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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23740
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have an African Grey he is eating but only wants peanuts

Customer Question

I have an African Grey he is eating but only wants peanuts he is also breathing hard and has stop talking he goes to the edge of the cage and stays there. I also noticed that his right leg gets like paralyzed and fafter a few minuetes he is fine
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 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. It's important to note that once an African Grey acts ill it's already 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. Your Grey's dyspnea (difficulty breathing) indicates a critically ill bird most likely to be suffering from pneumonia, air sacculitis, or any number of metabolic disorders that have profoundly weakened him.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 his 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 he 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 his 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.The cause of his temporary right leg paralysis is unclear to me but that leg can be examined at the same time he's thoroughly examined by the avian vet. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Your response has been very helpful I will follow up with your suggestions
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
You're welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.

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