Dizziness, poor balance and dull eyes

by Yolanda Collins
(Melbourne, Australia)

Hello there, I hope you can help me as this question is not specifically about a parrot.

We live in Melbourne Australia and about 2 months ago I found a baby 'mudlark' or Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) that had fallen out of a nest in the city. I couldn't find the nest to put him back in, so I took him home and my boyfriend & I have been looking after him.

We fed him on various diets as recommended on internet when he was a chick, but lately he eats mainly raw minced beef or chicken and occasionally little bits of soaked bread or table scraps, We also have seed out for him, although he's not that interested. He gets fed aprox. 1 tablespoon of mince a day (depending on hunger & demand) I presume he catches his own food in addition, as he is free to fly about outside and will often fly away for hours during the day before coming back to roost. He has plenty of fresh water, which he loves to splash about in. He has been doing really well for orphaned wildlife up to this point.

He appears to have dizzy-spells to the point of appearing drunk, he weaves his head and has trouble flying and balancing. I have also noticed that his eyes seem a little dull and his droppings seem green and watery. This state seems to last for about 15-30 mins, after which he will be improved, but still not quite 100%.

I was wondering if this is due to sickness, a genetic health problem, diet or if he has eaten something poison (we did recently put down some 'ant-sand', although have discontinued since we noticed the bird was unwell).

Poor little thing is hanging in there, but doesn't seem healthy or happy and is distressed by apparent dizziness.

Any help, advice or direction to another resource would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks for your time.

Yolanda, Poz & Squarky

Comments for Dizziness, poor balance and dull eyes

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Feb 04, 2010
Dizziness, poor balance and dull eyes
by: Linda

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but your bird is most likely dying. He probably DID get into the ant poison, and he may not be the only bird poisoned. I don't know what kind you used, but if it tastes sweet and is colorful, then the birds will eat it up.

The other thing is his diet is awful! Animal meat is not suitable for birds, and here in the States, they grind up cancerous tumors and all kinds of other sores from illness or accident. USDA NEVER inspects our meat, and all that happens is that the people on the packing line slap a USDA Inspected sticker on the packages, and off they go. So, any kind of bird needs wholesome food regardless of whether wild or not. In the wild birds do eat bugs and worms for protein, but the protein is not anywhere near as complicated as beef and chicken, and beef and chicken are filled with fat which is a killer of animals, birds and humans. While you may be able to feed this to a pet Monitor lizard or Croc, you cannot feed it to a bird as it will kill them.

The Magpie-lark is mostly ground-dwelling, and is usually seen slowly searching on the ground for a variety of insects and their larvae, as well as earthworms and freshwater invertebrates.

So, for starters, completely change his diet to one of pellets and seeds. He will eat when he's hungry. FEED NO MORE TABLE FOOD NOR MEAT OR EGGS OF ANY KIND AS BIRDS CANNOT PROCESS THESE KINDS OF PROTEINS AND FATS.

Even Chicken Feed would be better than the meat and table scraps. Chicken feed can be found in Feed and Grain stores.

Hope the little fellow makes it, but it does not sound good, and the ant poison may have speeded up the process already started with the dead meat and table fats.

Thanks for writing and don't beat yourselves up over this, you did the best you knew how.

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