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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 26927
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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The bird is 33 yrs old, he can't fly, he can hardly walk

Customer Question

The bird is 33 yrs old, he can't fly, he can hardly walk around. His stools are runny and green. I sure hat to lose this fellow. I just don't know what to do.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: Well I did look at his feet just yesterday to clip them, because I noticed a few of his nails were curled pretty good. However I really don't know about any sores. Then to he can't get up on the post.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?
Customer: He seems to feel a little more thinner than what he was.
JA: What is the bird's name?
Customer: Zeke
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Which type of bird is Zeke, please?

It's important to note that once a pet bird acts ill they're 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. Zekes symptoms are at least partially age-related and are important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one 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 Zeke's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.

Until Zeke can be attended to, please heat up his environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into his partially covered cage (not at night when he needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of his cage. He appears very weakened and so remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his 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. What has Zeke's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his diet. 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.

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