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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 58774
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 48 years of experience.
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We have two budgies; the female one is not flying or moving

Customer Question

Hi, we have two budgies; the female one is not flying or moving in the cage. Seems very tired
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. How long has the budgie been lethargic? Any changes in her appetite?
Customer: she is not looking good in the last 2-3 days but only today she stopped eating
JA: Could she have eaten something unusual?
Customer: No, two types of seed only always same some vegetables
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about No?
Customer: no
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Vet
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
She looks so tired, can’t stand on her feet :( All vets are closed, any medicine I can give her now?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 days ago.

Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please be patient.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 days ago.

I'm sorry to hear about this with your budgie. It's important to note that once a budgie acts ill it's already quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. Her clinical signs of illness are important signs but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. They represent “sick bird syndrome” - acute onset illness with an array of highly nonspecific clinical signs.

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. Whole body X-rays can be helpful as well.

Until she can be attended to, please heat up her environment to 29.4C 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. If she appears weakened, 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 Vita-Drops 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/feed/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. Seeds should comprise less than 20% of her 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. Here are some tricks in transitioning her to pellets:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you very much I will do your suggestions while looking for an open vet.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 days ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow up in this venue and so please return to our conversation with an update at your convenience.