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My African Grey (Red) seems to have exactly the same

Customer Question
Hello my African Grey...

Hello my African Grey (Red) seems to have exactly the same symptoms as what Anita's Grey does (did)

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the bird?

Very lethargic was sitting at the bottom of the cage, has now moved up to his/her perch but is at the back and does not want to engage or interact, his/ her wings are drooped to the sides.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age?

Red is the name, he/she is 13 years old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Red?

A few years ago he/she seemed to have the same thing but then suddenly snapped out of it in a short period of time, but this is now day two

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 21 hours by:
12/12/2017
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 33,307
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. May I have an update on Red, please?

Regretfully, I'm not privy to what you're seeing about "Anita's Grey". Can you clarify this for me, please?

Most important is that lethargy and wing droop while important symptoms aren't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. They constitute symptoms of "sick bird syndrome" which is a term used to describe an ill bird because so many of these birds look the same in spite of suffering from different disorders.

Once a Grey acts ill it's already quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. An avian-oriented vet might first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of Red's choana - the slit between its oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be helpful as well.

Until Red can be attended to, please heat up its environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into its partially covered cage (not at night when Red needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of its cage. Remove Red's perches and put its food and water on the bottom of the cage along with it. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to Red's water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make its water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to Red's water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in her water. They won't be effective if only because an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has Red's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of her diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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