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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24408
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My Lovebird was normal and chirping this morning, but I just

Customer Question

My Lovebird was normal and chirping this morning, but I just found her unresponsive on the bottom of the cage.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your bird?
Customer: She is not moving. When I picked her up from the bottom of the cage and placed her back there, she fell over..as if she didn't have any strength at all.
JA: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help your bird. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** she's around 5 months old.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Peep?
Customer: The windows were open in her room. The temperature outside was about 67-70.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
I'm sorry to hear of this. It's important to note that once a lovebird acts ill it's already quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). Unfortunately, Peep is critically ill at this time. This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Peep's collapse is certainly 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 Peep'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 Peep'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 let me know if she's still with you and respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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