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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32737
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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. My red rump paraqueet appears unwell. She is eating and

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. My red rump paraqueet appears unwell. She is eating and drinking normally. Poop appears normal but she is lethargic and her feathers are all fluffed up.
Thanks Lorna
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. There's a paucity of avian-oriented vets on the site. While lethargy and fluffing are important symptoms they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. It's a positive prognostic sign that Poppy continues to eat and drink normally and isn't experiencing diarrhea but the lack of symptoms of illness also gives us little direction on how to proceed. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests and physical exams to differentiate one from another. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: in differentiating the various causes of what you're seeing. Veterinarians can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests, including X-rays, to distinguish between the various etiologies.

That said, have you handled Poppy to see if she's "gone light" or remains well-fleshed? What is her current diet, please? Your question implies that Poppy is a female but you typed "male" next to gender. Please clarify.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

dr Salkin. Poppy is a male (we were told it was a female when we first got her, hence the name). She has a seed diet and does not appear to have lost weight. Since my original question she has passed a couple of green stools.

Thanks Lorna

Thank you additional information, Lorna. A pure seed diet may be the clue to Poppy's malaise. These diets leave birds vitamin A, D3, and B12 deficient as well as calcium deficient. It would be prudent to begin administering an over the counter vitamin-mineral supplement in Poppy's water at half the dose recommended on the label. A pelleted diet (please see here: is ideal but patience is required when asking a seed-eater to migrate over to pellets. you can offer tiny pieces of the tops of leafy greens, dried fruits and veggies, dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, and hard boiled egg yolk.

Would you consider the green stools to be looser than normal?

Please heat up Poppy's environment to 80F by means of a 100W bulb shined into Poppy's partially covered cage (not at night when Poppy needs to sleep) or by taping a heating pad set at its lowest setting to the bottom of the cage. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Thanks advice, will do. The green stools are looser than normal, but she has since passed firmer more normal stools.

Regards Lorna

Sounds good.

I'm going to check back with you in a week update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


It's my pleasure. I'll speak to you soon.
Thank you kind accept. I appreciate it.