my McCaw is breathing a little heavier than normanl. He tends to breath heavy when he gets excited, but now I can here his breathing a little when he's still. He's eating good and talking. I wonder if he's starting to get an infection? He is also a little over weight. What do you think could be wrong with him? I have a vet appointment tomorrow. I just freak out anytime anything might be wrong and am feeling anxious.
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 3
Type of Animal: mccaw bird
Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.You are correct in being concerned. Both the respiratory effort and the potential obesity are medical issues that need to be addressed immediately, so it is good that you have an appointment tomorrow. For now, try not to panic, but give the vet a call just to let them know that he is having trouble, and they may get you in today.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 this link for members of AAV in your area 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. Routine blood work is necessary to rule out other issues. Generally I start them out on antibiotics as indicated by the tests (I use a lot of human antibiotics that are injectable). Your bird may need injectable antibiotics, oxygen and many other medications. Act quickly and good luck.The following guidelines help with basic issues such as nutrition, obesity, good immune status. Surprising how the following can make a bird healthy, and how infrequently birds are ill if they are on the following regimen. No amount of medicine is going to work if the birds' basic needs are not met.Birds should be on a high-quality, preferably prescription, pelleted diet (I prefer Harrison's High Potency, TOP , Tropican ; Vetafarm, ; in Europe, check this distributor for local products). In addition, they should be offered dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin; entire (tops and bottoms) fresh carrots and so forth. No seeds (and that means a mix, or millet, or sprays, etc. etc.) and only healthy, low-fat high fiber people food. A dietary change should be closely monitored and supervised by your avian vet. convert to pelletsgood diet Birds should get 12-14 hours dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep at night. Any less and they can suffer from sleep deprivation and associated illnesses. They should be covered or their cage placed in a dark room that is not used after they go to bed. They should have access to bathing by daily shower, misting, bath bowl, etc. basic maintenanceThe cage material should be cleaned everyday, and twice a day if the bird is really messy. Paper towels, newspaper, bath towels are ok. Never use corn cob, sawdust, wood chips, or walnut shell. Consider getting a large cage that is longer than tall--as birds move in a horizontal rather than vertical orientation; and have several feeding stations. cagesNever give grit, gravel sandpaper or cement perches. A bird will eat those to excess when it is not feeling well or if there is a nutritional deficiency. They do not need it at all (an old myth from the poultry days, even poultry do not need it). It can cause an impaction and lead to serious or fatal consequences. daily routinehazards
25 years as avian-only veterinarian