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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7608
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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my lovebird has lost its balance and is having a difficult

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my lovebird has lost its balance and is having a difficult time keeping his eyes open he is ten years old. also, he appears to open his beak and breathe and his tongue protrudes a bit
-- How long has this been going on? This bird is 10 yrs old? What sort of diet has he been on for the most part of his life? Seed blends or a pellet diet?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

8 hours, seeds and pellets, yes hes 10

-- OK, here's what we can do right now, but make no mistake, this is very serious and he absolutely needs a hands on examination by a vet. FAST (the very first chance you get in the morning, no matter what, ok?)


When there is an urgent care situation with a bird, most cases will require additional heat as stress can create a body temperature loss that can be quite dangerous.
First things first: Get the bird in a safe, enclosed, secure environment where movement is limited for their own safety and comfort. You'll want a brooder box. This is a sort of ‘intensive care unit' at home.
For a makeshift brooder, use a small box lined with soft clothes like tee shirts.
Use a thick, clean sock and fill it ¾ with plain, raw white rice. Knot the end and microwave it for about 1 ½ minutes. Shake it afterwards to distribute the heat and be sure it's not too hot. Tuck this in just under the cloths.
A heating pad under one half of the box is also helpful, set on low. This is one of the few times I’d ever use both heat sources if necessary to maintain incubation temp (90-105 degrees).
If ever using an electric source for heating anything in anyway, please be vigilant and constantly double checking carefully.
Gently drape a light cover over this box to further help hold heat in and keep light low.
You must be on your way to professional care. Not even I have a lab at home complete with X-ray machine, CT Scanner or MRI and it won’t be doing justice to your companion to try to fix this yourself.
You may offer a few drops of sugar water to the side of their beak with your finger or by eye dropper; or a dab of corn syrup, maple syrup or bit of natural jam/jelly to help with blood sugar levels.
I wouldn’t force fluids or food though until a professional has agreed it’s required and shown you how. The last thing we need is aspiration pneumonia.
A bird may show their weakness, illness and lack of energy one moment, even for a few hours or days - and then “suddenly” seem to be fine. This is their getting a second wind. Finding the strength to ‘mask’ the illness or problem. And since this masking can continue for a while, the underlying issue is only getting worse. The next time you see the bird acting ‘off’, it might be really, really bad.
If your bird is acting ‘off’, no matter what – no matter when, they need to be seen by their vet. Infections and disease are far more successfully and inexpensively treated when tackled early. Unlike mammals, avians don’t fare well with a “watch and wait” protocol.
Though specialized avian vets are ideal, any vet who sees a majority of birds or at least 1/3 of their practice consisting of birds is a good choice.
If you have a Pet Smart, you have Banfield Clinic inside, open 7 days a week and they see birds.
If you have a Pet Co, they have a list of vet names that they use for themselves and are happy to give you, ask for 'bird vets'.
Ask any vet in town who they'd recommend for bird care. Ask any good breeder in town who they use (if they don't use anyone, they are not a good breeder, stay away from them).
Find an avian vet near you


Please promise me you'll let me know what happens ok? And of course if you have any need for clarification or even just emotional support through this, I'm here for you AND for your companion


August Abbott, CAS and 2 other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Marcia,

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

S. August Abbott, CAS