my bird seems to not have good balance and when he fly, he keeps hitting the walls now..
Pet's Gender: Male
Type of Animal: parakeet
changing water daily, cleaning cage..giving him vitamin drops
Please stop using vitamin drops unless a specifically avian veterinarian prescribes them. The pet store products are junk and very dangerous. They kill hundreds of birds every year and since there are no 'truth in advertising' laws for pets, no one can really do much about it. --- 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. --- 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. http://www.avianweb.com/liverdisease.html --- and though a cockatiel site, this will apply to all psittacines (parrots) http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww61eiii.htm --- 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) http://www.avianweb.com/cockatieldiseases.html--- As incredible as it might seem, birds don’t need much, if any vitamin C. It is a water soluble vitamin which means it passes out of the body after the body takes what it needs and C is available in a wide variety of both fresh and processed foods given to birds. --- Vitamin A/Beta Carotene, on the other hand, is frequently found to be deficient in birds. This is a fat soluble vitamin which means it gets stored in the fat cells of the body, so it’s possible to overdose on it. With our companion birds though, too little is the situation most often encountered. --- 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. --- http://www.parrotsociety.org.au/articles/art_021.htm Nutritional Overview --- It's a surprise to many owners is that a crop problem can be behind the symptoms too. Anything that contributes to an electrolyte imbalance/nutritional ******In females, egg binding or Dystocia could be behind what seems to be a loss of balance or even appearing to have had a stroke as some owners describe. --- This is a very serious condition and urgent care is absolutely necessary. --- As with all things that might go wrong with our feathered friends, early intervention gives us a better chance at keeping them around a bit longer. ---For a makeshift brooder to keep your bird safe and supported until you get to the vet: Use an appropriately sized box lined with soft clothes like tee shirts. It should be like a ‘nest’ for your bird, not too big. Tuck in more materials to make an oversized box ‘smaller’ on the inside if necessary. ----- Use a thick, clean sock and fill it ¾ with plain, raw white rice. Knot the end and microwave it for about 1 ½ minutes. Shake it afterwards to distribute the heat and be sure it's not too hot. Tuck this in just under the cloths. The heat should last a couple of hours and even though it’s dry, raw rice - it’s a moist heat. You can use two socks if you feel it’s appropriate. ----A heating pad under the box is also helpful, set on low. This is one of the few times I’d ever use both heat sources if necessary to maintain incubation temp (approx. 90 degrees F, 32.2 C). If you use the heating pad - I’d only use one rice sock, if any at all. Be sure you only put the heating pad underneath ½ of the cage bottom so the bird has the option of moving to a ‘cooler’ side. ----- If ever using an electric source for heating anything in anyway, please be vigilant and constantly double checking carefully.-----Gently drape a light cover over this box to further help hold heat in and keep light low. ----- You might also want to put a vaporizer in the area - no meds in it. The warm, steamy air is helpful for just about anything that might be wrong. Not a cure, but helpful. --- Finally, please don't trust your bird if he suddenly seems fine. He probably isn't. This is a trick called 'masking' in order to protect him from predators. It's part of his instincts. By the time you see symptoms again it will often be too late. So no doubt about it, get him seen by your vet within the next 24 hours, no later. Good luck and keep up the good work!
Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author