Bird Veterinary

Have Bird Questions? Ask a Bird Specialist.

Ask a Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Bird Veterinary
This answer was rated:

I have a parakeet about 5 years old always very active. For

the last he just sits...
I have a parakeet about 5 years old always very active. For the last he just sits on his perch all fluffed with some labored breathing. Still eating and drinking though. Also stools seem watery
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Jojo
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Jojo?
Customer: His feathers and beak look good
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Bird Veterinary Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
9/16/2017
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,644
Experience: As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
Verified

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

I must say I am quite concerned about Jojo, especially if he is showing signs of breathing issues. This laboured breathing suggests that he may not be able to 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.

The problem I am sure you will appreciate with birds to that they do a very good job of 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.

Now I am sure you can appreciate just like people, 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.

You will not be able to rule out most of these at home (a good physical examination +/- fecal or blood testing are the best measures to do so), but I do just briefly want to mention one differentials that does require you to assess your management. Specifically, we can see respiratory disease secondarily to nutritional issues. Birds are prone to vitamin A deficiency when they diet is unbalanced or if they are selectively grazing and filling up in the wrong foods (ie. sunflower seeds). If he is on an imbalanced or all seed/millet diet, then you might consider supplementing his diet with vitamin A or try to tempt him to eat some veggies or fruit. You can try leafy dark greens and vegetables (i.e. kale, squash, celery, carrots, corn), as well as fruits (i.e., bananas, grapes, apples, grapes, pears, etc). They can also have seeding grass, and dandelion (flowers, roots and leaves). The reason Vitamin A is so important is because birds with vitamin A deficiency issues can show respiratory signs and can often have sneezing, wheezing, nasal discharge, crusted or plugged nostrils, lethargy, depression, diarrhea, tail-bobbing, respiratory distress, thinness, poor feather color, swollen eyes, ocular discharge, anorexia, gagging, halitosis and a "slimy mouth". Therefore, while we need to rule out infectious agents as the root of the signs you are seeing, we must also consider a nutritional differential and/or component to your bird’s illness.

So, diet is something to keep in mind. But further to this, and critically important if Jojo has started to have labored breathing is to get your vet involved to rule out those other differentials and initiate appropriate treatment. You want your vet to examine your bird, 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.

Overall, heavy breathing is 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 his 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 his cage (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 him self if he grew too warm).

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 (http://www.aav.org/search/), Avian web(http://www.beautyofbirds.com/recommendedvets.htm) or Birdsnway(http://www.birdsnways.com/birds/vets.htm).

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,644
Experience: As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
Verified
Dr. B. and 87 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,644
21,644 Satisfied Customers
Experience: As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.

Dr. B. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Pat

Dr. Pat

Bird Veterinarian

3,596 satisfied customers

25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds

Dr. Bob

Dr. Bob

Veterinarian

2,853 satisfied customers

35 years in general practice, including avian.

Dr. MD Stafford

Dr. MD Stafford

Veterinarian

233 satisfied customers

20 years in private practice, contract veterinarian Dickerson Park Zoo and attending veterinarian Missouri State University

Fiona Steel

Fiona Steel

Veterinarian

224 satisfied customers

BVMS MRCVS

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

220 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

allpetsdr

allpetsdr

Veterinarian

142 satisfied customers

I have been practicing for 10 years. I work with exotic pets, dogs, cats, small ruminants, camelids and pigs.

Dr_Kitty

Dr_Kitty

Bird Veterinarian

122 satisfied customers

Mostly experience with chickens and ducks.

