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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 29803
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My budgie is acting very lethargic.. one of her toes is very

Customer Question

my budgie is acting very lethargic.. one of her toes is very swollen, and she cant balance. Not sure how to help her..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. The first order of business is to determine why her toe is so swollen because the pain associated with that swelling can cause her lethargy and difficulty balancing. How old is she, please? A young bird may have sprained, dislocated, or even fractured the toe. An older bird might have done similarly but a cancer or gout involving the toe also needs to be considered in our older birds. Most important, once a budgie acts ill they can be quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (for example, please see here: www.aav.org). This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Her symptoms are important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder.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 her choana - the slit between her oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.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/agricultural merchant 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 her diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of her diet. 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.