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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 28552
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have question about loverbirds. I had 8 of them, 6 hatched

Customer Question

I have question about loverbirds. I had 8 of them, 6 hatched in my house. 5 of them died within year after 6-10 years living with us, some very suddenly, but in some I noticed few looklike symptoms: first I thought that others attacked them because they were down, very still, after separation the head was more on one side, they where going in circles because they had no coordination. After a month one was completely recovered but about a month latter I found him dead. Few months later the other with similar symptoms, getting little better but didn' heal. Died within a month. Others left suddenly. They had same parents, except one which was the third generation. They were old more than 8 years. Now I have three of them, mother and father and their son. Father has 15 years and yesterday I noticed that he cant' fly. He would love to but he hesitates. When I gave him a sunflower seed it looked to me like he has something like Parkinson disease. The problem is that in Croatia there are no experts for birds, especially in my town. Can you assume what could happen with the "little ones" and can I do something to help the "grandpa". Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. When so many birds are lost within a short period of time, an infectious etiology must be suspected. Breeders will take a very ill bird to be sacrificed or a newly dead bird that has been refrigerated (not frozen) to the county animal diagnostic disease laboratory for necropsy. Once the etiology of the infection is known, treatment can be initiated for the surviving birds. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests and physical exams to differentiate one from the other. I understand your logistical constraints, however.
Grandpa's age and symptoms of brain disease may not represent a contagious problem; instead, brain tumor or stroke should be considered.
Please tell me what you feed your birds. Nutritional imbalances are a common underlying problem in pet birds - particularly primary seed eaters.