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Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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My amazon parrot has a cold ( wheezing ).What can I do

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My amazon parrot has a cold ( wheezing ).What can I do for him ???

Hello. Parrots do not get colds. But they are very susceptible to all manner of respiratory problems. If he is wheezing, either he has been sick for some time or he has suddenly been exposed to some kind of household toxin or something else that has suddenly affected his breathing. One of the problems we have with our parrots is their very strong instinct to mask all symptoms of illness or injury, from us. In the wild, they are prey and to show weakness is to get kicked out of the safety of the flock. By the time we see any symptoms, it's because they are too sick and too weak to keep up the pretense. A couple of the first things we will be able to notice is a change in behavior, (less playing, less or no talking, etc.), any change in the appearance of the droppings that lasts more than 24 hours and cannot be accounted for by diet. For example, a lot of fruits or veggies one day can make more runny droppings but it should not last more than a day, then go back to normal. Other symptoms are sitting with feathers fluffed, giving up the perches and staying on the cage floor, and sleeping an inordinate amount of time. If this continues without treatment, you will begin to see the other symptoms, if you aren't already. With them being so very delicate as respects their respiratory systems, if we don't know better, there are things we expose them to that are cumulative and harm them over time and there are things we can expose them to that will cause an almost instant reaction. Obviously I'm not going to be able to diagnose for you, nor can I give you a "cure". What I can do is give you a couple links to information about various respiratory problems and the causes. I'm also going to give you a list of the most common things we may do to our birds without realizing it. If you will compare the list I'm going to give you and the situations in the links to see if you can recognize any thing your bird has been exposed to, it can really shorten the diagnosis time at the vet and get proper treatment started that much sooner. Okay, here is my list of things that seem to happen most often; an over heated piece of non stick cookware, burning candles, burning a fireplace that does not draw perfectly, using any kind of aerosol product, any kind of air freshener, almost all commercial cleaning products, liquid, powders or in any other form. If you have recently gotten any new furniture or new carpet and especially if it was treated with a stain guard. Any painting or most other remodeling projects. Cigarette smoke and/or the nicotine from the unwashed hands of a smoker. Cooking fumes, or any other strong smelling fumes. Generally speaking, anything that smells strong to us, can be a bird killer. As mentioned, some of these things build over time, some happen quickly. When you get into the links you will see things that are diet related. One of the more common and very serious one is aspergillosis. If your bird gets peanuts in the shell, that is a strong suspect. Peanut shells can harbor the spores that cause that problem. I am assuming that at his age, you already have a good avian vet that you trust but just in case, I'll give you links to help locate one. You need to get him to a vet asap. I would not let them put me off several days, waiting for an appointment. In the meantime, you must make sure he does not get chilled. The closer to 80F you can keep him, the better. He also needs to stay as quiet and stress free as possible. Allow nothing that increases his respirations if you can help it. I suggest covering the top and three sides of the cage and unless he is a real cuddler and loves to sit quietly with you, I'd leave him alone and keep household traffic to a minumum around the cage. If you see him start to "tail bob", (tail bobbing up and down in time with breathing) he is in even more serious trouble and you must move even faster to get him to the vet. I will keep him in my thoughts and keep my fingers crossed for all of you. Best of luck and let me know if you have any more questions at all. Patricia

Click here: Winged Wisdom Pet Bird Magazine - Avian Respiratory Disorders Part I - Pet Birds

Click here: Winged Wisdom Pet Bird Magazine - Avian Respiratory Disorders Part II - Pet Birds

Click here: Find your local Avian Veterinarian

Click here: Avian Veterinarians Recommended by Bird Breeders and Owners

Click here: Avian Vet List

Click here: BirdsnWays - Avian Veterinarians - Vets - Vet Services for Pet Parrots & Exotic Birds

This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only sold by vets so it's another good list to check. Click here: Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic pet bird diets that were formulated to make your bird as he

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