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Stiff legs?

ACtiels

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Hi all! One of my cockatiels, Cocoa, is a 13yo male. For a while now I’ve noticed that he seems a little clumsy when stepping up onto my finger, but didn’t think much of it. But then several days ago I noticed he was kind of hobbling? It doesn’t seem like one foot is worse than the other, its just like he isn’t picking his feet up all the way, and he seems to stumble more than usual.

I can’t see anything wrong with his feet or nails, and he’s acting normal otherwise. Does anyone have any ideas about what this could be? We are taking him to the vet but his appointment isn’t for 2 weeks.
 

sunnysmom

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Arthritis maybe? Does he grip ok or is it his legs? What kind of perches does he have?
 

ACtiels

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Arthritis maybe? Does he grip ok or is it his legs? What kind of perches does he have?
Arthritis would make sense! His grip seems ok, he’s still able to get around just fine. He has a few different perches, including some that are smooth on top but rough on the sides which I know are potentially problematic. We got them from their previous owner and just left them since they’ve never had any foot problems before. They also have a bird room and are only confined to the cage at night, so during the day he has access to a few play stands.
 

sunnysmom

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Arthritis would make sense! His grip seems ok, he’s still able to get around just fine. He has a few different perches, including some that are smooth on top but rough on the sides which I know are potentially problematic. We got them from their previous owner and just left them since they’ve never had any foot problems before. They also have a bird room and are only confined to the cage at night, so during the day he has access to a few play stands.
If it is arthritis, the vet can prescribe medication to help. I give my older birds a rope perch because it's softer on their feet as one of their perching options. You just have to watch as some birds will chew on them which can cause problems. So then I take it out if that's the case. You don't want nails getting caught in threads, etc. I also like adding some natural wood perches or even some platform perches. There are also supplements that may help. I buy an anti-inflammatory mixture for one of my birds from Christine's Chop Shop. It's a mixture of things like turmeric, ginger, etc.
 

ACtiels

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If it is arthritis, the vet can prescribe medication to help. I give my older birds a rope perch because it's softer on their feet as one of their perching options. You just have to watch as some birds will chew on them which can cause problems. So then I take it out if that's the case. You don't want nails getting caught in threads, etc. I also like adding some natural wood perches or even some platform perches. There are also supplements that may help. I buy an anti-inflammatory mixture for one of my birds from Christine's Chop Shop. It's a mixture of things like turmeric, ginger, etc.
I’ll look into those, thanks so much!
 

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Another thing is to ensure he is getting enough calcium and D3. These have a surprisingly important role in muscle control!
 

ACtiels

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Update: Cocoa had his vet appointment today and had some bloodwork done. The vet thinks it could be arthritis, or it could be something serious like heart disease because he’s a little overweight :(

We are starting him on anti inflammatories and may do an x ray depending on what the bloodwork shows. Please send prayers/good vibes for my boy!!
 

sunnysmom

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I hope he'll be okay. Anti inflammatory should help if it's arthritis. Also, we give my bird with arthritis- we think- gabapentin. You might want to ask your vet about that. It's for pain. Also, I give my older birds senior nutriberries. It has supplements in it aimed at helping older birds. Not that your bird is actually "old" but might be helpful.
 

Sparkles99

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Gabapentin is serious stuff. Is your bird okay, sunnysmom?! :sad14:
 

ACtiels

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I hope he'll be okay. Anti inflammatory should help if it's arthritis. Also, we give my bird with arthritis- we think- gabapentin. You might want to ask your vet about that. It's for pain. Also, I give my older birds senior nutriberries. It has supplements in it aimed at helping older birds. Not that your bird is actually "old" but might be helpful.
Thank you!! I’m hoping we’ll see improvement with the anti inflammatory, I think it’s Meloxicam? Our vet also recommended the senior birds nutriberries so I just ordered a bunch
 

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Hope your baby doing ok and meds help
 

sunnysmom

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Gabapentin is serious stuff. Is your bird okay, sunnysmom?! :sad14:
It's for Rosie. He's 34. So old for a cockatiel. Our vet thinks he has arthritis in his wings. So it's to help with any pain. He gets a really low dose. I think it's used a lot with animals. He's actually doing great for his age.
 

ACtiels

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Another update: the anti inflammatories seem to be helping!! Also, Cocoa’s bloodwork came back mostly normal which is good. His cholesterol and triglycerides were a little high, but the vet expected that since he was overweight. His calcium was also slightly high, which she said could be nothing but can sometimes be a sign of cancer. We don’t give them any calcium supplements so that does worry me a little :(

Our next step is probably going to be x-rays, so we’ll see how that goes!
 

ACtiels

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It's for Rosie. He's 34. So old for a cockatiel. Our vet thinks he has arthritis in his wings. So it's to help with any pain. He gets a really low dose. I think it's used a lot with animals. He's actually doing great for his age.
Wow 34 is incredible for a cockatiel!!! That’s awesome
 

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Another update: the anti inflammatories seem to be helping!! Also, Cocoa’s bloodwork came back mostly normal which is good. His cholesterol and triglycerides were a little high, but the vet expected that since he was overweight. His calcium was also slightly high, which she said could be nothing but can sometimes be a sign of cancer. We don’t give them any calcium supplements so that does worry me a little :(

Our next step is probably going to be x-rays, so we’ll see how that goes!
First off , what a great pic of your 4!
Wonderful that you had vet exam and work up..I'm real glad to hear of improvement.
 

ACtiels

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Cocoa update: the x rays went well! He definitely has arthritis, but also his heart and kidneys were right on the border between normal and enlarged. His kidney function came back normal on the blood work we did, but his vet wants to do a urine test to make sure he doesn’t have any kidney disease. If his kidneys are normal, she wants to try putting him on heart medicine in case he does have mild heart disease that could be contributing to his symptoms. I’m really hoping it’s just arthritis! I’m glad the vet is looking into everything, but waiting for all these test results is so stressful :(
 

sunnysmom

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I hope he'll be okay. So, something to discuss with your vet if he has kidney issues is eliminating pellets from his diet. There is a study that suggests that pellets can be hard on some cockatiels' kidneys. I don't know if he has a main diet of pellets. We have a cockatiel at the rescue who had extreme polyuria. I discussed with the vet the pellet issue and she said, I saw the study. Let's try taking him off. The polyuria stopped. Now of course, the problem with that is you have to make sure that the bird is getting enough vitamins through vegetables, etc. I don't think it's always the answer but it might be worth asking about if it is kidney disease. And I want to say not all cockatiels have issues with pellets obviously, but I do think they need some seeds in their diet and not just all pellets since they are granivores.
 

ACtiels

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I hope he'll be okay. So, something to discuss with your vet if he has kidney issues is eliminating pellets from his diet. There is a study that suggests that pellets can be hard on some cockatiels' kidneys. I don't know if he has a main diet of pellets. We have a cockatiel at the rescue who had extreme polyuria. I discussed with the vet the pellet issue and she said, I saw the study. Let's try taking him off. The polyuria stopped. Now of course, the problem with that is you have to make sure that the bird is getting enough vitamins through vegetables, etc. I don't think it's always the answer but it might be worth asking about if it is kidney disease. And I want to say not all cockatiels have issues with pellets obviously, but I do think they need some seeds in their diet and not just all pellets since they are granivores.
I’ll definitely talk to the vet about that, thank you!! He is on a mostly pellet diet and the vet actually told us to cut back on seeds because he is overweight. I haven’t noticed any abnormal poops, just his legs, so hopefully his kidneys are ok!
 
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