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  1. #1
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    Toes curling under help!

    I have a two year old male lovebird named Milo. Last night my husband and I put him in his cage, right up on his perch like usual, and then we went out to dinner. When we returned I went upstairs to get Milo out and he was sitting on the floor of his cage. He has never done this before so I immediatly started trying to figure out what was wrong with him. When I looked at his feet his two back toes on each foot were curled up next to the front two toes. We took him to after hours emergency care but no one was able to help us as they didn't have an avian vet on staff. I took him to his regular vet as soon as they opened this morning. They sent us home with an antibiotic liquid that we are supposed to apply to his feet twice daily. The vet says many different things may have caused this condition but he says the most likely cause is trauma. He does still move his legs and try to hop around as best he can. The vet also says Milo does have feeling in his toes although I'm not sure how he knows this.

    I am just wondering if anyone else has had this experience with their bird and could offer any suggestions as to what this may be. Milo does not seem to be in any pain and he is eating, drinking and pottying normally. It is very hard for me to watch him struggle to walk and I am hoping his toes will straighten out very soon. Any advice is appreciated.

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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    Hopefully the medicine will help. I have no advice to give, but there are a few on here who may when they check the boards.

    I know some of the members arranged shelves in their cages for birds with foot problems, because perching was hard for them. You could maybe try something like that until his foot gets better? Might at least make him a little more comfy while sleeping.

  3. #3
    Snuggled, not stirred Teenager BridgeyRoo's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    My lovie, Tini had an accident a couple years back of my own making. She definitely suffered a trauma and has subsequently lost the use of one of her legs (a teapot fell on her), but to this day we are unsure why - there was no break and no other damage.

    The vet told me that if she regained some use of her leg within a month or two, then she had a very good chance of completely regaining function. In order to try to help, I would do some physical therapy with her - just gently rub her feet and stretch out her toes and flex her legs. Perhaps you can try to gently manipulate his toes, rub them a bit.

    If you haven't already, I would take out his grate in the bottom of the cage so his feet won't get stuck and make it easier for him to move around. Also put some no-knapp towels in the bottom in case he takes a tumble and his little feet won't get caught in a no-knapp towel either.

    Hopefully this is just a temporary set-back and he'll come right around! Fingers crossed for you and your little one!

  4. #4
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    I am sorry to hear that something is wrong with Milo. Bridget gave you great advice on how to take care of him and also I agree he needs some low platform perches to sit on until he heals up. If he is still eating and pooping fine maybe he did hurt himself somehow and hopefully he will get better soon.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  5. #5
    Tailfeather pixibubbles's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    sounds like you can handle him ok as you are applying lotion.
    i'm with the physio idea Bridg suggested. IF it doesnt hurt him them try and very, very gently uncurl his toes and put them against your finger so he's sort of perching on you- if he's happy lying on his back in your hand do it like this so no weight is on the foot.

    As to why it happens? He could have just caught himself on a toy or banged it- and the automatic reaction is to pull it up away from the pain.

    Maybe have a look around the cage and see if you could work out where a toe could get caught and rearrange? My perches are attached by big washers and i hadnt noticed one had moved a bit and Sammy was messing about and somehow slid his foot down the bar and got it caught between the washer and the bar. He got out fine after a few seconds (seemed longer to me though!) but was rubbing his foot and holding up for quite a while afterwards and was a bit bruised.

    There are illnesses that can cause loss of feeling in the legs- but that isnt what seems to have happened here- and Milo is too young for most! As to checking feeling- they um.... get a pince and see if they react. Not nice but effective, save and simple lol


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

  6. #6
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    On Saturday I moved into a new home with new carpet. Could it be a reaction to the new carpet because he was on it some, but not a lot?

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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    New carpet? Sometimes new carpeting has harmful off gassing that you can smell. Its possible it could affect your bird. You need to really ventilate your place out if you can smell anything. Physically though, I cant imagine your bird's toes would have been caught on it unless its really long.
    We got lots of Ham here

  8. #8
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    Quote Originally Posted by melvinjl View Post
    On Saturday I moved into a new home with new carpet. Could it be a reaction to the new carpet because he was on it some, but not a lot?
    New carpeting will offgas for approximately 3 months and you are seeing Milo's reaction to it. He doesn't have to be "on" it, just in the same airspace with it. If you have someone who could take Milo for a couple of months, that's exactly what I would do. I'll bet the farm that the problem is the new carpet. The gas that's being released is affecting nerves so that could be why Milo's toes are curled under.
    ~Valerie~

  9. #9
    Tailfeather pixibubbles's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    3 months?
    whooops
    Sammy was in my place playing on the floor 3 days after my carpet was fitted.

    Worth asking your vet about it.
    Do you know what brand the carpet is? And how it was fitted? (glue vs runners and tacks)


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

  10. #10
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    We got new carpeting years ago when we had boomer and he was out in the same room with the carpeting within a day of having it put in. We did NOT get the carpet with stain master put on it because this is bad for birds so if your new carpet has stain master on it you may need to put Milo in a place far away from the new carpet. Can you smell it at all? Was he in the house when it was installed? The glue really stinks and if he got some of that in his nose it could be that as well. But then again if he is eating and pooping good it would be so odd for him to be sick, usually things effect there poops right away. I still think perhaps he fell off his perch or landed really hard and bruised his feet or toes and hopefully he will get better.

    I think metal toxicity will make there feet do strange things but he would act sick with metals so still it makes me wonder if he injured himself and he is not sick.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  11. #11
    Tailfeather pixibubbles's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    and if it were gas there would almost certainly be respitory symptons.


