My little buddy Meelo has been having trouble balancing properly for the past few days. He is unable to leave his current perch and can barely turn around and face the opposite direction, and will not get up for food and water. A few days earlier he fell a few times trying to play with his toys and move around the cage in general. We had hoped it was just a bit of clumsiness on his part, but it clearly was a sign of something worse. Currently, my sister is on spring break and is able to give him water, seeds, pellets and some veggies every half hour or so because he cannot get up to get anything for himself. Unfortunately, next week she has to go back to school, and my other sibling and I are also out of the house because of work and school. We are planning on setting up smaller cups for food and water to be right near him so he won't need to move and still be able to eat and drink when he needs to.
In his current state, I am unsure if bringing him to the vet is a good idea. The car ride is extremely bumpy, and Meelo gets incredibly stressed during vet exams. We last took him for a checkup a few months ago, because his beak was growing very quickly. He had his beak trimmed, and other than that the vet said he seemed to be doing fine. Since then his beak condition improved greatly. He is a very very picky eater but in the past few months took a liking to eating some boiled egg whites, and upkeeping his beak on a stone perch. However, as of a few weeks ago his beak grew long again and he stopped trimming down his beak on the perch.
We are unsure if his current condition is tied to to his recent diet change to include egg whites. He loves them, and we thought it was alright to give him a fresh piece almost every day. Unfortunately, this may have been way too much protein for Meelo and we hope he hasn't developed gout
We received Meelo around 6 years ago from someone who didn't want him anymore, we think Meelo was probably around 6 months old at the time. This other person had not kept him in a safe cage or given him proper perches, and did not keep a cup of food or water in the cage. Meelo is not very comfortable with people touching him, and does not physically interact with us much apart from coming over to play with some of his toys with us or beak tapping our fingers. Sometimes he will climb up on my hand but he prefers to be inside the cage doing his own thing and singing to the radio. The vet always has an awful time trying to catch him for exams, and Meelo is usually very shaken for the next day or two afterwards and doesn't eat well.
In the weeks leading up to Meelo's current situation:
- Egg whites almost daily
- Leafy veggies and broccoli a few times a week
- Diet is usually 10% veggies, 50-60% seeds, and 30-40% pellets
- Aloe detox mixed into his water once or twice a week
- Sleeps well, active through the day
In the days right before the current situation:
- Droppings had increased urine, smaller and thinner green portions, got stuck around his vent quite often
- Fell a few times when jumping around in the cage, and a few times a night
- Ate normally (we cut out eggs once we thought it might had been the issue)
- Appeared to act normally
- Bruised his beak playing too roughly with a bell
- Does not move from the perch
- Has trouble balancing
- Both feet remain planted when stretching, instead of lifting one foot when his wing stretches
- Drinks a very large amount of water (we've been keeping a wet kale leaf clipped next to him so he can access to water all the time)
- Normal appetite
- All water is mixed with some aloe detox*
- Droppings look pretty normal, do not stick to vent
- Is not unusually fluffed up
- Still alert, but is noticeably tired
- Improved a lot the first day, but it's been about three days total and his noticeable improvement has slowed
Sorry for the long winded explanation! I figured it was better to be on the more detailed side. I would love any advice, feedback, or answers from you all. If you have the time, I would greatly appreciate giving your opinion on Meelo's situation. So, my questions are:
1) What do you think the problem is?
2) Is a vet visit the best course of action? What types of things would the vet be able to do to help Meelo? (Our vet is not an avian specialist, but has some experience working with birds)
3) Is aloe detox in the water a good idea?
4) In the past we have given Meelo milk thistle to prevent liver issues. Would it do any harm or good in this situation?
5) Are there any environmental factors that would benefit Meelo or make more comfortable in this situation? In terms of light, humidity and temperature?
Thank you so much for helping us!