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Arthritis is inflammation of the chicken's joint or joints, resulting in pain and/or disability, joint swelling, and stiffness. Arthritis can be caused by infection, trauma, degenerative changes or metabolic disorders. Although osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in humans, birds are actually more prone to developing articular gout, another form of arthritis.
There is no treatment for arthritis, just therapies to control the pain, minimize further joint damage, and management or environmental modifications to improve or maintain the bird's quality of life.
Acupuncture has been shown to be a good complementary or alternative medical therapy when used for the treatment of a Bald Eagle with severe arthritis. The bird received acupuncture sessions initially once per week for 2 months followed by treatment every 2 weeks for 2 more months.