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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Avian Veterinarian
Category: Bird
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Experience:  25 years as avian-only veterinarian
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zebra finch: last 3 days..cage..grit and cuttlebone and eats seed

Resolved Question:

I have a zebra finch that is 7-8 years old, and has acted sick the last 3 days Looking puffy, spending a lot of time at the bottom of the cage, but eating and drinking. He may have overeated both grit and cuttlebone and eats seed exclusively. SOme say he's ding of old age. A nearby vet recommends treatment costing upwards of $600. What do you think?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  replied 6 years ago.
I think you should call several avian vets if there are more in your area. I would certainly find a way to help her for less than $600.

She may well have overeaten the grit, and it is very dangerous. They often do that if low on calcium, and a seed diet will certainly lead to nutritional deficiency.

Adding more fiber to the diet will help move the extra grit through. You can add leafy greens, they are the first choice. You may look in the dietary aisle at the grocery store for high fiber crackers, and crumble those; and/or sprinkle psyllium flakes on her food.

Vitamin B in the water won't do anything but grow bacteria in there. Zebra finches should be on a high-quality, preferably prescription, pelleted diet. In addition, they should be offered dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin; entire (tops and bottoms) fresh carrots and so forth. No seeds (and that means a mix, or millet, or sprays, etc etc.) and only healthy, low-fat high fiber people food. A dietary change should be closely monitored and supervised by your avian vet.
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