Monday, August 11, 2008

Swelling and Bubbles On Legs

Question from Canada

My name is Martin and I bought Shamas from Axel a few years ago. I have a question regarding a foot problem. My female has been having this weird swelling on her feet and legs all summer long. it is sometimes red and swollen, sometimes ok. It started on one side but it is now on both sides. She now has a swollen toe with like a bubble on it. The aviary is outdoor and clean so could it be food related? Is there such a thing as too much protein. I feed hard boiled eggs in my mix, do you think she could be getting to much?
Could you suggest me a diet for captivity please? It is a female white rump and my male seems fine.

Many thanks.

Martin Vaillancourt
Niagara. Canada

Hi Martin,

Your shama is probably suffering from a deficiency of vitamin C. I have not had this problem with my birds but the symptoms you mention are identical to a problem that my good friend Jeffrey Low had. Birds are able to manufacture their vitamin C needs and there is usually no need to supplement with this vitamin. Your bird probably is not able to make enough for her requirements.

Jeffrey's advice is that you give a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement daily for 1 month. Usually if there is a deficiency of one vitamin or mineral there will also be deficiencies of other vitamins and minerals. You will know you are on the right track if the bird gradually recovers. After 1 month, a vitamin and mineral supplement should be given 1 to 3 times a week.

The most effective way to give a substantial dose of the supplement is to inject it into a cricket if a liquid supplement is available. The vitamin and mineral supplemement for humans can be used. I would not be afraid of an overdose at this time. When the bird has recovered, the frequency of feeding and the dosage can be reduced. For normal feeding, I rub a little of the supplement on one or more insects before feeding them to the bird.

Hope the above helps.

Best regards,


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