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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 12-06-2018, 11:21 AM
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Black spot on leg?

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Hi all!

I have a lutino cockatiel, female, a little over a year old.

I noticed that she had a very odd black spot on her lower left leg. It's mostly black with a little bit of red on it. I tried to see if it was perhaps just a scab or dirt, but washing her or gently rubbing the spot didn't remove it.

I'm a little bit concerned now because I immediately jumped to the worst case scenario (skin cancer).

Does anyone have any experiences with this?

I will likely still take her to a vet no matter what, but I'm very worried.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:28 AM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

I................................think your jumping the gun on your fears a bit.....I'd take it to an AVN, but I don't think I'd personally even worry about it for a few days. Looks more like a scab or bruise than anything else; if you had just asked "what do you think this is?" I would have said she rubbed it on the carpet or upholstery a bit much running around....

Last edited by clark_conure; 12-06-2018 at 11:31 AM. Reason: he to she
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:29 AM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

Hi, welcome to the forum. Thanks for posting pics, that's very helpful. It look like a pressure sore to me, does the rest on her hocks( ankles) ? I would have you vet look at, because if she has an infection in the joint or something it will need to be treated. What kind of Perches does she have? It's good to have very large perches, we're the foot is almost flat when standing on it, on down in decreasing sizes, made out of different material. Don't use dowels, or sandpaper ...dies she walk normal, put weight on that leg normally?
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:32 AM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

Quote: Originally Posted by clark_conure View Post
I................................think your jumping the gun on your fears a bit.....I'd take it to an AVN, but I don't think I'd personally even worry about it for a few days. Looks more like a scab or bruise than anything else; if you had just asked "what do you think this is?" I would have said he rubbed it on the carpet or upholstery a bit much running around....
Admittedly, I'm a bit of a worrier when it comes to my birds. They're my babies, so anything that could be harmful to them rings an alarm bell. I certainly hope that it's just a scab, though!

Quote: Originally Posted by Laurasea View Post
Hi, welcome to the forum. Thanks for posting pics, that's very helpful. It look like a pressure sore to me, does the rest on her hocks( ankles) ? I would have you vet look at, because if she has an infection in the joint or something it will need to be treated. What kind of Perches does she have? It's good to have very large perches, we're the foot is almost flat when standing on it, on down in decreasing sizes, made out of different material. Don't use dowels, or sandpaper ...dies she walk normal, put weight on that leg normally?
Hello, thank you!

She's very active, spends most of her day outside of the cage and waddles all over the place. Doesn't seem to bother her physically. In her cage she only has perches made out of wood, a big vine and a rope. She's never had plastic perches in her cage.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:56 AM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

Welcome to the forums! A picture is worth a thousand words. Doesn't look serious, but any abnormality is cause for concern. If the spot persists, suggest you take your cockatiel to a certified avian vet.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:10 PM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Welcome to the forums! A picture is worth a thousand words. Doesn't look serious, but any abnormality is cause for concern. If the spot persists, suggest you take your cockatiel to a certified avian vet.
Thank you for the input! I'm glad the consensus seems to be that it probably isn't anything serious. I'll wait the weekend out and see if it lightens up / becomes smaller, and if it doesn't I'll take her to my AV to get her checked just in case. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:11 PM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

I would talk to your Avian Vet, as it could be an infection such as Bumblefoot. One note, however, is that your cockatiel is not a lutino! I think she is a whiteface lutino, aka albino.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:37 PM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

Quote: Originally Posted by FlyBirdiesFly View Post
I would talk to your Avian Vet, as it could be an infection such as Bumblefoot. One note, however, is that your cockatiel is not a lutino! I think she is a whiteface lutino, aka albino.
I will definitely do so! I'll call my AV tomorrow. I'll also update this thread once I know more.

And oh! Yes, sorry, I always shorten it to lutino for convenience She is indeed a little whiteface snowball.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:52 PM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

It does look to be the start of Bumblefoot to me too...It looks like she also might have a bit starting on the underside of one of her toes as well, but I can't quite tell from the photo...The good news is that it's the "start" of Bumblefoot, and so it's the best time, well, the only time, to stop it...Bumblefoot is a condition that birds often get on their feet due to their perches being all one diameter and flat, like a dowel perch (either wood or plastic, doesn't matter)...That's why it's very important that all of your birds perches be "uneven" throughout their diameter, just like a natural tree-branch is.

If you have any "dowel" perches inside of your birds cage, either wood or plastic, they need to be removed and switched-out for natural-branch perches. This will keep her from constantly putting pressure on the same areas on the underside of her feet/toes all the time, which is what causes Bumblefoot. And if you do that ASAP, the sore or sores she already has should start to clear-up pretty directly. It's when it's allowed to continue, meaning that the bird's perches aren't changed-out for natural ones, that Bumblefoot gets really bad, and it's almost impossible to do anything about because it can't heal while they are still putting pressure on the sores. So it's great that you've caught it early. Just make sure that you have no perches inside of her cage, wooden or plastic, that are regular, uniform dowel rods.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:00 PM
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Re: Black spot on leg?

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
It does look to be the start of Bumblefoot to me too...It looks like she also might have a bit starting on the underside of one of her toes as well, but I can't quite tell from the photo...The good news is that it's the "start" of Bumblefoot, and so it's the best time, well, the only time, to stop it...Bumblefoot is a condition that birds often get on their feet due to their perches being all one diameter and flat, like a dowel perch (either wood or plastic, doesn't matter)...That's why it's very important that all of your birds perches be "uneven" throughout their diameter, just like a natural tree-branch is.

If you have any "dowel" perches inside of your birds cage, either wood or plastic, they need to be removed and switched-out for natural-branch perches. This will keep her from constantly putting pressure on the same areas on the underside of her feet/toes all the time, which is what causes Bumblefoot. And if you do that ASAP, the sore or sores she already has should start to clear-up pretty directly. It's when it's allowed to continue, meaning that the bird's perches aren't changed-out for natural ones, that Bumblefoot gets really bad, and it's almost impossible to do anything about because it can't heal while they are still putting pressure on the sores. So it's great that you've caught it early. Just make sure that you have no perches inside of her cage, wooden or plastic, that are regular, uniform dowel rods.
Hi! I'll definitely get her checked for bumblefoot, since that seems to be coming up a lot. I am, however, admittedly a little bit surprised that she could be having this. She spends most of her day outside of her cage and I tried to give her perches that have varying sizes.

I took a snapshot of her cage to show how it's looking right now. I've been meaning to change a few things around, but are there any particular suggestions here that could prevent bumblefoot?

I'm definitely going to replace the last plastic perch she has in her cage for a different one. She never uses, but there's no harm in getting her something else. She spends most of her time on the one she's sitting on right now, the colorful rope and the bigger vine.
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