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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24380
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have had my lovebird years. She has always been very

Customer Question

Hi I have had my lovebird for 23 years. She has always been very active and lover to play. Today she started to be very listless and her head is constantly to the right. She is eating and drinking and her stool is the same but she seems so weak and she just wants to sleep. I'm so scared and I don't know what's happened. Could you please help with what you think may have happened?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your lovebird. Her very advanced age and persistent head tilt indicate a central vestibular (balance) disorder such as might arise if a stroke involved her cerebellum or brain stem. Strokes are relatively common in pet birds - particularly primary seed eaters who can develop atherosclerosis from ingesting high fat-containing seeds. There's no specific therapy for stroke in birds with any treatment remaining symptomatic and supportive. 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. If she appears unsteady to you, remove her perches and put her food and water on the bottom of the cage along with her. Ideally, an avian vet (please see here: www.aav.org) should take a look at her but I admit that other than performing a thorough physical exam, a prescribed and directed therapy toward your lovebird's symptoms is unlikely to be forthcoming.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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