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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26177
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My parakeet has been sleeping a lot and is puffy most of the

Customer Question

My parakeet has been sleeping a lot and is puffy most of the time. Also as of lately it's been falling to the bottom of the cage. Please advise on what I can do thanks.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. 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: Spencer and I've had it for a yr and a half. Can't be sure of real age.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Spencer?
Customer: I have noticed that after it falls it walks a bit off balance.
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: 10 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 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 a parakeet acts ill it's already 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. Sencer's symptoms of somnolence and falling are important symptoms of a critically ill bird 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 Spender'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 Spencer 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. Because he's 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 Spencer'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: 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 10 months ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin

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