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Old 08-07-2019, 11:01 AM
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Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

Okay so I have a 22 year old umbrella cockatoo, who iv had for the last 8 years. she broke her wing back in October vet wrapped it for 6 weeks healed very nicely. Well on sunday she got spooked and tried to fly and re broke her wing. Tomorrow she goes in to have it amputated vet says she’s just going to keep breaking it or hurt herself since it droops a lot more and she doesn’t try to use it much after breaking it the first time. She has stopped eating and drinking on her own. If I bring her water up to her she’ll take a small drink same with her food. She refuses to use her foot to hold her food and just drops it. But is still climbing around fine. While we were at the vet the other day as she was waking up from the anesthesia she started freaking out and I got bit for the first time but once we were home she was back to her normal self except she just stays on her top perch unless I take her out myself. Just wanting some advise to help get her back into eating and drinking on her own. I’ve never posted on these sites before so any kind a help would be greatly appreciated I’m worried about my baby.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:10 PM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

My first thought would be to make her cage broken wing/amputee friendly. So no high places - think more long and wide rather than tall. If she can't use her wing, she probably can't balance very well. It'll take her some time to adjust to not having that wing to balance herself.

Next thought would be that she might be in pain. Did the vet give any meds to handle this? If she really isn't eating or drinking normal food, I'd try mashed butternut squash or something similar (it's sweet, it's warm, it's not difficult to bite/eat) - could even be warm mashed bananas. If that fails, I'd try formula (parrot baby).

Definitely bring these concerns to your vet tomorrow as well.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:30 PM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

Welcome to you and your U2, assume her name is Spooky?

Agree she is most likely in pain and suffering the trauma of broken wing. Quite rare for parrots to literally starve themselves, can you determine if her weight is below average? Weighing her will be a good technique as early warning for future illness.

Hopefully her vet is avian certified, especially with in depth anesthesia and determination wing removal is best long term solution.

Feeding techniques suggested by "charmedbyekkie" are superb likely very helpful.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:58 PM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

If all else fails you may have to syringe feed baby bird formula so she gets enough calories to sustain herself. But if she's not eating at all, as my vet says, "any calorie is a good calorie when they're sick". Try anything and everything to get her through this time. Your vet my prescribe an NSAID, and that will probably help a lot. Metacam is my vet's preferred drug for generalized pain in birds. It's sweet and I've never had a bird not like it. I've actually had a problem with one bird who loves it so much he's attempted to steal the bottle and eat the whole thing (he did not succeed).
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:27 PM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

On top of the good suggestions you've already had, try stuff like mashed potatoes and if she will eat and drink if you feed her by hand, go ahead and do that. Maybe the comfort of being treated like a baby again will encourage her to eat and drink until she feels better.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:38 PM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

I took her to the vet yesterday I did have pain medicine for her and got more yesterday. She will eat if I hand feed her I got her to eat some on her own today she hasn’t had any balance issues with her wing being wrapped it’s almost like she’s just wanting the extra attention and being pampered. After tomorrow she will be babied a bit till I know she’s fine on her own. Watermelon and peanuts are her favorite right now she will hold them and eat them on her own but I still have to hand it to her to get her interested in food. Her vet is avian certified the rescue she came from takes their birds to the same vet. Other than her broken wing vet says she’s in perfect health and seems to be.a very happy bird. Thank you guys for the tips.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:41 PM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

Welcome Spooky96 and ?Spooky. Great suggestions so far...I'd probably add high water content fruit/veg for a while until you are sure that she is well hydrated. Post-op she may need the extra fluids to flush anesthesia plus to excrete metabolites from pain med absorption.


Regarding the broken wing itself, if night frights are the issue then this would need to be addressed. If you implement the longer style cage idea, not a very high perch for safety (balance/falling) etc, she should be safe during any wing-flapping as well.

Last edited by Ellie777Australia; 08-07-2019 at 09:43 PM. Reason: spello
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:46 PM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

One other thing I want to add is in the 8 years iv owned her she has never tried to fly would only glide to the ground or couch I use to have her wings clipped but she was plucking really bad and when I didn’t clip her wings she didn’t pluck as much. Last few hours she’s started eating a little more and drinking on her own. Not as much as normal but it’s a start. I’m super nervous for tomorrow since iv never been around anyone that went threw this. She’s was the first bird I was ever around. But the bond we have is amazing I think I’m getting worried that she’s not going to have the same bond with me after this anyone else have a bird that went threw an amputation? If so any suggestions or personal experiences would be appreciated as well. Iv tried to research as much as possible but there was only a few stories I found about other birds going threw similar things.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:35 AM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

Hey Spooky96...many of us may not have gone through a wing amputation. We live in different countries with different practices...so you have to go one on one with your gal and her needs. All relative to your available supports outside us.

Mainly...she has been trusting you for 8 years and is going through some serious stuff...she needs you to be patient and observant...you are the only parront that she has and if this were my toddler I'd be treating her as if I still were a nurse. U2 owners may tell you not to spoil her but I say keep her alive and worry about not spoiling later...that darn nurse in me never sleeps...
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:48 PM
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Re: Umbrella cockatoo not eating on her own, help.

U2s are born spoiled, so you can't really make it worse by cuddling and pampering her through this. Baby her as much as you want.
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