82861 tn?1333453911

Old Underweight Cockatiel

Hi Dr. Cheng.  This time my question is about birds instead of dogs.  Petey is a 20 year old cockatiel who has never had a sick day in his long life.  I know he's pushing the envelope on age, but he's become noticeably underweight with no particular change in diet - save one.  I generally feed him the KayTee cockatiel blend along with a spray of millet and fresh veggies.  I've been putting about a teaspoon of KayTee Cockatiel Moulting and Conditioning formula in his food for about 4 years.  

Last January, I couldn't get to the pet store for his usual seed and bought some from the grocery store.  It was Wild Harvest brand, which turned out to be recalled for the same reason as the dog food recall last year.  It's made in China and was found to have melamine in it.  I didn't discover the recall until the bag was nearly entirely consumed.

Around the time I learned of the recall, I noticed Petey wasn't nearly as lively as usual, and was losing weight and feathers.  The feather loss wasn't like a typical moult either.  Just random feathers, including flight, crest and tail feathers falling out.  I initially attributed the changes to his old age.  Do you know what effect melamine has on birds?  Since he's now back on his regular food, he's perked up considerably, and isn't losing feathers, but he's still very underweight.  I've never seen his keelbone this noticeable before - not so much visually unless you know what you're looking for, but certainly noticeable when handling him.

Are we going to lose Petey soon, and is there anything else I can do to help him to gain weight?  Many thanks!

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187666 tn?1331173345
May I butt in and ask where can you buy that? We use some alternative medicine up at work (used acupuncture on a rabbit recently and use a great organic/herbal salve on one of our educational birds with a bad foot).
Helpful - 0
234713 tn?1283526659
Birds can get kidney disease just as other pets who have ingested Melamine over time.  

It may not have been as bad on him since it was not his exclusive diet and hopefully it is reversible in your bird since he seems to be getting better.  It will take a long time for him to return to normal,  and his weight may never be up to his pre-melamine weight.

You could take him to a vet and have blood work performed to check his kidney enzyme levels.  However there is no Western medical cure for kidney disease but there are some Chinese herbal medicines that may help.  They are safe in birds.  Rehmannia 8 in a powdered form is very safe.  You should buy a powder or capsule version and you would give your bird 1/16 of a teaspoon twice daily.
Helpful - 0

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