on any topic in the following list, or simply scroll down to read them
small percentage of pet starlings develop this
problem in their first year. It can be very painful
causing some birds to stop using the leg, and
most of them will spend a great deal of time pecking
at the bumps. Products such DMSO or baby teething
products, such as Orajel, seem to relieve the
discomfort. It presents as a swelling on the inside
of the leg starting at the foot. Many of these
birds have been examined by avian veterinarians
and to date no one has come up with a definitive
reason for it, but it is believed, (by several
avian vets that I have talked with) to be a haematoma
caused by hitting the leg, this in turn is causing
pressure against the ligament, with the subsequent
swelling. I believe that when young birds land
on hard surfaces, that have no give to them such
as a table top, the developing leg tendons and
muscles can't handle the strain, causing a breach
in the supporting tissues. It is never seen in
aviary kept birds and is normally only seen in
young birds that have free flight time in a home.
It clears up in a week or two without treatment.
I havent heard of this in other species
of birds except perhaps for one mynah. It reminds
me of a bird version of Phlebitis.
The following is an excerpt from the Merck
Manual: Home Edition.
"Superficial phlebitis (thrombophlebitis phlebitis) is inflammation
and clotting in a superficial vein. Phlebitis can occur in any vein in the
body, but it most often affects the leg veins. Even slight injury can cause
a vein to become inflamed. Unlike deep vein thrombosis, which causes very
little inflammation and is often painless, superficial phlebitis involves
a sudden (acute) inflammatory reaction that causes the thrombus to adhere
firmly to the vein wall and lessens the likelihood that it will break loose."
"Localized pain, swelling , and skin redness over the vein develop
rapidly, and the area feels warm. Because blood in the vein is clotted,
the vein feels like a hard cord under the skin, not soft like a normal vein.
This hard cord feeling may extend for the length of the vein."
Gathered from Starling Owners
are some excerpts from the Starling Talk Message Board about this condition
as well as some photos. It is possible that we are seeing two or more
different problems, or just the same problem that is more severe in some
birds than in others
and Photos about Kizzie's leg condition:
I've got a fissure and "bump" problem here, too. I took
a fairly good digital photo of Kizzie's left leg, shown below.
left leg showing strange leg bumps.
info about Kizzie: Kizzie is 5 months old and in otherwise good health.
She is slim and flies free in the house about 2/3 of the day. Two pinkish
fissures appeared about four days ago, each running the length of the
left leg, one inside, one outside. In four days they have worsened to
show whitish bulging with small red clots. The red clots you see are definately
subdural. There's no surface bleeding or moisture at all She holds the
leg up a little more than usual, but is in great spirits.
about Stormy's Foot/Leg Condition
2000 -- The "bumps" on Stormy's feet/legs showed up in
1999 at the end of her fourth month of life and were located along the inner
foot areas. Occasionally they ran nearly the entire length of her foot.
Early during each flare-up, the bumps looked similar to a blister filled
with fluid and contained reddish specks; later they would appear dry. They
caused her pain, as when a bump first appeared she would always go lame
and remain lame for several days. She would sit only on her good foot and
would limp while walking. During the time that she had a lesion on each
foot, she rested on her belly most of the time, thus our building her a
shelf to rest on.
The condition continued off and on for seven months until Stormy was nearly
one year old, and despite several vet visits, nothing helped. During one
of the early vet visits our vet found some bacteria in a skin scraping and
put Stormy on antibiotics which were no help with the mysterious condition. The last lesion Stormy had
was so bad that she actually chewed at her foot until she had it bleeding.
She tore some scales off the left foot before we could get her back to the
vet. During that visit, the vet put her
on Tresaderm which we applied topically daily and which seemed to help the
inflammation. Some things about Stormy's case:
1. She had obvious pain and discomfort, often bit the affected leg and refused
to use it.
2. The bumps first appeared when she was still very young.
3. The bumps often looked like long blisters or similar to warts and were
always along the inner foot area.
