African Grey Parrot
Zoo & Wildlife Medicine (avian and exotic pet)
Meet Frankie, an African grey parrot with a long-standing limp.
Before visiting the Specialist.
Frankie had always had a limp since coming to her owners as a young parrot. Over time she had become less able to use the foot for perching, holding food and climbing causing Frankie pain and the owner’s considerable worry.
Frankie was brought to avian and exotic pet specialist Matthew Fiddes. X-rays were taken which revealed a marked bend at the end of the tibiotarsal (shin) bone. This condition happens in young, fledgling parrots where the soft bone buckles and heals into a permanent deformity. Lack of calcium or dietary imbalances can cause soft bones which makes the deformity more likely.
To fix the problem, Matthew had to re-break the deformed bone under a general anaesthetic and set the leg to a normal position – a delicate procedure in a tiny bone only a few millimetres wide! The bone was fixed with a set of miniature pins inside the bone and as a frame outside the leg.
Frankie was able to use the leg immediately after surgery. Once the bone had healed in the correct position, the pins were removed in stages, complete after 6 weeks Frankie made a great recovery and is much more comfortable. She is back to creating mischief now she can get about so well!
Article provided by:
Dr Matthew Fiddes
RCVS Specialist in Zoo & Wildlife Medicine
Principal, CJ Hall Veterinary Surgeons – Rabbit, avian and exotic pet referrals