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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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I have an African Grey that has been throwing up today. Not

Customer Question

I have an African Grey that has been throwing up today. Not regurgating but throwing up...she is about 37 years old and rescued from another. I have had her since 1997 so I know her pretty well. Is there anything I can give her?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.
Does she have previous medical history?
Her biggest problem will be hydration. Then electrolyte balance. Offer her small amounts (1-2 tsp, 1-2 cc) of water at a time. If she can hold those down, offing each 5 min for an hour, then switch to warm sugar water every other time. If she will tolerate pedialyte, use that. I would not offer food for at least a couple hours, and then very small amounts at 15 min intervals. Cooked rice, oatmeal, cream of wheat.
Do not use anything else. Without knowing exactly what is the cause, you could do her great harm.
Possibilities include toxins, food-related, tumor, viral/bacterial/fungal/parasitic infection, cardiac disease, nausea from strike, foreign objects blocking the GI, liver issue, reproductuive issue, kiney problems, and more. So very important to narrow it down for appropriate and effective treatment.
Definitely radiographs, ultrasound even better, blood work are all necessary ASAP
IMPORTANT Check the website for the feed you give, there have been many recalls; or check this link:
https://www.avma.org/News/Issues/recalls-alerts/Pages/pet-food-safety-recalls-alerts.aspx?fvalue=Other
or
http://www.petfoodrecall.org/
or
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm
Can you tell me more about the bird?​
How long has this been going on?
Any accidents or trauma?
Reproductive activity?
Interactions with other birds/pets/children/guests?
What is the usual diet? has it changed recently?
Has the bird gotten into anything? Chewed electrical wires?
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 eyes, nostrils, 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 (eggs, if female or unknown). Check all the joints for swelling, pain, and mobility. The feathers should be parted to view the skin, muscles and skeleton below; this can be done using a q-tip with isopropyl alcohol or KY gel. Look for bruising, lacerations, injured feathers.
Your job is to keep the bird warm, safe, quiet, and confined; and to provide adequate hydration and calories.
Move the bird to a box or carrier with soft towels in the bottom, no perch, and food and water in low bowls that can be reached easily. Put the whole thing on a heating pad on low or medium. Check it frequently, no overheating allowed! Keep the unit partially covered, warm and quiet. White paper towels or white cloth towels will show the true color of the droppings. Small animal/reptile boxes are great for this purpose. The bird, bowls and unit must be kept very clean. Here are some helpful links:
https://www.pinterest.com/awepono/emergency-care/
https://www.pinterest.com/awepono/
http://www.bigappleherp.com/Reptarium-Cages
Do not try to force food or water. Pedialyte or electrolyte replacer can help but many birds do not like them; when in doubt, plain warm water is best. They can hydrate from oral fluids almost as quickly as IV if the GI is functioning properly. You can offer warm cooked rice, pancakes, cornbread, grapes, melon, greens in addition to normal food.
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.
I know it is expensive, but you may not have many home options, because the first thing you need a vet for is to find out what is going on. Treatment is only as good as the diagnosis. If you call around, you may find a vet to work within your means.
I really must stress that you need a bird-experienced person, and not just a vet who advertises that they care for birds. You need to take your bird to see an avian-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check https://aav.site-ym.com/?page=basiccare
click on "find a vet"
http://aav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=1803
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, and money no object, I would start with complete fecal analysis and direct smear, stained with Sedi-stain and unstained for multiple parasites, fungi, spirals; direct smear stained with Sedi-stain and unstained of the oral cavity; 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. There are MANY DNA/RNA tests for bird diseases. Ultrasound is often more informative than radiographs and does not require anesthesia (ask your vet about this option). Generally I start them out on medications as indicated by the tests.
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Pat