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Hello! I’ve never posted here before, but I could really use some advice. I have a male pacific parrotlet named Maui, who is about 11 years old. He’s currently experiencing an episode of what the vet believes to be a chronic hepatitis which causes his liver to swell up. This episode came on suddenly and he lost a lot of weight, became dehydrated, and his temperature and heart rate dropped dramatically in a very short period of time. After a few days at the vet he’s been sent home so I can care for him. Right now he’s in an incubator (a repurposed reptile tank) to try to get his temperature back up, and I’m giving him antibiotics twice a day. I’ve been offering him his normal seeds and pellets, which he seems interested in eating, along with brown rice and cooked peas and carrots. The vet advised me to give him a drop of honey 4-6 times a day and to offer Gatorade in addition to his fresh water—I was told that the sugar would be a good source of emergency calories that wouldn’t put undue stress on his liver. He seems to be improving—he’s increasingly active and vocal, and he’s no longer fluffed and huddled. The problem is, he’s still losing weight! Yesterday morning he weighed 23 grams (his normal weight should be about 30) and this morning he weighed 21.4. I’m a little freaked out—he really can’t afford to lose any more weight! In addition to what I’ve already been doing, can anyone suggest ways I can help him gain weight without hurting his liver? Any good foods I should offer? Any environmental conditions I should change?

(PS—I did call the vet this morning to let him know about the weight loss. He said to weigh him again tomorrow and if he’s lost further weight to bring him back in, which I will do if need be.)
 

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Greetings and welcome!

I'm sorry to hear about the health challenge Maui is going through. Given the issue with his liver I'm uncertain what to recommend to help regain weight...I'd be inclined to add fruit along with cheese and baked chicken, and perhaps cooked beans and pasta, but I'd ask my vet in a situation like this. Perhaps you can call and pose this question to your vet. In the meanwhile, I'm pretty sure extra millet wouldn't hurt.

I'm sending good thoughts and wish you good luck...hope Maui recovers swiftly!
 

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Sorry to hear about Maui. Hope all goes well soon.

As for food. Millet, lots of millet, it is like chicken soup to a stressed parrotlet. It's a healthy comfort food that is easily digestible. Also I would try nuts, lots of fat and energy in them.
 

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:( I'm sorry to hear about him. I wonder if he would let you handfeed him bird formula? When my Tumi got sick, I ended up handfeeding him, although Tumi was recently weaned so it was an easy transition. But maybe the formula would help? Also, I'd give him some BeneBac for birds, as upping his good bacteria can only help!
 

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I would suggest millet but maybe also the wet formula that they feed baby birds who are hand fed. It might be easier on him than trying to eat.
 

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Sorry to hear about Maui. Bodie is having kidney issues. Ask your vet about milk thistle. It is suppose to support the liver.
 

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Thanks, everyone! At your suggestion I offered him some millet this afternoon, which he was very enthusiastic about. He was back up to 25.4 when I weighed him this evening. He still has a long way to go, but I'm definitely feeling a lot less panicked!

I'll look into the milk thistle and the BeneBac too, this is an ongoing condition so I'm interested in anything that might help support his long-term health!
 

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Thanks, everyone! At your suggestion I offered him some millet this afternoon, which he was very enthusiastic about. He was back up to 25.4 when I weighed him this evening. He still has a long way to go, but I'm definitely feeling a lot less panicked!

I'll look into the milk thistle and the BeneBac too, this is an ongoing condition so I'm interested in anything that might help support his long-term health!
Great to hear he likes millet. Bodie likes it also. Bodie's kidney issues is long term also.

Ask your vet about giving Maui warm water. My vet said older birds enjoy drinking it in the cold mornings. It helps warm them up and can improve the appetite. It should warm not hot.

I have been offering this to Bodie and he seems to enjoy it.

Bodie has gotten down to 26 before when he spent a week at the vet's last year.

Take care.
 

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Thanks, everyone! At your suggestion I offered him some millet this afternoon, which he was very enthusiastic about. He was back up to 25.4 when I weighed him this evening. He still has a long way to go, but I'm definitely feeling a lot less panicked!

I'll look into the milk thistle and the BeneBac too, this is an ongoing condition so I'm interested in anything that might help support his long-term health!
I suggest leaving the millet in the cage 24/7 until this issue is over.
 

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I agree on the warm water, even for younger birds. I noticed this by accident when I refilled Keegan's waim ter while I was half asleep on a cold evening. Someone had left the tap (we have good, tested well water) on warm and I didn't notice right away. When I realized I went to change it out for him, but he made it pretty clear he liked it as it was, so I left it. I didn't know that was an actual thing, I just figured the day was cold and my bird is weird.

I'm really glad to hear your little one is putting weight back on. I don't know what I'd do if Keegan started losing weight that fast. Probably panic and then need to get someone else to feed him so my panic didn't freak him out. Good on you for staying calm and practical.
 

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Sorry to hear about Maui's liver problems , you might also try sunflower seeds for weight gain , shelled ones would probably be easier for him to handle .
 
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