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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33761
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Hi My budgie is 5 years old and has trouble keeping his balance

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Hi My budgie is 5 years old and has trouble keeping his balance and often falls to the cage floor. He is fluffed up but eats well and still chirps. I have put him in a shoe box with millet and water and he is quiet and sleeping. Can you please help me?RgdsSteve
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Oscar, Steve. Such severe weakness in which our budgies can't maintain balance and, indeed, fall plus fluffing up suggest a critically ill bird. Ideally, I would want to palpate Oscar to see if he exhibits muscle wasting which would identify a chronic ailment and/or a tumor in his abdomen (kidney or testicular tumors are all too common in the male budgie). If you have an avian vet avaialble it would prudent to solicit his/her talents.

You're limited at home to providing adequate nutrition in case Oscar has a nutritional deficiency - usually in calcium, vitamin B complex and vitamin D3. Nutritional deficiencies are quite common in budgies who won't eat anything other than fatty seeds. You'll need to provide a vitamin/mineral/amino acid supplement that contains vitamins B12, D3 and K either added to his water or in a very rich mix such as Blair's Super Preen as shown here: It would be best to administer drops made of a powdered supplement in solution such as the above directly into Oscar's beak throughout the day if you're comfortable restraining him. In addition, an oyster shell grit and cuttle bone should always be available as a calcium/phosphorus source.

Heating Oscar to 32C with a 100W bulb shined into an enclosed space (turn it off at night and substitute a heating pad set on low wrapped around the bottom of his cage or the shoe box) is important so he doesn't use up his available energy maintaining his high body temperature.

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