My greenwing is panting excessively, flapping wings more than usual, and is crabby. He is usually very sweet. We live in FL and it is hot, but he stays on his playstand with fresh water and an oscillating fan on him. In the middle of the afternoon, I bring him in for snacks and a break, but he insists on going back out. This behavior started less than a week ago. Also, we may have used screws in his playstand that were not stainless. (by accident). Is metal poisoning a thought??Jade is eating and drinking, but not much.Please help. I am frantic
Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.I hope I am wrong, but I think you need to get him in right away. Any change in breathing is cause for concern. He may be hot, but there is a chance that he has an obstruction, or cardiovascular problem. Metal toxicity cannot be ruled out, but zinc ( from galvanized screws) doesn't usually cause respiratory problems. It can cause some strange restlessness and itchiness, so the idea is not entirely out of the question.There can be issues with fungal infections this time of year as well, and respiratory distress is one very common sign. And vinyl or plastic hoses can cook in the sun and the water inside can be very toxic; if you have squirted him with the hose lately, just another possibility. And being outdoors, there is the chance of mosquito harassment, West Nile Virus, fumes from neighbors pools or insect treatments and maybe a 100 other things.So botXXXXX XXXXXne there are a lot of possibilities; but he is in distress, and to help him you and your vet need to weed out via diagnosis.Right now, if he will go indoors and be confined at least for a few hours, you can monitor droppings and behavior a little better. If he has suffered heat stress, hyperthermia or even heat stroke, you MUST get him indoors. Spray him with fresh clean water from a bottle squirter if he looks hot indoors. Offer grapes and melons or other juicy fruits for the hydration factor. Warm cooked yams sometimes are appealing when macaws feel ill.Collect some droppings for samples. Metal poisoning and other metabolic issues will require a blood sample. In addition, he may need oxygen and fluids regardless of the cause of his distress. Other treatments will depend on the lab work findings.If you feel comfortable with it, examine the bird thoroughly, using gentle restraint via washcloth or hand towel: do not restrict the chest or hold around the body. Check the mouth and beak if possible, having a good look in there for mucus, redness, masses or anything else unusual. Palpate the tummy for pain, fluid, lumps or anything else. Check all the joints for swelling, pain, and mobility.Do not try to force food or water. You can offer warm cooked rice, pancakes, cornbread, grapes, melon, greens in addition to normal food. Transport as soon as possible.Pet/feed store medications and home remedies are harmful, ineffective, immuno-suppressive, and make them much worse and may interfere with the veterinarian's diagnosis and treatment. Do not use them.You need to to take your bird to see an avian-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check http://www.aav.org/association/index.php?content=activeMembersList for members of AAV in your area (there are many in Florida) or call your regular vet and see who they recommend; ask if they really have worked with birds a lot. If this were my patient, I would start with complete fecal analysis and direct smear, for multiple parasites; bacterial culture and sensitivity of the feces and choana. Depending on the case I might do a fungal culture. in his case i would certainly take samples for a fungal DNA test. Routine blood work is necessary to rule out other issues, such as calcium deficit, metal toxicity anemia, etc. Your bird may need injectable fluids, calcium, antibiotics and many other medications. Act quickly and good luck.
Dear Dr. Pat, Thank you so much for the information. I didn't mention that he does stop panting when he comes inside. There is no indication of anything else unusual when I examined him physically. He will take oranges, apples, grapes, etc. Also, mac and cheese with veggies is a favorite. How would a bird get a fungal infection?? Mosquitoes, fumes from pools or insect spray isn't a factor.
I am going to make him stay inside today, and moniter his droppings while I wait for your reply.
Also, I will search for an avian vet. Around here, there aren't a whole lot that I would feel comfortable with.
Thank you so much. I will wait for you.
Fungal sores are everywhere in the environment. Some are more pathological, and summertime is a good time for them to flourish.You can check here for your local area:http://aav.org/search/results.php?filter=state&q=FL&Submit=SearchGood luck, I know it is difficult to find a good bird vet.
25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
Thank you so much.
you are welcome. Good luck.