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Parakeet has labored breathing, not chirping but more of a…

Parakeet has labored breathing...

Parakeet has labored breathing, not chirping but more of a clicking sound. This is just started. He is 4 1/2. Up until yesterday afternoon he seemed normal

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name?

Capt. Barnacles

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Capt.?

Yesterday he was eating just fine. Today he has been at his seed but not much. He is hanging out near the top of his cage. There are no toys or anything in the cage that he could have ingested other than his seed.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
10/21/2017
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,312
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I'm sorry to hear of this with Capt. Barnacles. That clicking sound indicates the passage of air over fluid in his trachea (windpipe) indicating a respiratory infection, a lack of vitamin A in his diet, or both. Ideally, an avian vet (www.aav.org) would inject him with vitamin A and send home a vitamin supplement you would place in his water along with a liquid antibiotic you would dose directly into his mouth.

It's important to note that once a parakeet acts ill it's already quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild.

Until he can be attended to, 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. If he appears weakened remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his water. They won't be effective if only because an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has Capt. Barnacles's diet consisted of, please? 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: 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.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,312
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you. I will try to find a vet in my area who can handle this. This fussy bird will not eat any of the Harrison or lakebed products. I have tried everything. I get his premium seed at a local pet supply. I do give some egg, some fruit, but usually he just throws it on the bottom of his cage. I will keep trying. He is such a great pal for us old retirees. I appreciate your response. God bless you for what you do.

You're quite welcome. Here's a trick for transitioning these fussy eaters: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/using-our-foods/small-bird-conversion/

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. 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.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
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Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,312
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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