How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24379
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
55012488
Type Your Bird Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 7yr old African grey parrot has fallen in her cage twice

Customer Question

My 7yr old African grey parrot has fallen in her cage twice in the past week. I moved her a little way from her usual spot because she kept climbing down and roaming the house. She was in a sunnier room but couldn't see me in my den where I spend most of my time. She still climbs down, she must be desperate cause she climbed through the feeder door (4x4")while I was getting her food in another room. LOL
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 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. You caught my eye when you mentioned that she had fallen twice in the past week. This is a serious sign of weakness in pet birds and the importance of it shouldn't be discounted. I don't believe that there's any relationship between her seeking you out and her falling. Her tucking her head in a sleeping position can be normal but also a symptom of systemic weakness.

It's important to note that once an African Grey 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. Bocce's symptom of falling is an important symptom but it's not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder.

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 Bocce's choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be helpful as well.

Until she 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 Bocce'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.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
Hi Joan,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Bocce. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin

Related Bird Veterinary Questions