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Bird Veterinary

My bird has problems with tail bobbing and when I brought…

Customer Question
My bird has problems...

My bird has problems with tail bobbing and when I brought him up close he made clicking noises when he breathes. He also has not cooed in a long while, when he normally coos a lot. I think he has a respiratory illness of some sort.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your bird?

My bird has problems with tail bobbing and when I brought him up close he made clicking noises when he breathes. He also has not cooed in a long while, when he normally coos a lot. I think he has a respiratory illness of some sort.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does your bird seem to hurt?

His throat or respiratory system

Veterinarian's Assistant: Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?

He hasn't cooed in a while and his tail bobs and he makes clicking noises when breathing. He is also breathing heavily at the moment

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the bird's name and age?

Medes, and I don't know, the pet store didn't say.

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

I think thats it.

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Bird Veterinary
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Answered in 7 hours by:
12/19/2017
Bird Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,225
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Bird Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Which type of bird is he, please? You're correct to assume a respiratory infection (bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic) as tail bobbing indicates considerable respiratory compromise and clicking is the sound of air moving through fluid in inflamed airways. A vitamin A deficiency may predispose to respiratory infections as such a deficiency alters the integrity of the tissues lining the respiratory tract It's important to recognize that once a pet bird acts ill, it's already very ill and needs the attention of an avian vet (www.aav.org) at your earliest convenience.

An avian-oriented vet might first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of Medes choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be quite helpful as well.

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 Medes 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.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,225
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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