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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23805
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a quaker parrot, that is panting, snezzing, feathers

Customer Question

HI, I have a quaker parrot, that is panting, snezzing, feathers are fluffed and is not eating and has lost weight. he is around 8 years old. what do you recommend I do
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Gonzalo, it's important to note that once a parrot acts ill they're often critically ill and in need of the immediate 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. Coco's symptoms of dyspnea (difficulty breathing), sneezing, fluffing, anorexia, and wasting are important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. They are, however, life-threatening and so time is of the essence.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 Coco's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be quite helpful as well.Until Coco can be attended to, please heat up his environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into his partially covered cage (not at night when he needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of his cage. If he appears weakened remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his 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 Coco's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his 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 5 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Coco. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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