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Parrots/Blue Ringneck


Hi there, my 5yr old female ringneck has started losing feathers under her neck and has also lost quite a bit of weight i am very concern because she is one of my very special birds....

----By the time a bird is noticeably ill, chances are that the problem has been brewing for some time.  Birds are among the most masterful at hiding illness, weakness or injury because just one mistake in the wild and their life could be over.  
You aren’t the only they can confuse:   A bird may show their weakness, illness and lack of energy one moment, even for a few hours or days - and then “suddenly” seem to be fine.  This is their getting a second wind.  Finding the strength to ‘mask’ the illness or problem.   And since this masking can continue for a while, the underlying issue is only getting worse.  The next time you see the bird acting ‘off’, it might be really, really bad.
If your bird is acting ‘off’, no matter what – no matter when, they need to be seen by their vet.  Infections and disease are far more successfully and inexpensively treated when tackled early.  Unlike mammals, avians don’t fare well with a “watch and wait” protocol.  
SUPER serious is the weight loss.  This is so important that I weigh each bird in rescue/rehab here every single Saturday and have charts going back on them to their very first day here.  Two of these birds have been her nearly 11 years.  That's how important weights are.  Catching the problem with just 5-10% loss (weight) is how we save lives.  No waiting until the loss is unmistakable by sight.  That's way too far along

Pet Store antibiotics like Ornicycline lines are not useful and potentially dangerous.   Added to a bird’s water, they can make the bird go off drinking, resulting in severe or life threatening dehydration.

Most importantly, these are older generation  antibiotics for bacteria that have likely evolved and are non-responsive to this med any longer.    Bacteria are forever evolving at a remarkable fast rate and antibiotics are constantly being adapted, improved or completely changed in order to address this.   The pet store products have virtually no effect on bacterial related illnesses in birds or any other animal, with the possible exception of fish.   They are a complete waste of time and money.  Also, since they kill bacteria indiscriminately, the good bacteria that insures a healthy immune system are compromised, leaving the bird open to a number of other diseases.

So between dehydration and medicating for a non-specified bacteria (remember, this could be a viral infection or other disease and no antibiotic will work on those) - there’s nothing at all good about the pet store products.   Don’t take a chance with your pet’s life  
   Since there is no way to know for sure that this is the problem, home treatments aren’t suggested because they waste valuable time.   


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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