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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28531
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My bird is unconscious, it took a antibiotic yesterday.

Customer Question

My bird is unconscious, it took a antibiotic yesterday. Sometimes he tries walking/moving/twitching a bit, but his eyes are kept shut. Is that a bad sign?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: no
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Sam, and its about 3
years old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Sam,?
Customer: he was in perfect condition earlier yesterday, then out of no where he became unconscious and i'm not sure why
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're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry to hear of this with Sam. What type of bird is he, please? Did an avian vet administer an antibiotic injection yesterday? If Sam is lapsing in and out of consciousness, he's critically ill and I'm afraid that you're likely to lose him shortly. The best scenario would be that he's having an adverse reaction to the antibiotic. Was he losing consciousness prior to being given the antibiotic?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was already unconscious before the antibiotic, i'm not sure if it's helping at all or not. He tried opening his eyes at one point but barely. It's a male parakeet. Yes, I took him to a vet and they did mention he could pass away but they wanted to at least try and treat him with an antibiotic. They said they couldn't tell what was really wrong with him.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information. An avian-oriented vet might well have better success by first treating symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food plus, presumptively, an antibiotic. While I can't be a specific as I'd like to be from here, nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. Seeds should compose less than 20% of his diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. 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.For now, 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. This will conserve energy otherwise used to maintain his body heat. Remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did as you said and kept him warm, and he's been laying a small box with covers at the bottom that the vet gave me. He actually started moving and he had his eyes wide open for a while. It seems to me that he's slowly getting well. He is still weak but trying to maintain his balance more.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the good update. Add a water soluble vitamin such as Oasis brand at half the dose the label recommends to avoid making his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calciboost or Calcivet as well. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores.
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