How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question

Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6296
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
60269376
Type Your Bird Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a sick canary. He just sits on the bottom of his cage

Resolved Question:

I have a sick canary. He just sits on the bottom of his cage all puffed up. his one eye had crud around it and he isn't singing. What might be wrong with him and what can I do for him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

I am afraid that bottom sitting and being puffed up are general signs of illness but do not point towards specific disease.

How long has Winston shown these signs?

Is the eye crust yellow/snotty?
Are you seeing discharge on the cere?
Sneezing or coughing?

How are his stools?
Appetite? Drinking?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Winston has shown these symptons for the last 3 days. His stool is normal and he is eating and drinking. The crust around the eye is yellow. And no discharge on the cere.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

Has there been any change in his respiration?

The problem I am sure you will appreciate with birds to that they do a very good job of covering up when they are sick. This is because as a prey species, attention to your illness will make you a target for predation. This means we are often the last to know when our birds are sick. Therefore, this may be the only hints we get that something is brewing until the issue is too advanced for Winston to hide.

If your wee one has been puffed up and floor-sitting, it does suggest that he is not feeling quite himself and this tells us that something is brewing and challenging his immune system. These signs are very characteristic signs that this we see in a generally poorly bird (just as we suffer from lethargy, decreased activity when we are ill). The fact we are seeing it now, suggests that his ability to compensate with this ailment is starting to wane.

With this in mind, we do need to closely monitor him at this point. Eye discharge in itself can be an indication of bacterial infection of the eye, as well as traumatic injury. We can also see eye discharges as part of respiratory disease, as well as more sinister diseases like asperigillus, and psittacosis. So, if we are seeing discharge at the eye then we do need to address them, as well as monitor for other signs of this potential disease process (ie. runny/changes to his stools, sneezes, nasal discharges, a change in appetite).

Also, consider making sure his diet is meeting his dietary requirements, since deficiencies can occur if birds are on all seed or imbalanced diets (ie. low Vitamin A), and these can make them more prone to illness. This deficiency can cause runny eyes as well.

Overall, I would advise that it would be prudent to consider having a check up with an avian vet. Eyes are delicate organs, and leaving this to fester could lead to long term issues for him. As well the vet will be able to examine him, listen to his lungs, and analyze his feces (to rule out gut illness or parasites). Depending on the vet’s findings, they will be able to advise you on what might be the causative agent and whether anything needs to be done treatment wise.

At this point, we are limited to what we can do at home. I wouldn't advise blindly trying to treat his with anything at from the pet store, since pet store medications are usually unhelpful (wasting time and money and not helping our birds) and you cannot be sure what is actually causing his to show these 'under the weather' signs. Therefore, you would be treating in the dark and guessing what might help.

Hopefully, with some monitoring on your part and a check up with his vet, you will be able to focus on what the trigger for these signs are, and thus treat his effectively and nip this in the bud, before it becomes something that is too advanced to treat effectively.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX you can do at home, supportive care is always an important part of helping our birds. First off, consider moving his to a cage that is all one level (no perches), where he can be in easy reach of his food and water. You can cover the floor with something soft like a washcloth or towel.

You can place a heating pad under half the cage (so he can choose how warm he wants to be). Alternatively, you can use a ‘rice sock’ to give his cage a bit of warmth. To make one, you can use a clean sock, and fill it 2/3 with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Make sure to shake it before adding it to the cage, to allow the heat to distribute. Make sure its not too hot (as we don’t want to burn the wee one. If it cools, you can re-warm as required).

If starts to show a decrease in his eating and drinking, then tempt him with his favorite foods, hand feeding if necessary. And you can also supplement his diet with high nutrition foods with high water content like cucumbers, Romaine, grapes, melon, etc. You can even give his a bit of hard boiled eggs mashed for some extra protein. Cooked brown rice, cous cous are good for them too. You can also give his a bit of pedialyte to drink, if will take it, as it will give his both hydration but also some electrolyte support.

Overall, I would advise monitoring his for more specific clinical signs and considering having his checked over by his vet to make sure this is just an ocular bacterial conjunctivitis rather then the start of something more sinister and systemic. The sooner we know what is causing him to feel so under the weather, the sooner we can effectively treat him and get him back to himself.



If you don't have a specialist avian vet, you can check where you can find one at near you at http://www.aav.org/search/, Avian web (LINK) or Birdsnway (LINK).

I hope this information is helpful.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
If you have no further questions, I would be grateful if you would press the wee green accept.

Thank you,

Dr. B

Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6296
Experience: As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
Dr. B. and 2 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Pat

    Bird Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3246
    25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/birddoctor/2012-6-22_173214_birddoctor.64x64.png Dr. Pat's Avatar

    Dr. Pat

    Bird Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3246
    25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PC/pcbobber/photo.64x64.JPG Dr. Bob's Avatar

    Dr. Bob

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2403
    35 years in general practice, including avian.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kritrdr/2009-04-09_175809_dr-dan-1_justanswer.jpg Dr. Dan's Avatar

    Dr. Dan

    Avian Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1329
    9 years of pet, wildlife, and zoo avian experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/fgvs/2009-07-21_182123_michael.jpg Dr. MD Stafford's Avatar

    Dr. MD Stafford

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    233
    20 years in private practice, contract veterinarian Dickerson Park Zoo and attending veterinarian Missouri State University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/fionasteel/2010-5-15_192530_copy_of_tess_and_lily_001.jpg Fiona Steel's Avatar

    Fiona Steel

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    224
    BVMS MRCVS
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    185
    12 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AL/allpetsdr/2012-5-1_11142_IMG29591.64x64.jpg allpetsdr's Avatar

    allpetsdr

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    138
    I have been practicing for 10 years. I work with exotic pets, dogs, cats, small ruminants, camelids and pigs.