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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26948
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My parakeet has lost her balance..he's 3

Customer Question

my parakeet has lost her balance..he's 3
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about your parakeet. I'm so sorry he's having trouble. Can you please tell me his name?

Just type in what you want to say then click REPLY or SEND.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Hello...

I'm just trying to verify that you are online and understand how the website works before I type in a lengthy reply to your post.

Please take a moment to respond and please let me know what exactly your question is for me.

Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

It appears you are not currently online and available to discuss your question about your parakeet. I'm so sorry I missed the chance to have a live conversation with you and answer your question.
I will opt out now so your question will be available to other experts when you return online. Then you will be able to get the information you are looking for.
Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. A loss of balance is a serious matter in parakeets. It's important to note that once a parakeet 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 sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Emily's symptom of loss of balance can indicate head injury, brain involvement in a systemic disease process, or general weakness but loss of balance isn't 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 Emily's choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.

Until Emily 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.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has Emily's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of her diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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