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Old 06-18-2015, 07:01 PM
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Question Should I be worried?

Hello! I just got a lovebird from a women who was giving her away on craigslist. I have had a cockatiel, parrotlet and sun conure in the past but they had to stay with my parents when I left for college so now I am just with my new lovebird.

She has a totally weird personality that I'm trying to understand still. She will stand in the door way of her cage and just stare at me and then flap her wings. Her cage is always open so she is free to fly around but she never does. We have gotten past the point of her suspecting that I will eat her but she is still scared when I go near her cage. How can I work on this to better our relationship?

Also, my bird took a bath today and I noticed her lower belly is bare. She is also very fat there. She was on an all seed diet when I got her so it may be that she is just fat in general or it could be that she has fatty liver disease? She does not pluck any of her feathers and has not molted a single one since I got her 2 weeks ago.

Lastly, I noticed today that a toe on each of her claws is totally limp. She cannot grasp to it and when she is holding on to the side of her cage they stick directly out. Im not sure how long it has been like that since she has yet to let me hold her but it does not appear to be inhibiting her at all. She is still climbing the walls and such.

I am just worried there may be something wrong with my bird. I am taking her to the vet tomorrow but I was wondering if anyone has any insight on what all of this might be just to ease my mind. I am crying I am so worried because I hope she is not in pain. Thank you!!

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Old 06-18-2015, 10:45 PM
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Re: Should I be worried?

Hello and Welcome to the forum! Congratulations, best of luck with your new lovebird. It was wise of you to make an appointment. I think your vet will be better able to answer your health questions. Please let us know how the visit turns out.

What is your lovebird's name? We'd love to see photos.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:36 AM
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Re: Should I be worried?

Welcome and please keep us updated!
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:31 AM
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Re: Should I be worried?

Welcome to the Forum and congratulations on the new addition to your household!

In terms of bettering your relationship with her, it's probably just going to take some time. You're new to her, as is your home. So she might need time to adjust and learn to trust you.

Treats (bribery! Lol) work well to help this process along. You may also want to take a seat at the border of her comfort level. That is, at the closest point before she gets visibly anxious at your proximity. And while sitting there you could read to her. The goal is to get her used to you sitting nearby, get her used to the sound if your voice, and set up the association in her mind between you and good things (aka treats!). As her trust grows, you can gradually decrease the distance until you eventually wind up right next to her.

You can also do things to encourage her leaving her cage, like setting her food bowl down just outside the cage door.

Depending on your bird, it could take anywhere from a few days to several months for her to build up a significant level of trust in you.

Now, as for your questions about her health, it's hard to say just going off your descriptions. But the area on her lower belly that lacks feathers could be a fatty deposit. Doesn't automatically mean she has fatty liver disease, but having a vet check her out to know for sure is a good move.

Not sure what the issue could be with her toes. Could be somehow neurological or perhaps some damage she suffered in the past. But if she seems completely unhindered by it, chances are it's something older for which she's already learned to compensate.

Those are my best guesses, but obviously an avian vet will be able to give you a far better idea.

Good luck and please keep us updated!
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:03 AM
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Re: Should I be worried?

Your are wise to get her to a vet, and he/she will be able to alleviate much of your stress. Id be interested to hear what the vet has to say, so please update.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:52 PM
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Re: Should I be worried?

Hello again!
So my birds name is Rue! I took her to the vet and they looked at the lump. The vet did not seem to worried or anxious to get any tests run. She said it defiantly is not fat or an egg. She said she doesn't like the look of it but even if it were something bad that there probably wouldn't be much we could do because she is so small and it would be hard to preform surgery if it needed to be removed.
As for her toes, the vet said that she was most likely born like that because she is totally capable of getting around with only half of her toes working. Unfortunately she will probably never be able to step up so I will always have to handle her.
I took her home with me this past weekend and she met some of my other birds. She saw how we interacted and has warmed up quite a bit. She spends her time staring at me instead of inside her hut and even cuddled with me the other night!
We are getting alone great and she is showing no signs of slowing down or sickness. She is totally chipper and happy and has been talking a lot more.
The only weird thing she has been doing is taking her food pellets and grinding them on her back. She might be tucking the food under her wings but I don't know. Then she crawls elsewhere in her cage and eats it. Is Rue just super weird?



Thank you so much again!
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:08 PM
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Re: Should I be worried?

Quote: Originally Posted by joholzman13 View Post
Hello again!
So my birds name is Rue! I took her to the vet and they looked at the lump. The vet did not seem to worried or anxious to get any tests run. She said it defiantly is not fat or an egg. She said she doesn't like the look of it but even if it were something bad that there probably wouldn't be much we could do because she is so small and it would be hard to preform surgery if it needed to be removed.
As for her toes, the vet said that she was most likely born like that because she is totally capable of getting around with only half of her toes working. Unfortunately she will probably never be able to step up so I will always have to handle her.
I took her home with me this past weekend and she met some of my other birds. She saw how we interacted and has warmed up quite a bit. She spends her time staring at me instead of inside her hut and even cuddled with me the other night!
We are getting alone great and she is showing no signs of slowing down or sickness. She is totally chipper and happy and has been talking a lot more.
The only weird thing she has been doing is taking her food pellets and grinding them on her back. She might be tucking the food under her wings but I don't know. Then she crawls elsewhere in her cage and eats it. Is Rue just super weird?



Thank you so much again!
Thx for the update, I am glad you are relieved. birds are pretty resilient, even with disabilities. If perching or stepping up is a problem, You may want to provide her with a shelf inside her cage if she doesn't already have one. There is a really interesting video of a paralyzed budgie named Boo on YouTube. The bird is flighted and dispite being paralyzed gets around pretty good. He has some pretty amazing owners too.

Last edited by SoCalWendy; 06-23-2015 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:29 PM
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Re: Should I be worried?

Quote: Originally Posted by SoCalWendy View Post
There is a really interesting video of a paralyzed budgie named Boo on YouTube. The bird is flighted and dispite being paralyzed gets around pretty good. He has some pretty amazing owners too. Boo, our courageous injured pet parakeet - YouTube

Just bawled my eyes out at work.

Love the name Rue! She is a cutie pie. Thank you for giving her a loving home!!
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:35 PM
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Re: Should I be worried?

Quote: Originally Posted by LaurenB View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SoCalWendy View Post
There is a really interesting video of a paralyzed budgie named Boo on YouTube. The bird is flighted and dispite being paralyzed gets around pretty good. He has some pretty amazing owners too. Boo, our courageous injured pet parakeet - YouTube

Just bawled my eyes out at work.

Love the name Rue! She is a cutie pie. Thank you for giving her a loving home!!
lol sorry Lauren I should have put a disclaimer: watching this video may cause tears...
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