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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23753
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My afican grey parrot has not been acting right past 2 days

Customer Question

My afican grey parrot has not been acting right for the past 2 days maybe 3. He is very sleepy and will sleep with his foot up, but also has been sleeping foot down. H is right now eating a chunk of pare and he is holding it and has his eye closed and holding up the pear and he has not been eating seed that I have seen but has gone to the pears and eaten many chunks. He also seems to have a little shaking going on once in awhile not heavy but noticeable. He is also very quite. I am housebound myself and there is no vets that handle birds for over 100 miles, which I just can't do being ill myself,. I love this bird so so so much I live for him please help me help my Gabby. Thank you so much for any help you can give or answers on whats going on. Diane
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Diane, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner and I regret that my response must necessarily be unsatisfactory. Ther reason for that is 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: This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Babby's symptoms of somnolence (sleepiness), shaking, being quieter than usual, and inappetence are important symptoms but they're 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 Gabby'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 Gabby 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 Gabby'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: or here: 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 6 months ago.

This is what you posted in your duplicate question: " Gabby gets a very good diet of pears, apples brocklli ,fresh peas bean plums grapes every day. and has people food too always has to have food I am eating. Why should I put him on the bottom of the cage when he is doing ok on the perchs ? I will try to warm up things like you said to do. Getting to a vet is just not possible with my situation of being ill and the closet is like 100 miles away. I will take your advice and say alot of prayers that all turns out ok. Thanks so much for your help wish I knew what made her sick." I couldn't mark your question as a duplicate and so please contact***@******.*** to have it removed so you won't be charged twice.

I'm pleased to hear that Gabby is eating so well. The perches should be removed if she appears weakened to you. I don't want her falling from a perch and hurting herself. I, too, am frustrated that I can't know what ails her. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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