Myositis results from capture, transport, attack by predators, or fighting. It may occur in birds of all ages. Borderline nutritional deficiencies may exacerbate stress-related myositis. Clinically, birds are often unable to stand. Fluid therapy to correct metabolic acidosis and to affect diuresis, combined with anti-inflammatory therapy and antibiotics to prevent clostridial disease, are indicated. The administration of vitamin E at 5.0 mg/kg, with or without selenium at 0.06 mg/kg, is recommended. If nutritional deficiencies are expected, correcting the diet by adding oral vitamin E to the diet or drinking water is indicated.
Various treatments, including slinging the bird to exercise the legs and swimming, have been tried for myositis secondary to overexertion or trauma. However, handling the bird in this manner is very stressful; it is preferable to allow the bird to sit until it can stand on its own, which may take up to 90 days. If the bird is alert and has a good appetite, the prognosis for recovery is good.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Karen Hicks-Alldredge, DVM