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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29829
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Our cockatiel is acting strange sitting towards front of cage

Customer Question

our cockatiel is acting strange sitting towards front of cage feathers fluffed up might have gotten a cat scratch on wing but can not see any damage but not sure was wondering if there is some sort of antibiotic that the bird can take - we have been successful with treatments for our cats and a feral cat colony I take care of at my place of employment so I am somewhat capable with animals
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. To answer you directly, yes, antibiotics are most often prudent when a bird is fluffed but over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in the water aren't effective if for the only reason that an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly. Instead, and ideally, an avian-oriented vet (please see here: should take a look at your cockatiel and see if the etiology of its fluffing and acting strange can be clarified with a thorough physical exam and basic testing. The symptoms you mentioned are quite non-specific and can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues. Are there any other symptoms that might help determine what's going on - sneezing, coughing, vomiting/regurgitation, increased respiratory rate, diarrhea? What has your cockatiel been eating, please? Nutritional imbalances commonly underlie a pet bird's malaise.