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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7584
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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I have an African Grey parrot Happy New Year :) I would love

Customer Question

Customer: Hello, I'm Bindiya, and I have an African Grey parrot Happy New Year :) I would love a little advice if possible, please?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Yes; our little baby is 16 years old in April; we've had her since she was 4 months old, and we found out in 2012 that she was a female, after she laid an egg (!). She's in good health, although her diet could have more fruits and vegetables, and less Indian rice and curry and daal! However, on Saturday morning she started making noises similar to the ones described in this post
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Bird Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: Coughing/gagging sounds, very loud, at the frequency of hiccups - at first we thought she had maybe eaten something she couldn't swallow (similar to when humans eat chips too fast), as she was stretching her neck horizontally and retracting it. We were also worried that maybe she had a cold or something so my sister fed her a few teaspoons of lemon, honey and ginger. We were out all of yesterday, but I didn't notice her making these noises when we were at home. Then tonight, about an hour ago, she made those noises a LOT. She was climbing up the side of her cage, hanging onto the side, and started doing it. She looks quite tired, and was shivering and trembling. There aren't any new toys or anything in her cage, and the sound she makes seems to be forced out of her, a bit like when we gag, and we can't hold it back. It is definitely not mimicking. I'm hoping to find a vet who can come to make a home visit as an emergency tomorrow, but in the meantime am considering staying downstairs with her all night in case she needs anything (although as I don't speak parrot the only thing I could do is comfort her). She is still singing and dancing, although noticeably less than normal. She also seems to be breathing quite hard, although it's not audible, I just see her chest moving quite deeply. Yes, thank you, ***** ***** fine to wait.
JA: OK. Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.

You clearly love your Grey. I have to suggest stopping home treatments until a diagnosis is absolutely made. What you CAN do is prepare a 'brooder box' just in case she worsens before that vet visit.

To set this up, use a small box lined with soft clothes like tee shirts.


Use a thick, clean sock and fill it ¾ with plain, raw white rice. Knot the end and microwave it for about 1 ½ minutes. Shake it afterwards to distribute the heat and be sure it's not too hot. Tuck this in just under the cloths.


A heating pad under the box is also helpful, set on low. This is one of the few times I’d ever use both heat sources if necessary to maintain incubation temp (90-105 degrees).


If ever using an electric source for heating anything in anyway, please be vigilant and constantly double checking carefully.


Gently drape a light cover over this box to further help hold heat in and keep light low.


Again though, as long as she's perching ok and you're seeing relatively normal droppings this should be something ok until that vet visit.

If you notice droppings stopping or anything unusual at the vent (her bottom) such as protrusion, oozing, etc. - then it's escalated from 'ok to wait' to something you need to get her seen as soon as possible. And these symptoms would also indicate that the brooder box is absolutely necessary rather than just at the ready.

Does this make sense?

Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.
Hi Bea,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
S. August Abbott, CAS

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