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My 4 month old cockatiel just lost one leg and may lose the other.

ellis

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Hello, I've been looking at this forum for a while, but now I feel compelled to post.

A few weeks ago, I brought home my first bird, a cockatiel. I really lucked out, he's got the best temperament. Unfortunately, 2 weeks ago, he got into an accident. Both legs were broken. A few days ago, his vet had planned to pin the broken bone, but when they went in for surgery they discovered it was infected and had to amputate. They can't assure me he will be able to keep his other foot as the break pushed the bones far apart. They're going to try and splint it for now, but it is impossible to fix in surgery. He can't have a foot that refuses to heal.

My bird (his name is Pidge), has been such a trooper. He's peppy, demanding cuddles and attention, eating and drink just fine, and learning to move on one (still casted!) leg. I've even been able to work on teaching him a way to step up, and this morning he could stand on my shoulder totally unaided! He still has just as much spunk as ever and I don't think he's figured out he's down a leg. Despite this, I worry a lot for him. He's not too interested in toys (never has been, and I've been trying to get him to play more), and his inability to get around really worries me for his quality of life. Would he even have one if he loses both legs? The vet says that if he is unable to adapt without legs, I should probably put him down. I don't want to, I want to try to give him the best life I can, but still. I wouldn't let him suffer.

I'm having trouble finding resources and help for caring for a bird without legs, or even having lost just one leg. I don't know how to adapt his cage, at all. He loves being up high. I had to purchase new food bowls I could stick up high so he'd eat. I'd love to give him platforms to get up higher, but since he can't fly still (breeder clipped his wings, not me) I have no idea how to give him a way to get up there.

What all can I do to help him adjust? Especially his cage.
 

Shezbug

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We have a member here with a bird that only has one leg who has some great threads on how she’s changed her cage set up to better suit her bird Java. @Brittany0208

We also have a member with a bird that has either no legs or no use of both legs (I can’t remember which :/) the bird is called Spee. I have a feeling I’ve remembered the owner incorrectly but I’ll tag anyway and keep my fingers crossed I’ve got the right member. @iamwhoiam
 

sunnysmom

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Poor birdie. I hope he'll be okay. You might want to move him into a flight cage. @enigma731 ?
 

Birdie Mama

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Hi, so sorry to hear about your baby.

was wondering if maybe ladders, lots of them so they are not so steep, to crawl up to the next level. They tend to use their beaks to climb anyway, he may be able to pull himself up the ladder and kind of drag his leg up or use his stump once its healed as a ‘closed fist’ to help balance. Birds are very resilient and can surprisingly adapt a lot easier than we think.

All the best. :heart:
 

Monica

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I have met a one legged cockatiel before. I should have taken him. He has (had?) the sweetest little personality!




There's also one cockatoo that received two prosthetic feet.



And another a 3D printed prosthetic leg




There is *NO* reason to put a bird down who has no feet.
 

Lady Jane

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he got into an accident. Both legs were broken
I am so very sorry, what happened? I hope you find all the help you need to take care of this unfortunate bird.
 

Fergus Mom

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Just wanted to say welcome, and I hope things will turn out for the best and that Pidge will be able to keep the existing leg. I'm so sorry.
 

Snowghost

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Hugs sweetie, I hope Pidge keeps his leg. This little guys are troopers that's for sure. Keep us posted on how he is doing.
 

Tiel Feathers

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He’s so cute, and I’m sorry he got injured. If you put a rug down on the floor or a table top, he will be able to get more traction. (I personally don’t let my birds on the floor because I feel there is too many opportunities to get sick or injured.)
 

Zara

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I really hope you will allow your birds wings to grow back.
My youngest has an unusable foot and her wings keep her a normal bird, they give her independence.
Your birds wings will change his life.
Welcome to the Avenue :)
 

Tiel Feathers

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I really hope you will allow your birds wings to grow back.
My youngest has an unusable foot and her wings keep her a normal bird, they give her independence.
Your birds wings will change his life.
Welcome to the Avenue :)
Oh yes, she definitely needs her wings to grow back. Very important due to her disability.
 

iamwhoiam

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Keep us updated about your 'tiel. Looks like he is doing well in the video you posted.
My sparrow's legs were broken when he fell or was pushed out of his nest. They never healed correctly and there was probably nerve damage to both legs. His right leg grew back and upward (splinting was done to correct growth direction but it wasn't 100% successful) and his left leg and foot have very limited function. He has never been able to perch but he gets around in his cage and celebrated his 11th bird-day this year.
Everything is very accessible for him. He is having more issues due to aging and arthritis and can no longer jump into his bowl by himself although he will jump out of it. He still moves around the bottom of his cage although his mobility isn't as good as it used to be.

For your guy good to have ramps, platforms and flat perches and keep food and water low. You can wrap the ramps, perches and platforms with vet wrap. Pad the bottom of the cage with layers of paper towels or layers of non-pilling fleece. You can also pad a bowl or dish with paper towels to create a resting area. Spee has a bowl with layers of paper towels and the bottom of his cage is covered with layers of paper towels.

Wishing the best for your 'tiel.
 
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