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My parakeet eats and normal. He’s just always fluffed up and…

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My parakeet eats and poops...
My parakeet eats and poops normal. He’s just always fluffed up and hardly chirps or makes noise anymore. He also sleeps a lot during the day. Not sure what’s wrong but we have two birds together in the cage and the other is always jumping around and making noise so I don’t think it’s the diet since they eat the same thing. The closest avian vet nearby is about an hour away so I rather get some help here and if the problem continues I’ll take him.
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 3 hours by:
3/10/2018
Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 4 months ago
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7,854
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 4 months ago

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

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Since there is no way to know for sure that this is the problem, home treatments aren’t suggested because they waste valuable time.
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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.

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For the bird’s safety, if it’s not able to perch well or maintain balance, lowering the perch or even removing it is suggested.
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Putting a heat source into the cage may be necessary since a sick or distressed bird may lose body heat. I prefer a non electric source and use rice socks.
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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.
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You can layer a thick towel on one side of the cage, secure with clothespins out of the reach of the bird’s beak – then clip a heating pad over the towel and set on low. Check often to be sure it’s not overheating and that the bird isn’t gnawing through. A side attachment like this will allow the bird to move closer or away as needed.

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If it becomes bottom-bound or is especially weak, you may need an emergency brooder
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For a makeshift brooder, use a small box lined with soft clothes like tee shirts.
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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.
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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).
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If ever using an electric source for heating anything in anyway, please be vigilant and constantly double checking carefully.
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Gently drape a light cover over this box to further help hold heat in and keep light low.
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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.

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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 – chances are 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.

********************************************

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