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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24351
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My Quaker was sitting on her cage and fell to floor and

Customer Question

My Quaker was sitting on her cage and fell to floor and seemed to have a hard time breathing. When I picked her up and put her on top of her cage again, she just laid down flat , with her head lying on the bars
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Nikki. Once a Quaker appear ill, it's quite ill and such behavior as you described suggests a critically ill bird. Her falling and difficulty breathing followed by such weakness aren't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder but does suggest profound anemia and/or endstage disease.

An avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org) 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 Nikki's choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.

Until Nikki can be attended to, please heat up her environment to 85F 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.

Please tell me what Nikki's diet has consisted of. Nutritional imbalances are all too common in pet birds.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Strictly lafebers pellets
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her now
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Excellent diet, thank you. Thank you for the photo. Other than the small amount of feather fluffing she looks good but such is the dilemma we face. Birds will hide their illnesses as long as possible because sick birds are attacked in the wild. Please do your best to have an avian-oriented vet attend to Nikki at your earliest convenience.

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