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My lovebird is a female about 14 years old. She started to…

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Hi! My lovebird is...

Hi! My lovebird is a female about 14 years old. She started to develop a cataract last summer and how she has caracts in both eyes.

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

I've noticed lately that she's been sleeping a lot, unable to really fly, and see. She started plucking her tail feathers for a few years now.

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

My bird's name is***** is female.

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

I've taken her to the vet before 5 years ago, but haven't visited since.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 4 hours by:
12/20/2017
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 33,254
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. Bob is at life expectancy and so cataract formation is likely age-related rather than an indication if illness. Somnolence (sleepiness), however, and lethargy are important signs. Regretfully, they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. They’re signs of “sick bird syndrome” - part of an array of highly nonspecific clinical signs.

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 Bob's choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be helpful as well.

Until she can be attended to, please heat up her environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into her partially covered cage (not at night when she needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of her cage. Remove her perches and put her food and water on the bottom of the cage along with her. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to her water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make her water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to her 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.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 33,254
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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