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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28420
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Our cheeked conure all of a sudden has balance issues (falls

Customer Question

Our green cheeked conure all of a sudden has balance issues (falls off his perch onto the floor of the cage), is very lethargic, and is not making any noises at all. He is still eating and drinking.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Peewee. His behavior is that of a critically ill bird. It's important to note that once a conure acts ill they're quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Peewee's symptoms of falling and lethargy are important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder.

An avian-oriented vet might first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of Peewee's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.

Until Peewee can be attended to, please heat up his environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into his partially covered cage (not at night when he needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of his cage. Because he's so weakened at this time, remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his 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 Peewee's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds 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.
Ok thanks- working on doing all that now. He was a rescue, and we were told he ate mostly seeds, so he was only getting a little bit of fruits and vegetables, so this seems to be our fault. We are getting everything you said, but he won't stay in the bottom of his cage. I toolk all the perches out and out a towel on the bottom with his coY hour and food and water, but he still climbs up the walls of his cage. What should I do about that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cozy house
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're doing what you can. I can't ask you to confine him in a space in which he couldn't escape. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Peewee. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He passed that night.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

My condolences for your loss of Peewee. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome.