Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome (LPS)

1. What is Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome (LPS)?

LPS is a syndrome seen in lorikeets as a sudden onset of paralysis in both legs (bilateral) and/or clenched feet. The syndrome is also often called Clenched Foot Syndrome.

2.What is the cause of LPS?

The cause is unknown. In some cases an encephalomyelitis of possible viral origin has been suspected. Other suspected causes are vitamin deficiencies with some suggestions that vitamin E deficiency is involved.

3. What are the clinical signs of LPS in the acute form?

Signs include clenched feet and general weakness. The generalised weakness may be due to the inability to eat and drink adequately. A significant number of birds may die in the first 24 - 48 hours and up to the first week.

4. Will any birds fully recover?

Some birds may recover fully in a few days to a few weeks. A large number of birds that survive the first week will stay with clenched feet and eat and live relatively normally during the next few months. No long-term studies have been performed to determine how long the birds may live with the clenched feet.

5. In which bird species is LPS seen?

It is commonly seen in wild rainbow lorikeets though it may be seen in all types of aviary and pet lorikeets as well.

6. How is LPS identified in lorikeets?

A diagnosis is made by excluding other causes of bilateral paralysis. These include trauma, lead poisoning, swollen kidneys, heavy metal poisoning, organophosphate poisoning, nutritional deficiencies and bacterial infections. Other causes of paralysis may be due to generalised weakness from septicaemia, parasites and/or metabolic disease. Testing would include radiography, biochemistry, haematology, faecal smears and faecal gram stains in order to exclude these other diagnoses. Treatment trials for the above diseases may also be necessary to exclude some of the causes of paralysis.

7. What is the treatment for LPS?

There is no specific treatment for LPS. The secondary infections, nutritional deficiencies and inflammation need to be treated. This may include antibiotics, corticosteroids and vitamin injections. Fluid therapy is normally necessary in the first 24 - 48 hours either by crop tube or by injection. Exercising the clenched foot by opening it to its normal shape and then "bicycling" the legs 2 - 3 times daily may be beneficial.















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