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

  12. #12
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    Good thinking Helen, there sure would be signs something was wrong if it was respiratory.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    Thanks for all of your advice.

    We took Milo to another vet this morning and he told us that the problem with his feet could be caused by a spinal injury, a calcium deficiency or a tumor pressing on his nerves. After taking x-rays the vet told us Milo did not have any tumors. The vet did see a spot on his spine that looked very weak. They drew blood to run a blood test to determine whether or not the problem was casued by a calcium deficiency however they have to get just the right amount for the machine to test it correctly and they took a little to much. Since he is so small they didn't want to draw more blood for a second test. He sent us home with a calcuim supplement that also has other vitamins in it and also a steroid medicine we are supposed to give him twice a day for the next 5 days. The vet said if these medicines are working we should see an improvement in Milo by Monday or Tuesday. Our vet also told us there there is a 50/50 shot that Milo will regain the use of his feet. My husband and I have taken your advice on the physical therapy idea and we are trying to exercise Milos legs and toes by laying him on his back and gently moving them around.

    Thanks again.

  14. #14
    Tailfeather pixibubbles's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    too much? couldnt they squirt some out lol

    Woooeee for no tumors though!

    poor lil milo, manhandled, xrayed and blood drawn all in one day- i bet he is ready for some major millet and TLC

    I really hope the meds work. Just watch his eating as calcium is nasty tasting- i know Sammy wont eat unflavoured cuttle fish- but with everything happening maybe the vet didnt mention taste to you?

    but- even if worst case and the meds dont work- 'Bridgeyroo's little Tini does just great.
    your little guy is still really young tho- so hopefully he'll bounce right back in no time


    So how is he doing after his big day?


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

  15. #15
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    I was so hoping his feet were improving enough that he was getting a bit better but guess not if you took him to a vet again. It really sounds like this vet knows what he is talking about and doing so hopefully he gave the magic stuff to make him all better. Poor Milo, he must be wiped out after all that done to him, you too because after all that is your baby they are man handling and trying to help. Its GREAT they saw no tumors and hopefully if its his spine it will heal back up with extra care.

    If you dont already give him pellets I suggest you try to buy some roudybush pellets or better yet look up the company and go to there site and ask them to send you some samples. Lots of lovies just love roudybush and its somewhat easier to find then all the others, hands down it was boomers favorite food of all, he loved it. He was also a sick little man and it made me feel good knowing he was eating something so good for him. There are lots of other really good pellets to give him but it seems birds just go for that roudybush to me.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  16. #16
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    Quote Originally Posted by pixibubbles View Post
    too much? couldnt they squirt some out lol

    Woooeee for no tumors though!

    poor lil milo, manhandled, xrayed and blood drawn all in one day- i bet he is ready for some major millet and TLC

    I really hope the meds work. Just watch his eating as calcium is nasty tasting- i know Sammy wont eat unflavoured cuttle fish- but with everything happening maybe the vet didnt mention taste to you?

    but- even if worst case and the meds dont work- 'Bridgeyroo's little Tini does just great.
    your little guy is still really young tho- so hopefully he'll bounce right back in no time


    So how is he doing after his big day?
    What happened with this Bridgeyroo's Tini? Milo is still his same self but he just cant really use his feet. He is doing good after his visit to the vet today. The vet seems hopefully but its hard for me to stay positive with all of this happening. Thanks for everyones support.

  17. #17
    Tailfeather pixibubbles's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    I think Tini landed on a teapot and managed to pull it over on herself and get squished. I tihnk she has no feeling at all in the leg, but it doesnt stop her causing mischief from Bridgey's posts!

    She's not the only one either- there are a lot of other birds- especially the smaller bugs and teils who have misformed feet or are missing legs- they still leave great lives. Birds are fighters and adapt fast.

    Plus our little lovies are real little fighter- more so than other birds and Milo is still young. I'm sure he'll heal up quick


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

  18. #18
    Snuggled, not stirred Teenager BridgeyRoo's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    Helen is close - it was more human error than bird...Tini likes to be on the floor and she was on the kitchen floor as usual (I knew she was there) and I moved the teapot from the stove closer to the sink to fill it and I was paying more attention to her than the teapot and must not have gotten it all the way onto the sink...anyhow somehow I turned my head for a second and the darn thing was on her (fell from the counter). The problem was I only saw her out from under it and didn't see how it hit her. We rushed her to the vet (an hour away) and the initial diagnosis was a broken leg. But then they did an x-ray and found no breaks. Her leg was unresponsive but it was warm, so there was obvious blood flow. Her toes began curling around the foot. The vet put a splint on the leg to keep it straight and straighten out the foot. She ate it off that night and caused a big gash in her leg. I continued to exercise her leg and foot, but unfortunately she never regained use of it. And we don't know what exactly caused it either (nerve, spinal, etc), although the best guess is nerve damage, because she had trouble laying an egg after that too and it's the same nerve that would help her.

    Now her leg just sticks out backwards and her toes are pretty much completely curled around. I have to be be very diligent about getting those nails clipped so they don't dig in. And although she can't feel the leg, she manages to pull out every feather that grows back so she has a naked leg. Yet despite all of this, she has adapted so very well and did so surprisingly quickly. The only adaptation I had to make to her cage was to take out the grate and add the no-knapp towels and a few extra rope perches. She still plays the same, climbs the same, scales her boing the same, and hops much more!!!

  19. #19
    Fledgeling Cheaps's Avatar
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    Re: Toes curling under help!

    I'm always inspired how animals take disfigurements in stride and just "get on with it". We humans are a whiny bunch sometimes.
    We got lots of Ham here

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