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Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 697
Experience:  DVM
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My bird passed away. Before she passed away, she went down

Customer Question

Hello
My bird passed away. Before she passed away, she went down off her perch and then spread her wings out and had her mouth open. She looked like the bird in this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SaiXa5uh38. it only lasted a few seconds. My friend's bird died the same way like 5 years ago. Is this want happens to bird when they die? it is a seizure or some sort of attack before they pass? I was just wondering
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Scott Perry replied 1 month ago.

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand that your bird recently passed away. I am so sorry to hear about that. I was able to look at the video you sent. The wings being spread and the mouth being open is indicating difficulty breathing and not getting enough oxygen. The sings spreading out is essentially the way for them to expand their lungs and get air. There are a few different things that can cause this, which we can talk about. Can you first please tell me how old your girl was and what kind of a bird?

Expert:  Scott Perry replied 1 month ago.

Also, you may receive a request for a phone call. This is automatically offered by the website, but you do not have to accept it. I can not stop the offer from being made, but I am able to answer your question with the chat box only if you prefer it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
a cockatiel, I rescued her not sure about exact age but around 15 years old
Expert:  Scott Perry replied 1 month ago.

There are various causes of respiratory problems in birds. Infection with bacterial or viral organisms are possible. Chlamydia is probably the most common bacteria. Chronic low vitamin A as a result of being on a seed based diet is often observed. Low vitamin A results in a decreased immune response and opportunistic infections. Other things such as airway toxin (i.e. Teflon), abdominal mass compressing on the air sacs, or an obstruction of the airway (e.g. seed in the trachea) can all cause decreased oxygen absorption and cause the signs you have described. Probably the most common things we see are either infectious or nutritional deficiencies.

Expert:  Scott Perry replied 1 month ago.

I hope that helps to answer your question. I know this is a sad loss. Please let me know if you have any other questions. If your question is answered, I would appreciate very much a positive review. You may leave up to 5 stars when ready. I will be standing by if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
what about heart issues?
Expert:  Scott Perry replied 1 month ago.

Heart disease is less common in birds compared to other animals, but a malfunctioning heart can definitely cause this problem. If the heart is not pumping appropriately then it will not be getting enough oxygen from the lungs and will cause the same set of signs. I would put it on the list of possibilities, although I would put it a little lower on the list of probability.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
is 15 old for a cockatiel?
Expert:  Scott Perry replied 1 month ago.

15 years old is an average age for cockatiels fed primarily a seed based diet. Due to chronic malnutrition with seed mixtures, decreased immunity makes them susceptible to infection and organ function can deteriorate. Those fed a pellet based diet commonly are able to live into their 20s. We did not talk about her diet, but most people feed a seed mixture because it is most readily available from local pet stores. It is probably the number one problem we experience with bird care.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
she ate pellets and avicakes
Expert:  Scott Perry replied 1 month ago.

A pelleted food is a better nutrition source, so it was likely not a nutritional deficiency then. The other things I mentioned could have still been a factor. It sounds like you did all the right steps in care taking. Any number of infections or disease processes could have caused this.

Expert:  Scott Perry replied 1 month ago.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. If your question is answered, I would appreciate very much a positive review. You may leave up to 5 stars when ready. I will be standing by if you have any other questions.

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