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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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Can you please advise? 6 year old quaker, recently and

Customer Question

Hi there, can you please advise? 6 year old quaker, recently and sporadically his poop is tubular and dry (long thin sausage) and is getting stuck in his feathers. Also, occasionally he's having an effort to poop. Constipation? Seed diet which has been reduced... He's not the best at eating fruit and veg, have to puree and heat everything before he'll even look at it. Seems happy enough. No change in his behaviour or moods, but we are concerned. We are first time owners, had him for almost a year. He's a rehomed parrot and we love him dearly. Can you please help? Thank you so much
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about the bird?
Customer: No, we've told you everything we can
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 20 days ago.

You're speaking with 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 20 days ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. The "poop" you've described is likely due to dehydraton if the urate portion (the "white") is also tubular and dry. In addition, very bulky droppings indicate maldigestion, malabsorption, a coelomic (abdominal) growth, or pelleted diets. An avian vet (please see here: www.aav.org) can perform a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests in an attempt to clarify if maldigestion (a lack of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas) or malabsorption (inefficient absorption of digested ingesta from the GI tract) are present.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. Do your best to transition him away from seeds. 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: 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.