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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25550
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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S droppings smell strongly of ammonia, Pumpkin, he is about

Customer Question

His droppings smell strongly of ammonia
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Pumpkin, he is about 14
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Pumpkin?
Customer: Sometimes he gets soft food stuck in his nose - but he seems pretty healthy otherwise. He was hospitalized when he was about 2 for liver enzymes (I think - his diet was pretty bad when I got him)
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

Sheila, studies have shown that ammonia is produced from uric acid in birds by cecal micro-organisms and then rapidly absorbed. If his droppings now have an odor of ammonia there may have been an alteration in those micro-organisms as might occur with a diet change or antibiotic therapy which has resulted in the ammonia not being absorbed into Pumpkin. Pumpkin also might be excreting more uric acid than usual and this, then, would result in excess ammonia that Pumpkin is unable to absorb competely. This would be a clue that he suffers from renal insufficiency and we test for renal insufficiency with a serum uric acid test. This would be a prudent test to have an avian vet (please see here: www.aav.org) perform. It would be smart to follow up on your astute observation.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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