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Ask Dr. Ellie Your Own Question
Dr. Ellie
Dr. Ellie, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 331
Experience:  emergency and critical care resident
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I had my parakeet years but he's at the bottom of the cage

Customer Question

I had my parakeet for 10 years but he's at the bottom of the cage he normally never lets me touch him or pick him up but now I have him I wonder what could be wrong with him
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 4 months ago.

HI there, Im sorry to hear about your sick little Nip. Without an examination, its hard to say what is going on, but it sounds like he needs to be taken to the veterinarian right away. I recommend locating the nearest emergency clinic in your area that will see birds and taking him right there. Birds do not typically show illness until they are very sick, so I am very worried about your little one. The fact that you can handle him is even more worrisome given that he does not usually allow handling. He needs to be evaluated and treated appropriately. However, even with immediate care, he may not survive.

If you are unable to locate an after hours veterinarian in your area that can see him, keep him in a warm (but not too hot) part of the house away from cold drafts and cover his cage to avoid stressing him out. You can put food and water on the bottom of the cage so he can reach it if he wants as well. Im sorry to say, that based on his age, this may be his time and he may pass away with or without care.

I hope that I am wrong and that he responds to treatment but unfortunately, because birds often do not show signs of illness until its too late he may not have a positive outcome despite you and your vet's best efforts. I wish you the best of luck with him. If I can be of further assistance please let me know. If I have answered your question to your satisfaction please rate me appropriately as this is the only way I can be credited for my time.

Very Sincerely,

Dr. Ellie

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My ten-year-old son just told me that him and the other parakeet was fighting and he heard nip fall really hard and usually and maybe his wing something might be hurt I'm not sure
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 4 months ago.

Its possible that he experienced a traumatic injury but a bird at the bottom of the can that previously didn't allow handling and is now letting himself be picked up is still worrisome. I still recommend having him evaluated at your local emergency clinic if they see birds and if not first thing in the morning by his regular veterinarian or a veterinarian experienced in avian medicine.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I think he might have had a traumatic injury it looks like maybe his wing might be hurt or something but he allowed me to lift it up a little bit without making any noises but he is breathing rather hard
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 4 months ago.

Even a minor traumatic injury can be serious for a bird as they do not handle stress well. I still recommend having him evaluated by an emergency veterinarian so that he can get pain medication and other supportive care as needed. If you are unable to take him in, I recommend keeping him in an area where he is not subject to drafts and covering his cage to reduce stress. Because he may have injuries that are not apparent, his prognosis is still guarded until a full evaluation can be performed.

Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 4 months ago.

Do you have an update on your bird? Were you able to take him in to be seen by your veterinarian? It appears that I was accidentally opted out of the questions earlier but I wanted to let you know that I am still here to help if you have further questions or concerns.

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