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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24426
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 23 year old Nandy Conure is no longer sitting on her perch,

Customer Question

My 23 year old Nandy Conure is no longer sitting on her perch, she clings to the cage, she also lost all her feather`s on her back. She still eats and drinks and climbs around the cage. She sits on her feed and water dish. What is wrong with her. She hardly preens her feathers any more. With her beak she holds on to the side of the cage.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It's important to note that once a conure acts ill they're quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). This is a protective mechanism because ill birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Lady Rascal's symptoms are all important but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder.
An avian-oriented vet might first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and bacterial cultures of her choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) might be taken.
Until Lady Rascal can be attended to, please heat up her environment to 90F by means of a 100W bulb shined into her partially covered cage (not at night when she needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of her cage. Remove her perches and put her food and water on the bottom of the cage along with her. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to her water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make her water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to her water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in her water. They won't be effective if only because an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly.
Her new diet sounds very good...if she's been eating it well. Has she been picking her feathers out or has her diet been protein and/or calcium deficient previously which would make it difficult for her to refeather herself after a molt? Please respond with additional information and further questions or concerns if you wish.

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