Lethargic Parakeet With Fluffed Feathers
by Linda Abellera
(Oroville WA USA)
My mother's parakeet is fluffed up, lethargic and seems to be uninterested in food, however, he is eating his gravel or sand more than usual.Louie is 5 1/2 years old and has never been ill a day in his life until this showed up.
Any clues on what we can do for him?We live 17 miles from the nearest town, and the nearest avain veterinarian is over 150 miles away.My mother is 92 and the trip is nearly impossible right at this moment, not to mention the cost involved with a stay over etc.
I need your help desperately.She lost her little Boston Terrier recently due to a tumor on the spleen and losing Louie would make this blow even harder for her.Please answer as soon as you possibly can and I appreciate your concern in this matter.
L. AbelleraVet Suggestion for Parakeet That Is Losing Feathers
I’m afraid that the symptoms you describe are not specific for any one disease, but instead simply indicate that your mother’s parakeet does not feel well. The list of possible causes is very long and contains some very serious, potentially life-threatening conditions. I cannot begin to narrow them down without first performing a physical exam and getting more information about the bird’s lifestyle and management.
I understand your reluctance to make the trip to see a veterinarian, but this is the only way to determine what is going on with Louie and what could potentially be done for him.
In the meantime, your mother should focus on nursing care. Thoroughly sanitize everything in Louie’s cage and keep it impeccably clean. Provide fresh water every day. Replace his food with a new batch of his favorite type (pellets are better than seeds but this is not the time to make a diet change) and consider assisted feeding if he won’t eat on his own (but only experienced handlers should try tube feeding birds). Make sure his cage is in a draft-free location and warmed to around 28 to 30 degrees Celsius (83 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM