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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7621
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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I have a male parakeet and he stopped eating days and

Customer Question

I have a male parakeet and he stopped eating for 2 days and only drank water. He sits with his feathers fluffed out like he's cold, but our house isn't cold. I wiped his butt with a wet cloth and got some dry poop washed off of him, but today, he didn't go at all on the paper in his cage. The blue on the male's nose has turned very dark like charcoal color. Can you suggest something for me to give him?
JA: IÂ’m sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Tweety
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Twenty?
Customer: He sleeps a lot where he used to be very active.
JA: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help Twenty. OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.
The symptoms you've described, especially the pasty droppings and then lack of them; Fluffing up (looking bigger) and sitting in one spot, less (or sometimes more) vocalizations, any loss of balance, lethargy, increased sleeping during the day – all important indicators of illness that must not be ignored or delayed. ----By the time a bird is noticeably ill, chances are that the problem has been brewing for some time. Birds are among the most masterful at hiding illness, weakness or injury because just one mistake in the wild and their life could be over. --- You aren’t the only they can confuse: 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. --- Just in case you’re wondering, Pet Store antibiotics like Ornicycline or Tetracycline lines are not useful and potentially dangerous. Added to a bird’s water, they can make the bird go off drinking, resulting in severe or life threatening dehydration. --- These are obsolete antibiotics for bacteria that have likely evolved beyond responding to them. Also, you need to know whether the problem is gram positive or negative bacteria, or if a bacteria at all. These products are a complete waste of time and money, frequently being linked to causing even worse problems or loss of life. All they care about is sales and profit. --- So between dehydration and medicating for a non-specified bacteria (remember, this could be a viral infection or other disease and no antibiotic will work on those) - there’s nothing at all good about the pet store products. Don’t take a chance with your pet’s life --- Here's what you can do right now to make sure he has a better chance of making it to the vet: An 'at home emergency room' or 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 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. *********************************************** Have an eyedropper ready to administer a few drops of plain water, or better yet, children’s Pedialyte every 20-30 minutes. Put the dropper gently inside the beak and let the drops fall into the bottom beak under the tongue rather than trying to get into the back of the throat. We don’t want to chance the bird inhaling the fluid and developing pneumonia. --- Another feeding option is to offer ½ spoon of all natural, organic baby food (squash, yams, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables) which many birds take readily; also try some pabulum or baby rice cereal and a few licks of natural (no artificial anything) yogurt. **********************************************Always remember that this little life is depending on you for everything. If someone near and dear to you were to present with what you knew for a fact was an illness, disease or injury – you wouldn’t take any chances and would have them off to their doctor or emergency clinic without a second thought. This bird needs that from you right now. Keep in mind that if you have a Pet Smart, you have a Banfield clinic and they have bird vets. Pet Co's have a list of vets who see birds, so call and ask. ANY vet in town should have a name they use to refer bird patients Good luck with him and please let me know how you make out ok? I can help you keep him supported after a diagnosis is made and you have the appropriate treatment/meds
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.

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

S. August Abbott, CAS