Ask a Bird Specialist. Get Answers to Bird Care Problems ASAP
As unusual as it may sound, when a bird loses its balance, it is usually the result of an internal problem.
Let’s go over a few of the more common:
Sometimes a tumor on the kidney will not appear on the outside of the body, but other symptoms such as limping, the loss of use of a leg (or both) and/or imbalance might occur. This happens when the tumor presses on certain nerves.
Tumors can also be in a male’s testes or female’s ovaries and there are not always obvious changes until later on when the growth is more dominant inside.
Other indications that there may be tumor activity would be a change in cere color, weight loss, changes in droppings (often becoming pasty, soiling around the vent) and just subtle, overall changes that owners may sense more than actually see or be able to describe.
Fatty liver disease is something that is often seen in a bird on a seed only or predominantly seed diet. No matter how much the manufacturer insists they are fortified and healthy, they are misleading all of us.
and though a cockatiel site, this will apply to all psittacines (parrots)
Skeletal problems, deficiencies and even toxicities can cause a loss of balance and restlessness in some birds, as well as the more common symptoms such as breathing difficulties, open mouthed breathing and so on.
Zinc and other toxic metals or substances can be ingested slowly over time when toys, clasps, chains, links or even cages are chewed on or played with. Other poisonings occur when the bird actually swallows a toy, link or piece of one. Watch out for bell clappers for instance.
Take a look here under critical conditions to reassure yourself that urgent veterinary intervention may be necessary (these symptoms apply to all birds, not just ‘tiels)
Vitamin A/Beta Carotene may help produce some improvement if this is related to a deficiency. It's certainly not going to hurt to try.
However, it must be administered with natural food sources if done at home.
Vitamin A is most ideally received from natural foods like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, squash and other dark colored vegetables. If your bird doesn’t care for fresh vegetables, a ½ teaspoon of natural baby food (human baby food) of any of these vegetables. Again, it must be all natural and nothing but the vegetable with water sufficient for processing.
If this were my bird, yes, I'd see a vet about this. If for no other reason than to know I did everything I could - and in a best case scenario, this might be something treatable and able to overcome.
You've done an excellent job in getting him to this age. I wish you only the best
Thank you for this info.
1. Do you know which of the vegetables would he be most likely to want when he feels bad?
2. Secondly if fresh veggies, should they be cooked or raw?
3. How would I get him to eat baby food if he won't eat the real veggies?
4. He has only ever eaten seed and millet so is your best guess a deficiency or old age?
5. What are the symptoms of old age?
When I accept will I be able to reach you again? If yes, how?
Another couple things I forgot to tell you, this issue only arose over the last 2-3 days, when he gets upset that when I'm moving something around in his cage (of course to make life easier for him) he squaws a lot and moves around just fine not appearing off balance, in fact he even flew upstairs twice today when I took him out to change things around, after which he was breathing heavily for a bit but seemed recover fine. Since he is restless and can't seem to balance steadily I wonder if he's not able to sleep and therefore exhausted. Does any of this help you with a diagnosis
Good morning, Jack is still about the same this morning. I just found a vet open who does handle birds. Of course they are booked so it would be an emergency visit but hopefully they can help.
I am going to get some baby food as you suggested but I am wondering how I feed this to him. Should I: 1)Put it in a dish and try to lead him to it but if he steps in it, it will be a mess. 2) hold a spoonful in front of him, but thinking that may spook him, 3) put a little on top of his seed and hope he finds it?
Lastly how much do I ive him at once, 1/2 tablespoon or more?
I really wish I knew your name, seems like you're a friend already here to be on this momentary journey with me. I did take Jack to the vet today and they said more than likely it is a tumor pressing on a nerve causing pain in his left leg. (of course one of the very options you mentioned.) His weight was only 28 when a healthy parakeet should be about 35. The comparison the Dr gave was Jack was like a 110 year old ill person who weighs about 90 lbs. He said he would need to take blood to run tests and an xray to confirm but he said Jack was too frail and by drawing the blood now there was a 30% chance he would die. He spoke of antiboitics, syringe feeding to put some weight on him but more than likely since he was in bad shape it may not work. So when I asked the Dr. if it made more sense to put him to sleep so he wouldn't suffer he agreed it was the best thing for him. I spent some sweet time with Jack for the last 5 hour we were in the vet. Even though he wasn't feeling well he was comforted to sit under my chin and rest most of that time. It was hard to say goodbye because he was a special little guy and brought a lot of joy in our home for so many years. Of course I have been crying now for about 1.5 hours but I know it's part of life and maybe when I get to heaven he will welcome me there! I will miss his chirps and squawking (especially during conference calls when my employees have a hard time hearing me over him :)) but at least I know he is not suffering for sure! Thank you so much for all of your time & help since late last night. To be honest I was extremely skeptical of websites taking peoples money and giving nothing in return but I have to say, you made this journey so much easier and I will highly recommend this site to anyone in need!
If you are a praying person, please pray for my friend Koral next door and her missing dog Dasher. He got loose somehow last Monday from her MIL's home and is lost. In fact Dasher's mom is my Shih-Tzu Mango's baby! It's like loosing a grandbaby to some extent! In fact this has been a very emotional week for us all!
Thank you again and God bless! Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Brenda
Thanks so much for your response! I am ok and like you said I'll have moments here and there, but I am not blaming myself at all. I believe Jack had a very nice life for his 17 years with us and I'm just so glad he is out there feeling great today!! Thanks for your prayers for my friends dog, I still hope somehow he is returned to her, but if not that he is safe and sound somewhere.
Take care and thanks again for all you do to help others in need. It is truly a wonderful ministry you have!
God Bless, Brenda