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Bumblefoot is a condition that affects a bird's feet, and can be caused by inappropriate perches or poor nutrition.

By Margaret A. Wissman, DVM
Posted: November 8, 2012, 1:45 p.m. PST


This is an inflammatory or degenerative foot condition that can range from redness and swelling to chronic abscesses and bony alterations.


Long-term use of perches of incorrect size, shape or texture can cause bumblefoot. Flight pens or cages constructed with the wrong wall components, substrate or improper arrangement of the perches can also lead to bumblefoot, as can poor nutrition and sanitation. Overweight birds may develop lesions of bumblefoot, especially if on an unbalanced or high-calorie diet.


If you notice your bird holding one foot up consistently, or if you see it favoring one foot, you should make an appointment to have your bird evaluated by an avian vet. If the bottom of the foot is bleeding or you notice drainage, you can clean the wound with antiseptic soap and warm water or flush it with sterile saline (contact lens saline, preservative-free), then keep the foot clean and dry until you have your bird evaluated by an avian vet.

Eclectus parrot
By Gina Cioli/BowTie Inc.
Bumblefoot is a condition that affects a bird's feet.

Some cases of bumblefoot will be completely resolved with appropriate medical care and treatment. It will be necessary to provide your bird with appropriate diameter perches of differing sizes, softer rope, braided cotton or synthetic material, and possibly flat, corner perches. If your bird is overweight, your vet will recommend an exercise and lower calorie diet plan, which will help prevent pressure sores that can develop into bumblefoot. If the foot infection involves the bone or joints, it may be very difficult to completely cure the problem, and this type of serious foot infection may require long-term therapy.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Health Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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