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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29787
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a cockatiel that seems to be making ccups and has its

Customer Question

Hello Dr. Pat! I have a cockatiel that seems to be making hiccups and has its head jerking back and forth. This happened after it hurt its wings. Wings aren't broken or bleeding, just seems to have been scraped. It has been eating and we have been giving it water. Now it's really quiet and it moves around by itself. Jerking is still going on. What should we do? Is there a home remedy? All nearby veterinarians aren't in on Sunday. Is there anything we can do in the mean time??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It sounds as if Cooko has also been concussed. We don't have specific therapy for brain injuries in birds but supportive care should involve removing his perches and placing his food and water on the bottom of his cage along with him. The environment should be heated up to 85F so he doesn't need to expend as much energy maintaining his body temperature. An avian vet (please see here: might administer a steroid by injection in an attempt to reduce inflammation in Cooko's brain although there's now a question whether or not that's appropriate for brain swelling. Dosing with the sugar mannitol by needle might be a better approach to brain swelling. It's important that Cooko keep hydrated and so continuing to dose him with water or a pediatric fluid and electrolyte replacer such as Pedialyte (or generics) is smart. Please give me an update on Cooko.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for responding! I just left Cooko at the vet. They said that she's having seizures since her head is now tilted to the side and is in critical condition. They will be giving her oxygen to calm her down. She's able to perch somewhat weakly, but not fully. Then administer steroids to lessen brain swelling. Provide her with vitamin treatment and many other things. They couldn't tell me as to the likelihood of her surviving, but I truly hope she does. She looks like she's in so much pain. It's painful to see her that way. Do you know how likely it is she would be able to make a recovery?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're quite welcome. I'm pleased to hear that she's being well-attended to. I regret that the prognosis for such birds isn't favorable. Once our pet birds act ill they're quite ill. This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked in the wild. I'll think good thoughts for Cooko's good recovery. Please continue our conversation if you wish.