by the vet. He is finally eating again on his own, but we are still dealing with one major problem - weakness in the legs.

He went through a VERY tramatic sickness, including numerous seizures that we thought for sure would take his life. I feel (and you may tell me if you think I'm incorrect) that with that major trama, it really did a lot of damage to his legs (also being "bed-ridden" for months too).
Just this past weekend, I put a perch in the bin thinking maybe he can use it at his leisure and not get hurt like he might if he were in a cage and slipped. I noticed that his legs are really worn out now towards the end of the day....obviously because he's using the perch.

Is this an acceptable thing to do for him? Is there a chance he can regain strength and eventually become a normal Conure able to be in his cage all day again?

Comments for Weak legs - physical therapy?

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 15, 2013
Bird with weak legs
by: The Avian Vet

It is likely that his legs have atrophied from not using them while sick and hospitalized. The most important things you can do in this case is to help him exercise (physical therapy) and feed him a good diet –PELLETS should be 80% of the diet. I also recommend regular veterinary follow up exams to be sure he is progressing normally.

Dr B

Apr 11, 2013
Weak legs - physical therapy?
by: Linda

Make sure he is in a regular cage, and it can be smaller. Bar size has to be right for his feet. Put the perch at the lowest setting so he can get to food and water cups. The smaller cage will allow him to move around it easier. In time, I feel he will regain at least most of his strength in legs, and it wll take much time. Do not be in a hurry because he will remain weak until he works with his legs enough so they begin to build muscle he needs.

His diet is extremely important, and he needs to be eating 100% high quality organic pellets to help him grow and regain strength. He needs 80-85% in organic pellets like Harrisons found here with only 10-15% in the dark yellow, orange and green veggies in other words small amounts a few tims a week. If you have already started him on seeds, he will need to be weaned over to the pellets and below is article about how to go about it. Feed him NO human food, nuts, meat or eggs while feeding Harrisons because it will cause severe dietary imbalance. Harrisons is perfectly balanced to be a complete diet for all parrots.

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Thanks for writing and keep us posted on his progress.


Apr 11, 2013
weak legs
by: Alex

The best thing you can do is have him examined by an avian vet and explain exactly what you are doing and what he (bird) is doing.

This is the best way to work out why this is happening and what if anything can be done.

I do not know what the vet will find, but if he suggests euthanasia, you may have to think about it.

take him to an avian vet and you will bet the best answers tailored to your bird.

Best wishes.


Click here to add your own comments