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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 50406
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 48 years of experience.
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I adopted a cockatiel found on the street lost and I wanna

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I adopted a cockatiel found on the street lost and I wanna make sure he is OK.
He has very red nostrils and puts his nose between the cages bar and provokes himself to sneeze. Is this a sign of infection?

Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please be patient.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.

Yes, the inflamed nares (nostrils) are a hallmark for rhinitis - inflammation inside the nose. The complex anatomy of the infraorbital sinuses and diverticula of birds lends itself to the establishment and persistence of upper respiratory tract infections. When combined with factors such as hypovitaminosis A - a lack of vitamin A in the diet (causing pathologic changes in the lining of the sinuses and decreased normal function and resistance to infection), irritation of the sinus linings (e.g., ammonia toxicosis in poorly ventilated, unhygienic cages and aviaries), cigarette smoke, or other aerosol pollutants), extremes of humidity (too dry, too moist), it's little wonder that such infections are common in birds.

Infectious agents are usually secondary invaders taking advantage of the conditions described above. They include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even parasites. Carlos will require the services of an avian vet who will attempt to clarify which type of infection is present and then treat specifically.
Until Carlos can be attended to, please heat up his environment to 29.4C (85F) by means of a 100W bulb shined into his partially covered cage (not at night when he needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of his cage. Remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water-soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand Vita-Drops to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his 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. Seeds should comprise less than 20% of his 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 - yes these low lactose foods are safe, 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.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
File attached (71VVVV3)

Excellent photos. His nares don't look as bad as I expected to see. Please continue in this conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
The vet we have here recomended enrofloxacin solution to put in his water... So won't do that then. We do not have avian vets here...
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
He sings a lot, dances, but provokes himself to sneeze and saw his nostrils red.. Inside so I asked for a specialist opinion here. Thanks. HOPE YOU HAVE that the infection is not that bad
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Hope that *
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Can you deduct his age?

I like the idea of enrofloxacin but not in his drinking water. It should be given directly into his mouth twice daily at a dose of 10 - 30 mg/kg for a minimum of 10 days. I understand your logistical constraints where you live.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I understand
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Ok so I will keep giving him Pellets seeds and fruits and vegetables also chopped so I see how he will go
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I want to take good care of him since from what I understood he is older... Because of the "mustaches he has and the feet that are not lean

I thought he was an older bird, too, but being outside could have weathered him and made him look older than he is.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Oh, I understand now. He is quite active and sings a lot especially the last 2 days. I have him only 2 weeks now.
Great thanks for your help.
Please let me know if calls are possible now in my country if I book it because last time when I had a question and booked a call there was not technically possible.

I regret that I don't know about phone calls. My veterinary board of examiners doesn't allow me to use the phone in this venue. Please contact customer service for questions concerning this: or 1-***-***-****.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Thanks for your help
Have a great day

You're quite welcome.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Sorry,i have one more cocern.I saw him eating his feathers.Not all the time but this evening for examples he was doing it a lot.He plucked a feather and ate it.He is doing that every day,plucking small feathers and chewing them....Is this a plucking feather matter?Should i get a special spray for this or may be due to the fact that has a possible infection (red nostrils)...

Feather destructive behavior is quite an extensive discussion which I don't have room for in this conversation. My moderator requests that you open up a new conversation, type "for Dr. Michael Salkin, only" as your first few words. I'll see it and post a rather lengthy synopsis of this behavior for you.

Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.