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My male died - he started acting very lethargic about 4 days…

My male died -...

My male died - he started acting very lethargic about 4 days ago and I noticed he was quiet. There was no nasal discharge nor diarrhea. He was still eating and drinking.

Veterinarian's Assistant: 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?

Cookie

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Cookie?

No - other than what I've told you. He had been eating his lettuce and seed. I kept a heater going for him

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Answered in 1 hour by:
10/21/2017
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,320
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified

My condolences for your loss of Cookie. Which type of bird was he, please? I see that he had been eating lettuce and seed but if that were all he ate he would have been malnourished. Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. Seeds should have composed 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: 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.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I'm sorry - he was a parakeet - part of a bonded pair. They have always eaten seed and conditioning food. And they love lettuce. I have had the pair for about 3 years. This is the first time either had shown any problem. It will be hard to change their diet! Thank you

I agree with you. Here's a trick on how you might transition your female to pellets: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/using-our-foods/small-bird-conversion/

While malnutrition is an important consideration, lethargy can be caused by any number of disorders in parakeets. I understand that this is like closing the barn door after the horse escaped but an avian vet (www.aav.org) would have first treated symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of Cookie's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) might have been taken. Whole body X-rays can be quite helpful as well. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you. Finding an avian vet in my area is hard. The closest one we could find is 50 miles away. Unfortunately financial issues would limit the tests, etc. I will watch Cookie's mate for symptoms and take her for examination at our local vet. I understand most vets have some knowledge of birds. In the meantime I will try switching her diet.

You're quite welcome. I understand your logistical and financial constraints. I'm pleased to hear that you'll try to improve her diet. For now, add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to her water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make her water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to her water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. 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. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,320
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
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Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,320
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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