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Old 11-02-2016, 11:56 AM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Continuation of: Getting to the Foot of the Problem:

If your Amazon has already developed problems with its pads and claws, the important thing is to provide greater surface area to rest the claw upon. This is when a wider, flatter surface maybe needed (thin/redden pad application). For our Amazon’s, I use 2-1/2” (63 mm) wood flooring plank, cut to length, the tongue and grove cut-off and all four edges cut at 45 degrees, then sanded smooth on all surfaces. This application allows a wider surfaces area for the pads to rest upon, reducing the load on the thin areas, yet still allows the claw’s nails to close over the front and rear edge for stability. A large selection of other varying sizes and type of natural wood perches are still kept available. Parrots, which are larger or smaller then Amazons would require either a larger or smaller flat surface. Taking the time to observe your Parrot perching /roosting will provide a clearer determination of its specific needs. Observations are required from all four sides (front, back, left and right) and for each Digit, on each Claw.

For a more seriously affected Amazon, we would use a very soft and warm covered perch using a wide (4+” (100+ mm)) ‘old style’ stairway handrail top (found at specialty millwright shops). The selection of a cloth wrapping is very specific to the Parrot’s likings and varies widely from white terrycloth hand towels to high-end cloth table toweling of very specific colors and patterns. Our Cleo (now past) would only perch on autumn colors in a checkerboard pattern table towel. Never Cut Corners with your Special Needs Parrots! The cloth toweling is sized left –to- right for the perch, then tightly wrapped and safety pinned (on the underside) into place. This attachment style should never be used around more active Parrots! The covered perch provides a slight contour front –to- back, very wide resting (balancing) surface, and the towel assures a comfortable and non-demanding gripping surface for the nails, plus a warmer surface needed with arthritis.

There is another covering, which can be used on a broad cross-section of perches. Your Veterinarian’s office will call it; Vet Wrapping, it is also referred to as Athletic Wrap and is commonly available in retail stores such as Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart’s, etc. This flexible wrap will not adhere to feathers, fur, skin, etc., but only to itself. NOTE: This type of wrap should be a standard component in your Avian Medical Kit. It makes an excellent perch wrap as increasing the number of over-wraps can increase this wrap thickness. It comes in a wide range of colors and sizes. As with the towels, color choice is based solely on what your parrot prefers. As the number of over-wraps is increased, the cushiness is increased, and therefore less irritating to your Parrots sensitive pads and leg/claw structure. As with cloth toweling, the wrapping needs to be changed regularly to maintain a clean perch.

Taking the precaution now, by changing to larger and more varied natural wood perches will lessen the likelihood of your Amazon developing leg and claw problems.

If you have or know of someone who has a Special Needs Parrot, I strongly recommend an Internet Word Search using ‘special needs parrots –or- special needs birds.’ There are vast resources available, please use them!

NOTE: Parrots are very successful in hiding their illness; one of the clearest insights to the onset of an illness can be seen in a sudden, rapid, or substantial change in its behavior, manor, activity level or change in its eating pattern. Any indication that your Parrot maybe sick must be treated as if you’re Amazon is very sick. Seeing your Avian Vet ASAP will likely save your Amazon’s Life!

Amazon’s Have More Fun!

Sources: The Complete Pet Bird Owner’s Handbook (New Edition), Gary A. Gallerstein D.V.M, and The Amazona Society - Online Group
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