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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24367
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I recently got a &G Macaw, she's very calm and lovely, but

Customer Question

Customer: I recently got a B&G Macaw, she's very calm and lovely, but I'm afraid she might be ill, she loses balance and readjusts all the time, her poop is liquid and she makes low hissing noises
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: she also shivers when there is no AC on, and we have other birds as well so we keep it off and there are no windows open
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It's important to note that once a macaw acts ill they're quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). )I admit that I don't know if you have avian vet where you live.) This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Her symptoms of loss of balance (weakness?) and diarrhea are important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. Her low hissing is unclear to me.

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 cultures of her choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.

Until she can be attended to, please heat up her environment to 29.4C 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/agricultural merchant 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? 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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