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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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Why would a parakeet just suddenly die Just laying on the bottom

Resolved Question:

Why would a parakeet just suddenly die Just laying on the bottom of the cage and died within minutes
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 7 years ago.
I am so sorry for your loss. There are many possibilities. Budgies can have severe heart disease, strokes, or other acute causes of death. The can also have long term illness that is not easy to see. The only real way to find out is to have an avian-experienced vet do a postmortem examination.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Can they have severe heart disease at 5? He lived for a few minutes after I found him and cradled him. He seemed to be a little contorted and his legs were all stretched out. I could feel his heart pounding. He seemed to be somewhat paralized. He tried to talk to me right before he stopped moving. He was stretching out his neck and almost seemed to be choking then he just stopped moving. This just about broke my heart to have this precious bird die in my hands.
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 7 years ago.
They can have genetic cardiovascular defects, and they can have heart disease associated with arterial plaques as early as one year of age. This is just one, but common, cause.

I am sorry for your loss. This has happened to me several times (even as a vet there was nothing I could do),as well, and I do understand how you feel.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much We have just felt terrible about this and I wonder if there was more I should have done. He has not looked as well as he used to for the past year. He molted constantly. I took him to our reg vet last late summer and he said he was just molting. I took him to a bird vet on Dec 21 because he was sitting on the bottom of his cage one night. She said he probably had some kind of resp infection She gave him a shot and sent us home with antibiotic drops. I gave him these for 2 weeks.I put him in his own little cage for the whole time from December with a heating pad under it and a towel over it. It seemed like the other birds were not letting him eat when he wasn't feelng well. Th ey would chase him from the food dish He seemed to get better but a couple weeks later he was fluffed up and looking sick again.I started the antibiotics again for 2 weeks and he seemed to be looking much better until Thurs AM when I found him on the bottom of his cage. I just wanted to know we did not make any mistakes in his care. The weird thing is we still have 2 parakeets we got at the same time, and they seem perfectly well and normal. It must not have been contagious right after all of this time with Parry being ill. Wouldn't they be sick by now?
Expert:  replied 7 years ago.
Each bird is and individual, and like people, respond differently and some have better immune systems than others. Unfortunately in budgies, they have been inbred so much that sometimes certain individuals have very severe problems in spite of care.
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