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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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3 year old parakeet has a twisted neck. single bird home- no

Customer Question

3 year old parakeet has a twisted neck. single bird home- no rough handling or flying injuries. still eating bird seed mix and millet but falls from perch at times. noticed problem a few days ago. is this a disease or can it be treated with vitamins etc?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 6 years ago.
She may have had a stroke or other neurological injury not due to trauma. She may adapt or even prove with time, but you may have to adjust her environment and certainly have her on the best available diet. First, she should be examined to make sure of the diagnosis. **********
She needs to see an avian-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check the link for members of AAV in your area or call your regular vet and see who they recommend.********

if she is having trouble getting around or falling a lot, move the bird to an aquarium, box or carrier with soft towels in the bottom, no perch, and food and water in low bowls that she can reach easily. if she has another and worse episode, put the whole thing on a heating pad on low or medium. Keep her partially covered, warm and quiet.*********

Pet/feed store medications and home remedies are harmful, ineffective, immuno-suppressive, and make them much worse and may interfere with the veterinarian's diagnosis and treatment. Do not use them. *************  

improve her lifestyle by the following suggestions:

Birds should be on a high-quality, preferably prescription, pelleted diet. In addition, they should be offered dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin; entire (tops and bottoms) fresh carrots and so forth. No seeds (and that means a mix, or millet, or sprays, etc etc.) and only healthy, low-fat high fiber people food. A dietary change should be closely monitored and supervised by your avian vet.
Birds should get 12-14 hours dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep at night. Any less and they can suffer from sleep deprivation and associated illnesses. They should be covered or their cage placed in a dark room that is not used after they go to bed. They should have access to bathing by daily shower, misting, bath bowl, etc.
The cage material should be cleaned everyday, and twice a day if the bird is really messy. Paper towels, newspaper, bath towels are ok. Never use corn cob, sawdust, wood chips, or walnut shell. Consider getting a large cage that is longer than tall--as birds move in a horizontal rather than vertical orientation; and have several feeding stations.
Never give grit, gravel sandpaper or cement perches. A bird will eat those to excess when it is not feeling well or if there is a nutritional deficiency. They do not need it at all (an old myth from the poultry days, even poultry do not need it). It can cause an impaction and lead to serious or fatal consequences.*********
She may live an almost normal lifespan, but you will need to be alert to the smallest changes in
appetite, poops, and behavior.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thanks for your reply, however you haven't really helped, this was all general care information that is readily available online.
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 6 years ago.
The honest reply is that no, vitamins will not fix this bird. It had s high fat diet that contributed to nutritional deficit and likely artheriosclerosis resulting in brain embolism or thrombosis. Nothing will fix this. You will have to make adjustments and make sure you do not contribute to the problem further. Most people do not want to hear that they have been at least partially at fault. I am sorry that you do not find the general information more helpful. If people followed this advise from the beginning, there would be less health problems.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Relist: We do not desire another question. Thanks for your assistance..
We do not desire another question. Thanks for your assistance.

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