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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My Quaker parrot is 20 years old, loss of balance easily and

Customer Question

My Quaker parrot is 20 years old, loss of balance easily and foot clenched in ball...this morning she's at bottom of cage with eyes closed...been eating fine, and poop is normal...I'm thinking she's dying of old age? Or seizures?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't gotten a response....I paid....
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. You may be correct that she's dying but not necessarily from old age. It's important to note that once a pet bird acts ill they're critically ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). This is a protective mechanism because ill birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Pal's symptoms are all important but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. An avian-oriented vet will first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of Pal's choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.Until Pal can be attended to, please heat up her environment to 90F 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 cause of illness in our pet birds. Has Pal eaten foods other than seeds and fruit?

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