Ask Lafeber


July 6, 2021

My sun conure can’t use her feet

Hi we have 2 sun conure’s Mango (3yr male) and Sunny (7yr female). Sunny has been laying eggs and she started to seem run down. So we took her box out of her cage. She seemed very lethargic so i took her out of their big cage to give her some TLC. She started breathing heavy and couldn’t walk. I took her to the vet and was told she had a mass near her lung and the nerves in her legs. We were given pain killers and anti inflammatory’s for her. Its been 2 weeks now and she seems a lot better, she is starting to make noises and move around but she still can’t use her feet. She starts to climb up the side of the cage with her beak but can’t grab on with her feet and can’t stand on a perch. What can i do to help her?


Hi Sam,

I’m very sorry to hear about Sammy. Did the Vet do any imaging? Was there any mention that this could be related to the egg laying? A mass like that could be a retained egg. Had she been laying eggs for a long time? If so, her calcium and protein could be depleted, and this can result in skeletal injuries. If your Vet is not a board certified avian specialist, then you might want to seek a second opinion with one. The medications are only going to make her more comfortable. While many masses can’t be removed surgically, some can. And there are chemo therapies that birds handle quite well. I’m concerned that her issue is not being treated, just her symptoms. I’m only going by the information you gave. As far as making her more comfortable, everything needs to be moved down to her level – food and water on the cage floor and remove the perches. She shouldn’t be trying to climb right now, because she could fall. She should be in a smaller cage so she doesn’t over exert herself. Her mate can be close, but should not be left alone with her in the cage. A healthy bird will sometimes attack a sick or injured bird because it poses a danger of attracting predators. You should have paper towels or something soft on the cage floor if it is metal. Birds can recover from spinal injuries, but if this is a growing mass, then all you can do is keep her comfortable. But if there is any change it was related to the egg laying, something more may can be done for her.

Take care,


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