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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 29035
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 5 month old budgie was on the floor of the cage with her

Customer Question

My 5 month old budgie was on the floor of the cage with her head down in the furthest corner making an unusual chirping sound. I picked her up as though maybe she was choking. Her beak and nostrils were clear. I couldn't see anything else obviously wrong. I held her and thought she maybe having a stroke- she was twitching and chirping. I put her in a small darkened cage. She didn't stop for over 40 mins. I sent a video to a bird rescue centre and they said she may be constipated from eating something foriegn. I gave her orange juice and water which she sipped. She pooped also. Her bottom is clear. Now she keeps twitching her head to the left. And it almost sounds like she is wheezing when she births. She can sit a little and grip my finger but only with her left leg. Her right leg is stiff- not tucked up, stiff and out right. She is still very awake though and sitting in the darkened cage now. She is tweeting less but is trying to move sround- only using her left leg. Her right leg is
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please answer as soon as possible. She is now sat quietly in her warm and dark box surrounded by soft tissue. She is sleeping but still twitches her head. When I pick her up she sits upright and tries to move. When I put her back down she tries to wobble around put falls over and can't right herself. She would not drink any water this time.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Strokes are relatively common in budgies and her appearance and behavior is consistent with stroke. It is, however, unusual for strokes to appear at 5 months of age. Can you upload the video to an external site such as YouTube and then give me the link to it? Remember not to mark it as private.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The 1st video is immediately when we found her. This was after I picked her up from the very corner on the floor. 2nd is about an hour into it. She was alert and trying to sit but kept twitching with this noise. I notice her right foot wouldn't grip. is now in a dark box with a make shift nest- to keep her upright. Her right foot won't support her. She is quiet and her head still twitches.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Those are complex partial seizures. Please see here for a synopsis of seizures in birds: We do see such seizures accompanying stroke but there are more likely etiologies as you'll read about. Unfortunately, this isn't something you can manage at home. She would need to be attended to by an avian vet who is equipped to provide critical care. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I absolutely will be taking her to an avian vet first thing in the morning. I just hope she is as comfortable as she can be right now and makes it till the morning. There isn't really anything else I can do for her now is there? Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Keeping her warmed in a 29.4C environment and protected by surrounding her with padding as you've done is just the ticket. You mustn't force food when she's seizuring. She's likely to aspirate. Prescription drugs are necessary and if we're lucky she suffers from epilepsy that can be well-controlled with phenobarbital. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good morning. Unfortunately Strawberry died early hours of this morning. I checked on her around 5am and she was seizuring again. Poor baby Strawberry. Thank you for your help though. Just wish these things didn't happen at night when no avian vet is available in my area. Thank you again
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

My condolences for your loss of Strawberry. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know.

You may receive an inappropriate follow up sent by the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.