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I'm concerned about my cockatiel.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I don't know how many TCS members have birds as well as cats, but I'm a bird lover (okay, all animal lover) and have a cockatiel. Unfortunately, however, I think something is up with him and that has left me feeling quite concerned.

Duncan is approximately 15 months old and is a white-faced cinnamon. He's been with me now for nearly a year and has had no known health issues during that time. He was purchased from a reputable breeder and was a hand-fed baby. He was seen by a veterinarian both before and after I acquired him and was given a clean bill of health at each visit. And, since then, he has been healthy and active -- aside from when he moulted just prior to the summer, I have had no issues with him. In short, he's always been a happy and healthy (albeit a bit addicted to millet) bird. And, I think that's why I'm so worried about him now.

I had a feeling about two days ago that Duncan was "off" in some way. There was nothing in particular that I could pin down, but I just had, well, a feeling. But, then, as the night wore on, he seemed to perk up and be more himself. So, I pushed the thought that maybe he wasn't well to the back of my mind. After all, he was eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, and playing as if everything was normal. He even went back to demanding his millet! But, again, last night, I just had a feeling that something wasn't right with him. However, just as he had before, he returned to his normal, cheeky self and I began to wonder if I was just anxious about something else -- something not related to Duncan at all. But, unfortunately, this morning I realized that I wasn't crazy...something really is up with Duncan. And, I'm really freaking out.

Duncan's feathers are mussed and fluffed up and he is sleeping more than usual. He is still alert and responsive, but he doesn't look right. He still has millet left over from last night and that, too, is a major red flag. His excrement looks normal and he is not showing signs of respiratory illness, but he does seem chilled and somewhat uncomfortable. I've put a call in to the vet, but they can't get me in until Saturday, but I'm worried about him now. I did call my other vet and while she's not as experienced with birds, I'd prefer he get in to see someone sooner rather than later. I'm hoping she'll call me back by mid-afternoon. And, if all else fails and he continues to get worse, I may have to call around to some of the other local vets to find somewhere to take him tomorrow. But, if things progress, I will take him to the emergency vet this evening for treatment. Unfortunately, the only avian ER vet is about 2 hours away, but that's a small price to pay to ensure that my baby is being taken care of.

I'm wondering if it's just the change in weather that has him not feeling his best, but I'm not willing to hedge all my bets on that. Nothing else has changed -- he eats a high-quality pelleted feed, some fresh fruit and veggies, the occasional treat, and millet. He has constant access to a cuttlebone and has some supplements to his diet which were suggested to me by both the breeder I purchased him from and his vet. I'm at a loss as to what could be causing him not to feel well, but I am determined to ensure that he has what he needs and that he's back to his cheeky self in no time.

Do any of you have any suggestions as to what could be causing my boy to feel under the weather? And, even if you don't, do you think you could maybe spare some vibes for him (and me)? I know we'd both appreciate it greatly...
post #2 of 3
I only know a little about birds, sorry.

How is the weather where you are? Here there's been cold fronts, dropping the temp down fairly low at night.
I wonder if it's possible that it's getting chillier and maybe he's had a bit of a cool draft blowing on him since you mentioned he feels a little chilled. Make sure he's staying warm enough and move him if needed.

I don't know if birds have seasonal changes, but my leopard geckos are sensitive to daylight length. If their room gets any cooler this time of year they think it's time to burmate a bit - meaning they slow down and eat less in response to changing seasons.

You're detailed post was wonderful to read, btw. I wish all pet owners were as dedicated as you are. Many don't do that -vet check after buying a pet, unless it's a cat, dog, or larger animal.
That it isn't anything serious.
post #3 of 3
Hi there,

I have 2 cockatiels - (a 7yo and a 4 yo). I try to get them to the vet annually for a check-up. We have an avian vet about half an hour away.

I'm glad you have your vet appointment already made. That stinks they couldn't get you in earlier! Have you contacted the breeder and see if she has any advice or help? Maybe she has an emergency contact that is closer?

Has your tiel molted during the first year you've had him? Sometimes during molting they can act a little off because molting isn't quite a comfortable process.

Like the previous poster asked - is he exposed to a draft?

I will think happy birdie thoughts for you! Keep us posted on your lil birdie.
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