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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29720
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I acquired a parakeet from a private party in early March of

Customer Question

I acquired a parakeet from a private party in early March of 2015. He is approximately
2 yrs. old. In last month he hardly makes a sound, eats heartily, doesn't have normal
droppings and today his back is puffed up and sleeps.
Can you suggest what might be happening ?
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. We don't have many bird vets on the site. It's important to note that once a parakeet acts ill they're already quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: This is a protective mechanism because ill birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Lovey's symptoms of abnormal droppings, puffing up, and somnolence are all important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder.
An avian-oriented vet will first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of Lovey's choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and/or cloaca (vent) are likely to be taken.
Until Lovey can be attended to, please heat up her environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into her partially covered cage (not at night when she needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of her cage. If she appears unsteady to you, remove her perches and put her food and water on the bottom of the cage along with her. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to her water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make her water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to her water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in her water. They won't be effective if only because an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly.
Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has Lovey's diet consisted of, please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Appreciated your advise on pet parakeet Lovey.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Hi Joanne,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Lovey. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Salkin,
You have my (3 Star Rating) for your veterinary expertise . My parakeet is on the mend after
following your recommendations. Helpful to be on call for a "Chat advise". Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your kind words and rating. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know about Lovey.