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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29808
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Her tongue has been swelling. At first I thought it was a vit

Customer Question

Her tongue has been swelling. At first I thought it was a vit a def. and started feeding her Chili's and leafy greens and it looked lots better. Last night I feed her pasta and oatmeal and it has swelled again overnight as bad as it was before. So now I believe that it is allergy to either the pasta or oatmeal. I have children's benadryl. She is a severe macaw. How much should I give her
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Demi is her. I rescued her so I do not know her age. Best guess is 10 years
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Demi?
Customer: No. She is a prolific egg layer and will eat drywall if she can get close enough. I give her calcium sticks but she doesn't eat them so I will shave on her food
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
You can safely dose Demi with 2-4 mg/kg (1-2 mg/lb) of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) once daily but please note that birds find the children's Benadryl solution awful tasting. You would need to squirt it behind her tongue but without inadvertently squirting it down her windpipe. I'll inject rather than dose orally this drug. I like your idea of vitamin A deficiency which can be addressed by feeding her a wide variety of foods and pellets but, once again, one injection of vitamin A should be curative as long as she began to ingest enough of it in her diet. Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has Demi's 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.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cook daily for my birds. They do get lots of fruits and veggies but Demi doesn't care for the green and pea. I do give them a good deal of rice and pasta as they cook fast and all the birds like them . They all get eggs and potatoes every Saturday. Demi will Chili's so she has been eating a lot of thos this past week. They get seeds and pellets once or twice a week
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I can't imagine that a vitamin A deficiency exists. She eats better than I do. Let's see how the Benadryl affects her. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So my guess is that she weighs only .5 lbs making her .25 kg. so she would get .5 mg. is my math correct
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Yes, 0.5 lbs x 1-2 mg/lb = 0.5 - 1 mg daily.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you I will let you know how she is feeling
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. You can bookmark this page for ease of return. I'm very interested in hearing how the antihistamine affects her.
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