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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24468
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a cockatial that is setting at the bottom of the cage

Customer Question

i have a cockatial that is setting at the bottom of the cage and i need help to help her
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the bird?
Customer: there is three others and there ok
JA: Where does there seem to hurt?
Customer: doese nat seen to be hurt
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about there?
Customer: she does not seeen to eat or drink
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 16 days ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 16 days ago.

It's important to note that once a cockatiel 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 and within the flock. Her symptoms of bottom-swelling and anorexia are important symptoms 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 her 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 problem in our pet birds. What has her diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of her diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. 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 14 days ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin

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