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Burns or bumblefoot?

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Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Sprite.birb » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:18 pm

Hello. I have a 3 year old canary winged parakeet and I've recently noticed red spots on the bottom of his feet. I noticed them 3 weeks ago and they looked to be getting better but are looking slightly worse again. I first thought it was bumblefoot and was devastated because I thought I kept proper perches and a clean environment. Now I'm wondering if it could be his heated perch. Has anyone experienced burns from heated perches? I have now removed the heated perch because he was spending all of his time on it. We also wrapped unnatural perches in vet wrap for cushion and have been rubbing vitamin e oil on his feet and cleaning them daily. Any recommendations on what to do next? Oh, and when I originally called my vet I told him I thought it was bumblefoot and he recommended padding perches and adding more vitamin a to his diet and that because it was minor bumblefoot there was no need to bring him into the vet unless they become ulcerated. I'm trying to include photos but the site is saying they are too big
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Loriusgarrulus » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:30 am

I have never used heated perched as my parrots sit down over their feet at night as most birds except hawks do at night.
It was a good idea to remove the heated perch as sometimes heated pads, perches etc get hot spots and this might be the cause.
If every thing is kept clean it is unlikely to be bumble foot although not impossible.
If your bird is indoors you shouldn't need a heated perch unless you are in an unheated house in a very cold climate.
Has he got natural branches for other perches or the ceramic and concrete type to wear claws down as these can cause sores on the feet.
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Wolf » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:34 am

To the best of my knowledge the primary reasons for a bird developing bumblefoot are a deficiency in their diet such as vitamin A, which is best addressed by giving foods that are high in beta carotene and not by trying to give the bird this vitamin directly. Vitamin A is a fat soluable vitamin and it remains in the body for a long period of time and supplementing with vitamin A can lead to too much which is as bad as too little.

The second primary reason is perches. Birds require perches of different diameters and shapes as well of when they are on their perches the weight always hits the same points eventually leading to the bruising of the pads that will lead to bumblefoot. The best perches are made from all natural bird safe woods with the bark left intact.
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:03 pm

Heated perches are a gimmick - birds don't need them EVER no matter how cold it is because nature gave them a special blood circulation 'mechanism' that makes it so they never get frostbite even when they are standing on ice (it's called 'counter-current heat exchange circulation'). Please remove this perch from the cage and don't use it again.

If the bird has been standing on dowels all along, the most likely 'direct' (I will explain the 'indirect' below) cause is the perches so you need to change them for tree branches instead. Use branches in three main diameters, one a bit too big, one perfect (this is a perch of a diameter that allows the bird's toes to wrap around it with the tips of its front claws not touching the tips of the back claws) and one a bit too small. And don't make them all perfectly parallel to the bottom of the cage, either. For now, wrap them in something soft (I use paper towel) and give the bird a platform-like place so he can put his feet flat on it. I would make sure its feet are clean to avoid infection but I would not put anything on them (not even vit E oil) unless there is an open wound (sore).

Make sure the bird has plenty of fresh food to eat because, aside from the bad perches, lack of betacarotene in the diet causes it, too (this is the 'indirect' cause). Dark leafy greens and orange and yellow veggies do the trick (try baked sweet potato, butternut squash, cantaloupe, etc) but, if the bird has been on a bad diet for long (mostly seeds and not enough produce), you can get a multivitamin/mineral supplement and use it daily for a week or so (don't overdose, make sure you are giving him the right amount because, when it comes to vitamins/minerals and birds, more is NOT better).
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Sprite.birb » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:21 pm

I removed the heated perch as soon as it occurred to me that it could be burning his feet and I have had all perches wrapped with vet wrap for 2 week now. My vet recommended more vitamins a in his diet but he advised me not to use a supplement. I always give fresh fruits and veggies at least once a day but I have increased the orange veggies and have been trying to get him to eat leafy greens but he hates them of course. As far as perches go, I did have one dowel in the cage that he rarely used and the other perches are either natural bark covered perches in many various sizes or rope perches. besides the rarely used dowel, the only unnatural perch was the heated perch and he spent a significant amount time on it. It had been wrapped in vet wrap the entire time of use because I found it to be slippery. I feel as though the heated perch could have caused the bumblefoot since it was the newest perch?
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Sprite.birb » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:55 pm

IMG_0756.JPG
IMG_0756.JPG (33.8 KiB) Viewed 1120 times


This was his feet when I first noticed it. It improved for 2 weeks and then suddenly looked like this again if not a little more red
Last edited by Sprite.birb on Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Sprite.birb » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:56 pm

IMG_0757.JPG
IMG_0757.JPG (56.14 KiB) Viewed 1120 times
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:58 pm

Yes, going by the set-up you have (good perches, good food, etc), I would agree with you that the most likely culprit is the heated perch. Try using something softer than vetwrap (maybe gauze?) because I don't like the fact that it has been going on for two weeks... Why did your vet say not to give it a multivitamin/mineral supplement? Do you feed pellets by any chance? If so, he is right and the bird should be getting enough vit A from them.

PS. Yes, I see the two tiny red spots (good catch!!! :thumbsup: ) but it doesn't look like bumble foot at all so don't worry about that. I would still eliminate the dowel though...
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Sprite.birb » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:06 pm

My vet said that oversupplementing vitamin a can be a serious problem and that for now we should avoid it. He tends to be very conservative when treating my bird and so far that has proved correct in the situations I've sought his care.
I don't think sprite (my bird) was eating enough of his pellets, we were giving him seeds and pellets as well as fruits and veggies so we have cut out all seeds for the last month and are going to stick to pellets and produce only from now on. My vet said that should help if a lack of vitamin a is the culprit.

I would very much like to get rid of the dowel! He loves to run along the length of it though, does any one have any recommendations on where I can find a long natural perch?? I live in a very rural town so I have to order most things online or travel a couple of hours to the nearest bird store when the weather allows it (I was going to go this weekend but it dumped snow). He doesn't perch on the dowel ever, he just runs along it when we come home from work or if he wants out of his cage.
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Re: Burns or bumblefoot?

Postby Loriusgarrulus » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:14 pm

Have you got anyone who owns an apple tree, pear tree, hazel, beech, willow that you can beg a branch from. You can notch the ends to fit in the bars across the cage.
There are other safe tree branches for parrots if you google them.
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