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My sister has a 15 - 20 year old cockateil that is not

My sister has a...

My sister has a 15 - 20 year old cockateil that is not acting right today. His feathers are fluffed up, he started sleeping a dark box in the bottom of his cage and is real quiet and lethargic today. this is extremely unusual for him as he really enjoy interacting with the famil and making alot of whistling and chirping noises. He is still eating and drinking but seems sick. His dropping are a grayish white color and formed but the color is different than usual. He usually has greenish color droppings. he just doesn't act right. I brought a sample of his dropping to the vet and they tested to be normal.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. 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?

Elvis and he is between 15 -20 years old.

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

No maam. He just doesn't act himself. He hasn't whistled in awhile and just seems like he doesn't feel good. right now he is on top of his cage on both feet with his head tucked under his feathers on his wing

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Answered in 18 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,538
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
ok. thank you

I'm sorry to hear of this with Elvis. It's important to note that once a cockatiel 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. Elvis's symptoms of fluffing, somnolence (sleepiness) and grey droppings (liver disorders and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency/a lack of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas should be considered) are important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. They're signs of “sick bird syndrome” - acute onset illness that is represented by an array of highly nonspecific clinical signs. Of particular concern is that Elvis is at life-expectancy (12-15 years) for cockatiels and so degenerative and neoplastic (cancers) conditions need to be considered.

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 Elvis's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be helpful as well.

Until Elvis 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 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 Elvis's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of her 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: 35,538
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you so much for your response. We will certainly try your suggestions and pray for a good outcome. God bless you.

You're quite welcome. 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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Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin
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