Do you notice your budgie foot curled up?
At first, you may think it is just a normal thing and nothing to be worried about. But then again, there are several other reasons why your pet may be doing this, which is causing you some concerns.
This is why we have created this post to shed some light on the real reason why your budgie’s foot tends to curl up and what this actually means. Let’s get right into it.
Budgie Foot Curled Up – Why It Happens
Some folks wonder about their budgies, particularly those that are quite old, somewhere around 10 years old or so, whose feet tend to curl up.
Now, in addition to curling up, the bird also starts to lose mobility. While the diet is generally good and the droppings are still normal, one foot starts to curl up. It is easy to assume that it could be due to old age, yet it may not always be the case.
When this issue is accompanied with losing mobility and strength to the feet, then it can most certainly be concerning to any owner.
But avian vets say that in the case of foot issues with budgies, it is usually never a foot disorder. For instance, it may be linked with a kidney tumor, and this does not always show up in the exterior portion of their body. Instead, the signs are observed in reduced mobility and limping. This occurs as the tumor begins to press on some nerves in the body.
As an example, a disorder called renal adenocarcinoma tends to invade the bird’s ischiatic nerves. Then, these nerves are constricted and lead to an atrophy of the leg.
But there are also other common causes of the foot curling up such as fatty liver disease. If you have a budgie that has a seed-only diet or mostly seed only as its main diet, then your pet has a high risk of developing fatty liver diseases. Because of such, a balanced diet is always highly recommended for your pet – no matter what manufacturers say about the seeds they sell. Even fortified seeds are not entirely healthy if your budgie does not have a balanced diet.
Aside from these health issues, there is also a possibility of skeletal problems. In fact, even toxicities and deficiencies are linked with restlessness and loss of balance. When associated with the foot curling up and some breathing issues, then you should get your pet checked by an avian vet immediately.
It is also worth noting that a crop issue can be linked with the foot curling up. Anything that can result in a nutritional or electrolyte imbalance can cause such issues, too. This is why it is always best to have a vet take a look at your pet when you observe these symptoms.
What You Can Do To Help
If you would like to provide immediate help to your pet and make it feel a little better, then you may want to help maintain its body heat. This is not an ultimate solution, of course, but it is something you can do while your pet waits to get medical treatment.
Provide a heat source into your pet’s cage. This helps for sick birds or those that are distressed and require to retain their body heat. For instance, you may use some rice socks, or another non-electric heat source.
Using a clean and thick sock, fill it up with plain white rice (raw) up to 3/4 of the sock. Tie the end in a tight knot and put in a microwave for 1.5 minutes. Afterwards, shake it to make sure the heat is evenly distributed. It should not be too hot for your bird.
Then, layer one portion of the cage with a thick towel. Put some clothespins to keep it secured. The goal is to make sure that the beak does not reach and take off the towel. Cip your heating pad right above the towel. You need to inspect once in a while that the cage does not overheat or that your pet is not gnawing through the heating pad.
You can also put the heating pad on the base. This is helpful for birds that are bottom-bound. Keep the heat on low since you would not want your pet to get very hot. We highly recommend the rice sock option since it is efficient, practical and much safer to use for your pet.
Additionally, you should use a thick blanket as a cover for the cage. But it would be good to uncover the front door to allow for some air to circulate. This can also help your pet to stay calm and see what’s out there. Plus, you can easily check your pet when the cage is not completely covered.
With a cover on the cage, this helps to retain some heat.
You should also give some food and water to your budgie. But if it refuses to drink, you may want to use an eyedropper to provide a couple of drops of water or even Pedialyte for better hydration every half an hour. Be careful when administering the liquid since you would not want the bird to inhale it and cause pneumonia.
Some other foods to give to your pet include organic baby food such as yams, squash and sweet potatoes, as well as some mixed vegetables. But of course, these are only temporary solutions to make sure your pet stays okay until it gets professional help.
If you have a budgie foot curled up – and if there are a few other symptoms involved – then it is best to have your pet checked by an avian vet sooner than later. These are some of the things you can do while waiting for a specialist to attend to your pet and be sure to never delay a vet consultation to avoid any complications with your budgie’s condition.