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Uric acid is a waste product left over from metabolism of chemical compounds; however, it can also be found in some foods.
High uric acid levels in the blood may crystallize in the joints, ligaments and tendon sheets, particularly in the joints of the feet and toes, and the soft tissues around the joints.
The potential cause of excessive uric acid levels are ...
- More uric acid is produced than the kidneys can remove from the blood, due to:
- hereditary reasons;
- impaired kidney function (kidney diseases) leading to reduced excretion by the kidneys and build-up in the system;
- metabolic conditions (Uric Acid Metabolism)
- chronic diseases / infections;
- improper diet (high fat, high protein, high Vitamin D, low Vitamin A), dehydration, over-feeding, obesity. Foods rich in dietary purine as well as fructose (often found in pellets / processed foods) can cause increased levels of uric acid.
- environmental factors (improper / unclean perches / surfaces).
Swollen, reddish and painful joints (toes, feet) and surrounding areas. Birds may be lame, favoring one leg over another, shifting weight from one foot to the other. Birds may show a change in temperament.
Tests Potentially Recommended by Vets:
Blood tests, radiographs, biopsies and /or identification of uric acid crystals in joint fluid can be used to confirm this condition.
Common Treatment Protocols
- Eliminate or at least reduce any food items with high levels of uric acid from a bird's diet, such as:
- meats (beef, pork, seafood, insects) , insects or dairy products (including eggs);
- yeast-containing breads or other bakery products.
- Offer or increase the amount of food items that help control uric acid levels, including:
- leafy green foods (such as parsley and Alfalfa)l
- celery / celery seed;
- black / bitter cherries, cherry juice or cherry extract;
- produce rich in Vitamin C, such as apples, oranges, lemons, broccoli, pomegranates, mangoes, limes and papayas
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