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Our new parakeet won't eat or drink!

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by DsMom, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. DsMom

    DsMom Approved members

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    We brought a new parakeet home on Saturday around dinner time. He was active and frisky in the pet store, has bright eyes and clean, shiny feathers. I had parakeets growing up, and I remember they certainly need time to adjust to their new homes. But it's been almost 3 days now, and I know he hasn't eaten anything (no mess in the cage) and doubt he has had any water.

    How long can they go without eating or drinking? He is very attentive when I talk gently to him. He looks at me and seems to like it. I'm sure he's not sick. But can they be so scared they'll starve themselves?
     
  2. vinedyta

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    I really don't know if they can starve themselves from being scared but I did read once that classical music helps with calming and getting parakeets used to their new homes
     
  3. obtainedmist

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    I would call an avian vet. Our bird went on a hunger strike with the food he had been eating for 8 years and was starting to eat the corn cob bedding on the floor of his cage! If he is spending time on the cage floor, that's not a good sign. We also squirted antibiotics in his beak (a real joy) once a day. We kept the cage extra warm and gave him millet (which most budgies just can't resist) and bird seed (ditto). It was hard to accept the fact that he wasn't eating his nutritious food and was eating the equivalent of cheeseburgers :D, but the guy wasn't eating and we just decided it was better to have him alive eating junky food. Btw, the vet wanted to do all sorts of tests on him to the tune of $300 :eek:. When we asked what the tests would show, she said they would tell us if he was terminal :confused:. Oh my, we decided to take him home and find that out for ourselves. He's doing great now and probably thanking his lucky stars that he gets to eat the junky food 24/7.

    Hope things get better soon!
     
  4. DsMom

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    He's on the perches--and did start to hop around a little today. He had two little bursts of activity--but hasn't eaten yet. We do have some spray millet for him as well as seed--don't know if it's of the "cheeseburger" variety!:D He is on a perch a little closer to the food now--hope he takes that last hop later today and starts to eat!

    Glad yours is doing better. $300??? Ouch! I'd sure be doing my own home diagnosis on that one, too!:p Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. Christopher

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    Did you think to call a vet or even the pet store?
     
  6. mom24grlz

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    Do you have a vet you could call? This actually happened to us. When Ken and I were first married we bought a baby hamster from a pet store. It did the same thing, it wouldn't eat or drink. My aunt told us in reality it was probably to young to be sold. I hope you can get it to eat and drink.
     
  7. caspi

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    I was wondering the same thing myself...... :confused:

    As far as an avian vet - please don't take this the wrong way but it's a $20 parakeet we're talking about, correct?!
     
  8. obtainedmist

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    Most vets won't see birds. Believe me, we know! When our bird was sick, my husband tried to get the vet to adopt it herself :rolleyes:. Plus, when your child is pleading with you to H*E*A*L the beloved bird...whatcha gonna do??
     
  9. vettechmomof2

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    It is quite expensive to keep the equipment necessary to test and treat birds.
    It is also difficult because they are not a species that you can wait and see if they get better. So by the time you actually bring them into a vet they are normally close to deaths door.
    Getting a pet you as a family need to decide the level of care that you are willing to extend to that pet. Be comfortable with your decision because someone will always agree differently then you. Yes, it might be a $20.00 parakeet but you still might feel it worthwhile to do your best to keep the bird healthy and part of that might be necessary veterinary care.
    My parakeets have easily all lived in to their 20's and they were all gotten as older birds to begin with.
    A pet store bird many times can have certain diseases, coming from poor breeders who do not screen their flock.
    But many times the stress of a new home is enough to cause discomfort. However a bird cannot go for more than a few hours without food and water. Their metabolism is too high. If there is no stool production(their urine should be mixed with the stool) then you need to decide to either return the bird or have it seen by a vet to help the bird. Make sure it knows where the food is and that nothing is overly stressing the bird in the new home. Loud children, banging on or around the cage, pets, etc.
    Good luck.
     
  10. Blue

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    I had a parakeet that wouldn't eat or drink out of anything on the cage walls - I had to put a plate of food and small bowl of water in the middle of the cage . . . I have also had a parakeet that didn't recognize the food and water because it was in a different kind of bowl than they used at the pet store . . .

    I would make sure that you copy the pet stores set up regarding the type and placement of dishes, kind of food, etc.

    That the bird is active and not "fluffed up" and sick acting makes me think that you may just have a shy bird that won't eat or drink if someone is watching - cover the cage and see if that helps.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Deal

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    I would put a mirror in the cage so it has a friend to talk it over with.
     
  12. DsMom

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    He finally did eat yesterday--have not seen him drink but hope he has. He is pooping up a storm--so I guess things are working in there.:p

    We don't have a vet, and I didn't call the store because I wasn't sure how much expertise they would actually have. Wanted the advice of people who actually own birds. Found varying answers online--from "the bird is going to die" to "they are from Australia and can go a long time without drinking." Hoped I could find some bird lovers here!

    Unfortunately, my kids are quite enamored with the bird and keep a constant vigil when they are not at school.:rolleyes: He has not had much peace. Oddly enough, it was last night when they all began singing a very silly song that the bird started cheeping along with them. When they stopped singing, so did he! When they started, he sang again. Then he hopped down to the food and started chowing down. Guess he just needed a little dinner music all along.:D

    Thanks to all for your help!
     

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