< Previous | Next >

Related Bird Veterinary Questions
Guinea female seems constipated. On antibiotic for
guinea female seems constipated. On antibiotic for respiratory problem simultaneously … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,216 satisfied customers
My 9 week old silkie suddenly passed away. I am not sure
my 9 week old silkie suddenly passed away. I am not sure why. If she died of an illness I just want to make sure my other chickens aren't sick. This morning when I turned them out in their run, all of… read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Bird Veterinarian
21,644 satisfied customers
We have a hen who loved to jump up to the highest places she
We have a hen who loved to jump up to the highest places she could find. Was not surprised that she was limping around. Brought her in so she would be contained and could rest it. It's been several we… read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Bird Veterinarian
21,644 satisfied customers
My son's cockatiel ingested lysol by falling into a cleaning
my son's cockatiel ingested lysol by falling into a cleaning bucket he was having trouble breathing so he is at the vet they put him on oxygen and said they don't think he is going to make it any sugg… read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,216 satisfied customers
My big goose lost lower part of top bill to the dog, I can
My big goose lost lower part of top bill to the dog , I can see his tounge, sorry, sp. Do I leave him alone or feed him with a baster or what? breaks my heart... … read more
Dr Linda
Dr Linda
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Doctoral Degree
1,237 satisfied customers
She has 0ne eye closed and seems a bit lethargis. Princess
She has 0ne eye closed and seems a bit lethargis JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age? C… read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Bird Veterinarian
21,644 satisfied customers
We have a peacock who has managed to get his toes caught
Hi we have a young peacock who has managed to get his toes caught tightly with fishing line. His toe is now hanging off with not much holding it. We have managed to catch him to cut the line away but … read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Bird Veterinarian
21,644 satisfied customers
Today I saw it looked like the black part of the claw in the
Hi today I saw it looked like the black part of the claw in the water. Its like they were pulled off? The claws now look creamy pink? Is this normal? Do they shed? The birds are 3cand have never been … read more
Dr G
Dr G
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Doctoral Degree
27 satisfied customers
He is loosing all his feathers and has not much balance.
he is loosing all his feathers and has not much balance . What can I do for him … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,216 satisfied customers
I brought a budgie off a man at the markets and his beak has
I brought a budgie off a man at the markets and his beak has broken off and is very black looking he can't eat seed and have been feeding him soft feed by hand will his beak grow back or is this serio… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
I have a 24 yr old male Cockatiel named Coco, that I have
I have a 24 yr old male Cockatiel named Coco, that I have had since he was 8 weeks old. He was hand raised by my cousin who had a breeding pair. Coco was one of their babies. About a month ago, I had … read more
Dr G
Dr G
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Doctoral Degree
27 satisfied customers
Male Pekin pet duck has quickly developed a raised spot on
Male Pekin pet duck has quickly developed a raised brown spot on the top of his bill. … read more
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo
Veterinarian
BA
1 satisfied customers
I have an old goose that has been limping with swollen leg
I have an old goose that has been limping with swollen leg for about 2 weeks. It seems to slowly be getting worse. She still eats and follows the other geese. They are mostly wild and live on my small… read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Bird Veterinarian
21,644 satisfied customers
My bird just flew to the ground and hurt himself and was in
My bird just flew to the ground and hurt himself and was in a catatonic state for several minutes and now he seems to be flying around okay yet I'm wondering if I should get them checked by a veterina… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My husband and I have a 15 year old cockatiel who seems
My husband and I have a 15 year old cockatiel who seems healthy and happy with the exception that one of his wings has a hole in the feather pattern and other feathers lay through the hole. Thus, thos… read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,216 satisfied customers
I have two turkeys with upper repertory problems. Faces are
I have two young turkeys with upper repertory problems. Faces are so swollen with puss they can't open their eyes … read more
Dr Linda
Dr Linda
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Doctoral Degree
1,237 satisfied customers
My bird is breathing hard with mouth open. She had been at
My bird is breathing hard with mouth open. She had been at Vet lately for plugged up vent. She is onantibiotic … read more
Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
532 satisfied customers
My cockatiel has a cyst type spot on his chest. can I doctor
Second opinion] my cockatiel has a cyst type spot on his chest. can I doctor her myself or do I need antibiotics.… read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,216 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x