Coturnix quail has swollen leg, please help!


Mar 22, 2018
Hello, thanks for reading! My mother took in a young quail with a lame foot a few months ago. Recently, she stopped walking on her good foot as well and started running around in her knee(?) joints. We took a closer look and discovered the skin above her joint was extremely swollen/ lumpy. I've attached 2 photos of her leg, the second one is right after we soaked it in an Epsom salt bath, which is why the feathering on her leg looks different. She lives in a cage in the family room and her cage is cleaned and water refreshed twice daily. She has oyster shells to bathe in and she lays an egg every day. She loves to be held and gets to explore the house while her cage is being cleaned. She seems like a very content and healthy bird other than her leg issues and we're just not sure what to do. We have a suspicion it's bumblefoot, but I've seen no record of cases occurring in the featherd part of the leg. Can anyone give advice on what we should do? She's such a sweet little bird.
Poor baby. I'm not too sure either and the only other thing I can think of is some kind of cyst. Hopefully the others will have some idea of how to help your sweet quail. I'll tag @DK newbie too as she might know.
That sure looks very painfull. In the first pic it looks like there might be pus inside, at least in the one pointing backwards. If there is, it should be cut open so the pus can be removed. But whatever she has looks very severe, I'm not sure I'd dare try doing it myself. As JaeG suggested it also kind of looks like a cyst. In some ways I think it resembles gout as well, but I guess a young bird is unlikely to develop gout to souch a severe degree.
Whatever it is - if you can't find a way to make it better, I think it would be best for the bird to put her down. Even if she seems happy otherwise, the fact that she can't walk must mean it's very painful for her.

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