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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a cockatiel who is about 9 years old. when i pet her

Customer Question

I have a cockatiel who is about 9 years old. when i pet her neck in the back it means squishy, is this normal?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. I believe that air has escaped from Penny's cervical (neck) air sac. Birds have air sacs into which air first enters before it then is pushed into the lungs. Air sacs that have become inflamed (air sacculitis) due to trauma or infection (bacterial, fungal) can rupture expelling their air under the skin. Because what you're feeling can indicate infection of Penny's air sac it would be prudent to have an avian vet (please see here: www.aav.org) examine Penny. Cultures of Penny's choana - the slit between her oral and nasal cavities - might be performed. The air can be removed by aspirating it with a sterile needle and a systemic antibiotic is likely to be prescribed which you would give directly into Penny's beak. In severe cases nebulization of the antibiotic will be prescribed.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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