Updates on Stormy:
2001 -- Stormy has continued to have infrequent problems similar
in nature to the condition described above. She has had three slight recurrences
this year, 2001, and she is now two years old. We have subsequently treated
her each time with a combination of DMSO and vitamin A & D cream.
The DMSO seems to help with the inflammation and may dry the bumps enough that they shrink more quickly.
2002 -- Stormy had another flare-up in early 2002, at nearly three
years old, and it lasted for several weeks before subsiding.
Questions from Victoria to Bill
any of your birds begin having this at three or four months old, even
if they were slender birds? Did they go completely lame with it or chew
repeatedly on their feet to the point of bleeding? Also did the bumps
look to be filled with fluid and extend all the way up the inner surface
of the foot at any time? Did the feet swell up with these bumps? Also
after their bumps went away for good, did they ever continue to have occasional
irritation with either foot although no bumps appeared? (In Stormy's case,
it is a resounding "yes" to all of the above.)
youngest it happened to one bird was 13 months at onset. The other bird
was two years old. (These two birds hatched the same year, so the two
episodes were a year apart, but the birds were living together.) The first
bird started with very severe simptoms, similar to Stormy's. It was bulging
out about 1/8" wide all along the 1" long slit of one side,
and in several 1/8" circles along the slit on the other side. This
became less severe after 1-2 weeks, but flared up a few times in the next
2 months. I had encouraged frequent fresh water baths and used cream.
The second bird was less severe, and it occured later in life. He was
about 85 grams while the other was 100 grams.
Information from Marie about Scooter
The growth on the leg actually looks like something is in it, pus
or liquid. However it doesn't look like something that can be popped.
Info about Smokey's Leg Condition
A while ago, my bird, Smokey, had a small lump of what looked
like dried fluid on his left leg. I took him to the vet but he said it
was nothing to be concerned about. It eventually disappeared a couple
Jessica's Experiences with Pip
I had a similar problem with Pip about a year ago. It looked as though a
vein in her leg was inflamed and protruding. The verdict from the vet was
that she had a soft tissue mass lump with no pus and no infection of any
kind. Her leg was looked at by a vet technician under a microscope to determine
whether or not it was infected. There was no skin scrape done because the
bump was located between the scales on the back and the front of her leg
and the vet said taking skin away from that area was not a good idea. Pip
was prescribed Hibitane ointment (an antibacterial and antifungal) to apply
two to three times a day. As advised, I also bought from the vet's office
some quick klot blood clotting powder in case the bump began to bleed. It
did bleed once or twice before I took her to the vet because she was picking
at it with her beak. I could not blame the poor sweetie, as she was obviously
in some pain; she refused to stand on her hurt leg and was puffed up and
not eating well. I was so worried! One bit of advice I can give you is to
make sure to keep Emu's cage clean, as fecal matter could cause an infection.
Also, I used Calendula gel on her leg when it began healing -- it is a natural
homeopathic treatment my mom recommended. Her leg seemed a overly dry in
the area where I was applying the Hibitane and the calendula helped.
Gigi and Hoosier's Leg Problems
was about seven months old when her condition started. Gigi was around
five months old when I saw his first one . . . he still gets them and
is over a year old now.
worst leg bump ever, actually two of them on the same side.
was two days short of four months old when he became lame in his left
foot. He showed no visible signs of injury -- no fractures, dislocations,
or wounds. However the joint above his toes appeared swollen and reddish
in color. He refused to use his foot, and on the fourth day an oblong
"bump" appeared along the inner edge of his foot, above the
swollen joint. This bump looked exactly like the lesions Stormy always
had. It was causing obvious discomfort, as Shadow would often bite the
foot and would rest on his belly instead of perching.
On the fifth
day another bump had also appeared on Shadow's right foot, but this one
was along the outer edge of the foot. And similarly, the joint
above the toes was red and swollen. Day six showed another small bump
along the inner edge of the right foot. Frequent baths along with applying
DMSO and an occasional drop of Anbesol seems to temporarily soothe his
pain, but he is still spending much time on his belly. Photos are below.
In the photo above, notice the redness
and swelling in the joint below the bump.
These areas obviously
cause pain, as Shadow often bites at them.