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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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My lovebirds head has become tilted to the side,

Resolved Question:

My lovebirds head has become way tilted to one side, it seems fine except for this, is there anything that should be done for him?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 6 years ago.
Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.

This is very common in lovebirds. Sometimes it can be associated with seizures as well, so keep an eye on him. If he is eating and pooping ok, he will adapt very well and may live his normal lifespan. You may have to help him out a bit with a safer environment. Go to this link for some ideas.

There may be some medical issues that need to be addressed. He may be medically normal in spite of his head, but living with that handicap will require that you be especially vigilent about health and husbandry issues. You need to to take your bird to see an avian-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check this link for members of AAV in your area or call your regular vet and see who they recommend; ask if they really have worked with birds a lot. If this were my patient, I would start with complete fecal analysis and direct smear, for multiple parasites; bacterial culture and sensitivity of the feces and choana. Depending on the case I might do a fungal culture. Routine blood work is necessary to rule out other issues. Generally I start them out on antibiotics as indicated by the tests (I use a lot of human antibiotics that are injectable).

Your bird may need calcium, antibiotics and many other medications. The head position will not need treatment, but everything else needs to be 100%.

The following guidelines help with basic issues such as nutrition, obesity, good immune status. Surprising how the following can make a bird healthy, and how infrequently birds are ill if they are on the following regimen. No amount of medicine is going to work if the birds' basic needs are not met.

Birds should be on a high-quality, preferably prescription, pelleted diet (I prefer Harrison's High Potency, TOP , Tropican). In addition, they should be offered dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin; entire (tops and bottoms) fresh carrots and so forth. No seeds (and that means a mix, or millet, or sprays, etc. etc.) and only healthy, low-fat high fiber people food. A dietary change should be closely monitored and supervised by your avian vet.
convert to pellets
good diet

Birds should get 12-14 hours dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep at night. Any less and they can suffer from sleep deprivation and associated illnesses. They should be covered or their cage placed in a dark room that is not used after they go to bed. They should have access to bathing by daily shower, misting, bath bowl, etc.
basic maintenance

The cage material should be cleaned everyday, and twice a day if the bird is really messy. Paper towels, newspaper, bath towels are ok. Never use corn cob, sawdust, wood chips, or walnut shell. Consider getting a large cage that is longer than tall--as birds move in a horizontal rather than vertical orientation; and have several feeding stations.

Never give grit, gravel sandpaper or cement perches. A bird will eat those to excess when it is not feeling well or if there is a nutritional deficiency. They do not need it at all (an old myth from the poultry days, even poultry do not need it). It can cause an impaction and lead to serious or fatal consequences.
daily routine
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If this is very common - what causes it and can it be reversed? Are you saying parasites could cause this? Or general diet?
Expert:  replied 6 years ago.
It is not known exactly what causes it. There are a lot of theories but no answers. It generally is not reversible but may improve over time. Parasites are not usually involved.

What I meant is that any medical problems need to be diagnosed and taken care of.
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