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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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I have a parakeet who appears to be possibly having trouble

Customer Question

I have a parakeet who appears to be possibly having trouble passing an egg. Her first. She has been at it for over 48 hours, wiggling on the bottom of her cage, and appears to be in a lot of pain. All three of the pet emergency clinics (the only ones open today) in my area do not see parakeets. Is there anything I can do -- please?
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 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 15 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. Please let me know if you still need help. May I have an update on Tommi please?

Once so much time has passed and an egg isn't delivered, my patient should be placed in a heated hospital cage with adequate humidity and given calcium gluconate by intramuscular injections every 3-6 hours. Oxygen may be required if my patient is dyspneic (difficult breathing). Tube feeding highly digestible, high-sugar supplements may be given to provide a rapid source of energy. Stress and handling should be minimized, and the bird should be kept in a dark, quiet environment. If my patient is distressed, an emergency situation exists and surgical egg removal may be necessary. Unfortunately, as you can see, the above is beyond what caretakers can do at home for these birds.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
The only bird vet was closed until this morning. I tried to keep her warm and used a vaporizer, but she didn't make it. I feel terrible. She was my special needs son's bird and he loved her. I still have another female left and two male parakeets. Maybe I should find a way to keep the female we have left from the same fate. Thank you for your time.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 days ago.

My condolences for your loss of Tommi. You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Nutritional imbalances are a common problem in our pet birds. Seeds should compose less than 20% of your parakeets' 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.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 12 days ago.

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