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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 28451
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My cockatiel can't stand or walk, yes, this happened after

Customer Question

my cockatiel can't stand or walk
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: yes, this happened after she began laying eggs
JA: The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the cockatiel's name and age?
Customer: pinta, age 8
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about pinta?
Customer: she just laid 3 eggs, the most recent was this morning
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Pet
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
i thought the issue could be egg binding. however, i noticed the problem last night and this morning there was a new egg in the cage and she still has the problem.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Yes, egg binding should be a consideration but because she just laid hypocalcemia and other nutritional imbalances are more likely. Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds and their repercussions appear when egg laying depletes the hen further. What has Pinta'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: or here: 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.

Do you have an avian vet (please see here: available that can see Pinta and treat her intensively with injectable vitamin and mineral supplementation as well as tube feed her a balanced but rich convalescent formula?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
unfortunately she has always eaten primarily seeds, i've tried putting other things in her cage in the past but she just ignores them. I contacted a vet and I'm waiting to hear back from her. Is there anything I can do in the mean time? What's the outlook on Pinta's recovery?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I understand. It can be a real challenge getting these birds to eat properly. Here's one way to do that:

For now, 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.

I'm afraid that you can lose her if she's severely hypocalcemic. Her paresis (weakness) suggests that she is. Please keep in touch. Let me know if you hear from the avian vet.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** you updated. Is there a time limit i have to contact you?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Not that I'm aware of. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin