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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 24426
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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He has been sleeping all day, and he is unusually quiet,

Customer Question

He has been sleeping all day
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: and he is unusually quiet
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?
Customer: Usually he is a very cuddly bird, but he doesn't want anyone close to him He is also not eating
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.
JA: Waiting to talk to the expert reminds me of the time I talked to an expert when I had problems with my new cats. My three cats all came from a rescue mission and were scrawny scared little creatures when I got them. Who could ever be mean to a cat?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. What type of bird and how old is he, 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. I understand that you may not have such a vet where you live. This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. His symptoms 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 your bird's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be quite helpful as well.

Until he 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. If he appears weakened 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/agricultural merchant 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 his 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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