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Ask Dr.Lisa Your Own Question
Dr.Lisa, Bird Vet. Former Zoo Birdkeeper
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 1883
Experience:  26 yrs of small animal vet practice. Dog, cat and parrot caretaker for 35 yrs! Zookeeper for 1 yr.
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My parakeet is puffed up, not moving much,not singing and seems

Customer Question

My parakeet is puffed up, not moving much,not singing and seems to be having trouble flying. Do you know what may be wrong and what can I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr.Lisa replied 7 years ago.



It is probable that your bird has been undetectably sick for some time, because in the wild, a bird would hide their illness because they are a 'prey' species. If they didn't do this, they would be picked as the next target by the predator. Even our hand-raised babies still harbor this instinct, so when your bird started 'puffing up' etc., that was her way of showing how sick she was; when they reach the point where they don't care about hiding it they are really quite ill.

If your new budgie has spent most of her young life eating a predominantly all-seed diet, they very well may already be showing signs of nutritional deficiencies, manifested by breathing and neurologic problems. You may be

seeing signs of Hypovitamosis A and Hypocalcemia (not enough A or Calcium in the diet). She may have an enlarged liver which is overburdened with fat (hepatic lipidosis). And on top of all that, we do not know if she came with any infectious diseases, or genetic defects (like a heart problem). There may have been an unseen trauma, or your bird may be suffering from heavy metal poisoning.


Whatever the cause you need to see a vet ( ASAP.


In the interim, increase the room temp to 80F/27C, and place all her favorite foods and water well within reach. It is important to change the water frequently as it may become unappetizing if it gets really warm. Place a soft towel on the cage floor and lower the perches, or move to a makeshift hospital cage (plastic bin, padding, no perches etc.).


I hope this helps and answers your question. If you are satisfied with this answer, please press the green ACCEPT icon. If you have more questions about this problem, please press 'reply'. Bonuses and feedback are always appreciated. Thank-you.



Dr. Lisa

Dr.Lisa and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much for your prompt response. Sadly, my precious girl died just after I sent the request. However, you response will help me care for my next buddy, when I'm ready. I am too sad right now, she was so much fun
Expert:  Dr.Lisa replied 7 years ago.

I am so very sorry for your loss These little creatures leave such big holes in our hearts when they are gone.


My sympathy,

Dr. Lisa