Sick Bird Symptom: Weak Legs / Paralysis

Weak Legs / Paralysis

Other potential solutions for weak legs / paralysis

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    Nerve damage following injury (may resolve itself over time as nerve regenerates / heals or, if nerve has been severed, may be permanent)

    Aspergillosis: Can affect just about any parrot. Respiratory symptoms, dfficulty breathing, rapid breathing and/or exercise intolerance are common If any portion of the central nervous system has become involved, the bird may have tremors, an uneven or wobbly gait, seizures, or paralysis.


    • Susceptible Species: All domestic poultry: fowls, turkeys, water fowl, pheasants and also most wild birds are susceptible. Carrion-eating birds can withstand large doses of the toxin without showing any symptoms.
    • Botulism occurs sporadically in poultry raised under conditions where hygiene is poor and where birds have access to rotting carcasses or other contaminated or decaying material. It also occurs occasionally in wild birds particularly if they are feeding in stagnant water holes. Botulism is usually more common in the warmer months.
    • Clinical Signs/Field Signs Healthy birds, affected birds, and dead birds in various stages of decay are commonly found in the same area. The toxin affects the nervous system by preventing impulse transmission to muscles which results in flaccid paralysis. Consequently, birds are unable to use their wings and legs normally or control the third eyelid, neck muscles, and other muscles. Birds with paralyzed neck muscles cannot hold their heads up and often drown. Death can also result from water deprivation, electrolyte imbalance, respiratory failure, or predation.

    Calcium Deficiency:

    Conure Bleeding Syndrome (CBS) appears in Index of Conure Species with rapid onset of weakness and somnolence.

    African Greys are known to be susceptible to Calcium deficiency, which leads to seizures and/or leg paralysis, sudden collapse or fainting.Although the pathogenesis is not clearly understood, it appears as though these birds are unable to mobilize their body calcium stores.

    • The most common health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency are: weakened immune systems / susceptibility to diseases, soft bones, bent keels, splayed legs, abnormal beak development, reproductive problems (egg binding, soft-shell eggs, dying chicks) as well as seizures and, to a lesser extend, Stargazing (twisted back)
    • In areas where access to natural sunlight is limited (such as in the northern hemisphere during the winter months), full-spectrum lamps can be used to provide UVA and UVB rays.
    • Natural food sources rich in Vitamin D
    • Potentially discuss supplementation with your vet. Supplementation needs to be carefully screened and supervised by a vet since an excess of vitamin D (in the form of a supplement) causes kidney damage and retards growth.
    Index of Bird DiseasesSymptoms and Potential Causes

    Bird Species and Their Respective Syndromes (Lists diseases specific bird species are most susceptible to)

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      Marek’s Disease – Occurs mainly in chickens under 16 weeks of age. Symptoms: Leg and/or wing paralysis, high mortality, tumors on visceral organs.

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        Newcastle Disease: Respiratory distress, and rasping followed in 1 or 2 days by a paralysis of legs and wings and bad down between legs or straight back over shoulders, twisting of neck (stargazing). In adult birds, loss of production along with some respiratory distress and paralysis after 4 to 6 days.

        Toxins: Exposure to Nicotine Tobacco Products and other Toxins: Common symptoms: Excitation, tachypnea, salivation and emesis; with severe cases, muscular weakness, paralysis, twitching, depression, tachycardia, dyspnea, collapse, coma or cardiac arrest.

        North American Arbovirus Disease. Pigeons. Common symptoms: Causes mental retardation, convulsions and paralysis. The mortality rate may be around 60%.

        St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) – Affects pigeons, sparrows and finches. Common symptoms: Paralysis, coma and death. The mortality rate is usually 5-10%, in some cases up to 33%.

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          Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.

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