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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21257
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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Tail bobbing slightly fast breathing might be a cold? still

Customer Question

tail bobbing slightly fast breathing might be a cold? still preening and stretching wings
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Axel is 2 has 2 buddys in the cage who are healthy. should he be separated out?
JA: Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: no
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. I must say I am quite concerned about Axel, especially if he is showing signs of tail bobbing, stretching, and elevated respiration. These signs could certainly be due to a cold, but the problem is that whatever the cause is compromising his ability exchange oxygen as well as he normally has been able to do. So, as his breathing is abnormal, it is prudent to have him seen as soon as possible. Because if he is struggling to breath, then this is a red flag of urgency and he may need his vet to put him on oxygen to stabilize while addressing what is causing his respiratory disease. And its important to note that even though he is preening and not acting panicked, birds are notorious for covering up when they are sick. This is because as a prey species, attention to your illness will make you a target for predation. So, if we are even seeing him like this then we need to pay attention and address this aggressively before it can become an even more serious issue. Too often we are the last to know when our birds are sick. And too often we only see signs of struggling when their condition is just too advanced for them to hide any longer. Therefore, bird instinct puts us human owners at a disadvantage for catching things early, and makes addressing the signs we are seeing now even more important.Otherwise, just since you asked about the cause, a cold is possible but our birds can show respiratory signs like this for a variety reasons. Specifically, a respiratory infection in this species can be caused by bacteria, fungus, parasitic, nutritional, and viral agents. With those in mind, unfortunately you wont' be able to rule out most of these at home which is quite important with his current signs. Though a good physical examination +/- fecal or blood testing are the best measures to do so. As well and most importantly, his vet can do these after he has been put into oxygen to ease his breathing. They will pinpoint the cause for his signs, rule out other differentials and initiate appropriate treatment. You want your vet to examine Axel, have a listen of his chest and determine if there is a respiratory infection (and if so, to what extent). Depending on the vet’s exam findings, they will be able to advise you on which causative agent might be present, and guide you on diagnostics and treatment steps to get him well. And since he is sharing an airspace with another bird (and exposure has already happened), they may be able to send home treatment in case his companion develops signs too.Overall, Axel's signs are a serious concern here that we don't want to leave to linger. If he is struggling to breathe, then we do have to consider having him seen by his vet as soon as possible to get him help and address this respiratory disease. This will give you the best chance of helping address this and getting him back to breathing comfortably. While you are sorting out veterinary care for him, if he looks chilled and fluffed up, then do make sure you are keeping him warm. You can cover three sides of the cage to keep heat in or consider moving him to a little hospital cage (one level with a soft substrate floor). You can use a heat lamp, or a heating pad under half her pen (do not put it in the cage) but do monitor closely. Alternatively, you can make a safe warmer for the bird from a clean sock filled 2/3rd full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Make sure to shake it before adding it to the cage, to allow the heat to distribute. Make sure its not too hot (as we don’t want to burn the bird. If it cools, you can re-warm as required). Whichever technique you use, do monitor the temperature closely, since we don’t want to overheat him (and we cannot be confident he would move himself if he grew too warm). Since it is the weekend and your vet may not have regular hours today (many do, so its worth checking), you should consider seeing your vet as an emergency. If you have a vet you see normally, I would advise to first ring the practice (as they will have a contingency for emergency care for their patients, often outlined on their answering machine message) or contact the local pet ER if the regular vet isn't open. Or just in case you do need an avian vet and do not have one already, you can check where you can find one at near you at AAV (, Avian web( or Birdsnway( take care,Dr. B.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )