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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 26862
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 5 month old conure is off balance and having difficulty

Customer Question

Hi my 5 month old conure is off balance and having difficulty balancing on his perch and even to eat he bobs his head crazily as if he's so dizzy! I blended his food and have fed him using a dropper. His appetite is good but she's so pitiful. I took her to the vet about a month ago bc she has a rather large abdomen. The vet was concerned but after bloodwork and X-ray came back fine she sent us home. Coconut has been doing great until today. I'm so worried. No aboan vets are in my area. Any suggestions?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?
Customer: I feed Coconut zupreen pellets, and 2x a day give her a blend of spinach, corn, pasta and berries. Until today she could eat it without it being blended but she's so off balance I fed her with dropper and blended it all up today.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 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. To answer you directly, his neurolgic signs (ataxia/"drunken sailor") can indicate quite a few disorders. They include weakness due to illness, lead poisoning, head trauma, hypocalcemia (low serum calcium level), hypoglycemia (low serum glucose level), central nervous systems (e.g., proventricular dilatation disease; encephalitis, neoplasia) and cardiovascular disease. His diet is exemplarary and so nutritional deficiencies such as hypocalcemia and hypoglycemia would seem unlikely. I understand your logistical constraints. Unfortunately, you would need an avian vet (www.aav.org) to clarify which of the above disorders exists.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you. I took Coconut to local vet this morning. His 'drunken sailor' was better and his blood work and feces sample all looked normal. The vet suspects some type of head trauma but did give me the name of an avian vet an hour and a half away. I've called to get an appt there.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Thank you for the good update. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. I would very much like to hear the avian vet's take on your young conure. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
happily the avian vet concurred with local vet that it looked and presented like head trauma. Strange that he'd only been in his cage but vet says even a fall in his cage could do that. His blood work all looked great. Avian vet gave me antibiotic drop bcCoconut was sneezing a bit. After several days of antibiotics and lots of spoiling by me Coconut is completely back to normal. Eating well, squawking when he sees me or I leave his sight. It's a happy sound!! Thank you so much!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

What a good update! Thank you for taking the time to let me know.