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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 23778
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My indian ring neck is sneezing, respiratary tract & sinuses

Customer Question

My green indian ring neck is sneezing, respiratary tract & sinuses perhaps with blockage, voice box has apparent swelling, tail downward & torso bent. Faecial deficit in liquid state.Pls hrlp mr as Avian vet r not easily or unavailable here.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Mitthu ....4 months
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Mitchum?
Customer: Not able to speak now...only a sound like Gharrrr..... is produced whenever we r encouraging him to speak.
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: 3 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I understand your logistical constraints. You're going to need to dose Mitthu with a liquid broad spectrum antibiotic directly into beak. I don't know the availability of these antibiotics where you live but good choices are enrofloxacin dosed at 10-30 mg/kg every 12 hours for at least 10 consecutive days, trimethoprim-sulpha derivatives dosed at 50-100 mg/kg (of combined product) every 12 hours for 5-7 days, and doxycycline dosed at 25-50 mg/kg once daily for at least 10 consecutive days.

It's important to note that once a ringneck acts ill it's already quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet. This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Mitthu's symptoms of respiratory infection and are important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular infectious agent (bacterial, viral, fungal).

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 Mitthu'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/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 Mitthu's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: or here: 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.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?


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