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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24468
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My cockatiel, 16 years old, has stopped eating and drinking,

Customer Question

My cockatiel, 16 years old, has stopped eating and drinking, can still fly but comes to rest anywhere and just sits, logy, occasionally trying to throw up, does not defecate, looks bloated and puffed up. I've tried cleaning her anal parts to clear blockage
without success.
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 cockatiel acts ill they're critically 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. Honeybud's symptoms are all important but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder.An avian-oriented vet will first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of her choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) are taken.Until Honeybud 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.Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has her diet consisted of, please?

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