sick rainbow lorikeet

by carol
(Qld, Australia)

I found our rainbow lorikeet asleep on the bottom on his cage. He jumped onto my finger as I opened the cage. Did his morning dropping before taking him upstairs to my daughter. He squaked at her as he usually did. After around 15 minutes we noticed him making funny head/neck movements. We watched him for a few minutes and he did not seem to bring anything up as I thought he may have been vomiting. The bird showed no other symptoms of being sick before this.

We took him downstairs putting his cage into the sun. He climbed into his cage and sat on the perch. I noticed his heart beating quite quickly then he started to have trouble breathing. He was panting with his beak open. I took him straight to the vet which took me around 20 minutes. As we walked into the reception area of the surgery the bird let out a squak, My daughter was holding him sitting on a towel, he squaked 2 more times then died.

We were both too upset to wait around for the vet. The reception nurse felt the bird and said he had no reflexes. We had to leave before finding out what it could have been. I know you will not be able to give us a definate answer but we are just looking for some clue as to what it could have been. He was eating and drinking as he usually did, had clean fresh food and water daily.

Thanks for any info you may be able to provide.

Comments for sick rainbow lorikeet

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Dec 06, 2011
same here
by: Anonymous

my rainbow lorikeet has the same symptoms. it started out making strange crying noises. after a few weeks it started vomiting. when the vomiting stopped i thought it got better, but a few weeks after that it started crying again and didn't squawk anymore. A few days ago it had its head bent to one side and it cane move it's head straight up. Today it was shaking the whole time. Is it going to die soon, or can it get better? if it can get better, what can i do?

P.S. We took him to the vet a few months ago and he said that it was sick and might be dying but he wasn't a specialist and didn't know much more

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Aug 07, 2010
sick rainbow lorikeet
by: Linda

I'm very sorry for your loss, and while you had him at the vet's you could have had a necropsy done to see what killed him. We cannot help you with that as many factors are involved in a bird's untimely death. There is the toxin factor, illness gone unnoticed or a problem with heart, liver or kidneys. Congenital problems with organs can cause sudden death in birds as I've had this happen a time or two. The birds are usually too closely bred, as in inbreeding, and they are weak birds from the start with various organs effected.

I wish you'd had a necropsy done as it is too late now as it has to be done directly after death or as soon as is possible after.

I'd be slow in bringing another bird into your home until cage has been thoroughly cleaned(use a non-toxic cleaner, like Pet Focus cleanser not bleach), rinsed, aired out and left in the sun to dry. Also, never put birds into the sun unless they can get out of it as they can die of heatstroke from too much direct heat. Sun coming through a window does not provide full spectrum lighting. You need to purchase a full spectrum light. This light is hung above cage out of the way of bird, and cord coming down to the socket has to be taped securely to the wall so bird cannot chew on it. You'll have to use an extension cord to bring it down to the socket unless you have one in the ceiling. Just remember, all sun coming through a window does is make the bird extremely hot and can sometimes lead to death by heatstroke. Not sure that's what happened here. I think he was having a seizure in your daughter's room before he was put in the sun.

Again, it is very painful to lose a beloved pet, and make sure cage and toys are lead and zinc free. Most chains on store bought toys are made using steel with a zinc coating, and are made in China. Use stainless steel or nickel plated chains and hardware for the perches as zinc is as poisonous as is lead especially with Cadmium added into the zinc to make it cheaper to make which is what China is presently doing. Even though it's more expensive, try and buy American made products which have to adhere to a strict manufacturing code which does not include lead. Stuff bought in hardware stores is usually zinc coated, so stay away from that altogether since zinc with or without Cadmium is poison for birds.


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