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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29028
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My issue is my lovebird just started to show signs today of

Customer Question

Customer: hi my issue is my lovebird just started to show signs today of what I looked up online as stargazing can I do anything for her tonight
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: i was putting all my birds to bed by putting a blanket over the cage when i noticed my female head was turned to the side when i took her out she stayed on the blanket and twirled around she was chirping and biting still has energy and was on her perch high up when i found her.
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Customer: should i be panicking and worrying right now?
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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. We don't have many avian vets on this site. "Stargazing"/torticollis isn't a specific disease but, instead, a symptom of vestibular (balance) disorder. It can occur secondary to infections involving the inner ear or brain (cerebellum/brainstem), nutritional imbalances, stroke, or perhaps a genetic fault.

Until your lovebird can be attended to by an avian vet (please see here:, please place her in a "hospital cage" and 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. 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 her diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of her diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: or here: should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Very detailed because of holidays no vets are open. Have to wait till tomorrow lovebird didn't eat egg but was eating her food which is katee exact. I was always recommended that food. And I put vitamin drops in water. Can't find calcium drops anywhere yet. She is perching climbing eating n drinking and preens her partner. Acts very healthy except for the tilted head thanks for getting back to me
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the good update. Many of these birds will normalize in time. The Kaytee Exact is a good convalescent food as well as a baby bird formula. You shouldn't need a calcium supplement if you're feeding that product but if you want to supplement with calcium you can find Calciboost here:

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 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin