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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25515
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My lovebird seems to have voice issues. He ('t really know

Customer Question

My lovebird seems to have voice issues. He (don't really know the sex) is about 10 months old and suddenly his chirp quieter and quitter. He is still eating and drinking. I have wrapped is cage in a towel, turned on ha heat lap and keeping a close eye on him. Ideas as to what else I could do to make him better?
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. I'm necessarily constrained in being able to be definitive from here but a change in voice might result from vitamin A deficiency as well as respiratory infection and these problems can exist concomitantly. It's important to note that once a lovebird 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. Frankie's symptoms of a voice change are important symptoms 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 Frankie's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.

Until Frankie can be attended to, please continue to heat up his environment to 85F as you've done or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of his cage. If Frankie appears weakened, remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his 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 Frankie's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his 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.

lease respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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