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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 30412
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Have a cockatiel he is 24 years old was find yesterday he

Customer Question

Have a cockatiel he is 24 years old was find yesterday he fell off his perch yesterday about 6pm he was throwing his head back and up gasping for air and screaming like he was in pain flashing his wings and than when he calm down he was just chirping very faint. Is it possible he had a stroke he just sits at bottom of cage not moving around not chirping not eating or drinking. What can I give him to get norishment into him. Took him to get last night from what he could see he has no broken bones wings are ok lungs clear heart string and a little rapid may cause of the ride. But did say he was disoriented. Thinks from fall. Said t make him home and let him rest in bottom of cage. The doc was honest said he didn't know much about birds but did say he would see him at nine at night. Today he is no different worried cause he hasn't ate or drank and still not moving around. Please help me.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the cockatiel will be able to digest that. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the cockatiel?
Customer: He is 24 years old and never had a cold or anything.. All that ever happened to him was he hurt his leg about 10 years ago. So his left foot turns in some. Other than that get said last year he was in great shape for being 23 that most cockatiel don't make it that many years. Oh yes he not pruning his tail feathers. I think because he not to stable on perch I don't know.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

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. To answer you directly, his behavior is consistent with both stroke and seizure and one doesn't preclude the other. I don't believe that he became disoriented from the fall; rather, he fell because he became disoriented. Either stroke or seizure activity is relatively common in such an advanced geriatric as he. Most strokes at his age are due to atherosclerosis - similar to humans - and most seizures are due to brain tumor.

We don't have specific therapies for these birds. They're kept in a dimly lit, quiet, and unlikely to be disturbed area in a cage in which perches have been removed and food and water placed on the bottom of the cage along with my patient. If force feeding is necessary, it needs to be done very carefully because a disoriented bird isn't likely to recognize when food has been placed in his mouth and can end up aspirating the food into his lungs. Tube feeding is indicated instead, and that's usually done in a hospital setting. I understand that you have logistical constraints, however, in respect to finding an avian vet (please see here:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

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