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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3596
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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My African Grey just uncovered had a stool that kind

Customer Question

My African Grey just uncovered had a stool that kind of looked like coffee. He is talking and seems happy, feathers look normal, his coloring is good and he is eating. Never seen a stool like this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
First, this could be a very serious sign of GI damage, and should be considered very important. Second, being a gray (I have one, so know from experience) what did he get into, open or chew up? If there is only one poop like this and all other are normal, probably not a big issue. Check to see if he chewed on something that looks similar. An easy test for blood: put a few drops of household hydrogen peroxide on as sample of the dropping (save some back for vet analysis). If it bubbles, it's blood, and the bird needs to be taken in immediately for testing and treatment plan. If it is blood and especially if there are more of them, then the GI is bleeding, likely high up in stomach, gizzard, esophagus. There are many possible causes, including ingestion of foreign objects, metal poisoning, other toxins, viral/bacterial/fungal/parasitic infection, and more. He will need lab tests and radiology, and ultrasound can be very helpful. Without knowing exactly what is causing it, it would be very dangerous to guess on a treatment protocol; but pain management and GI protectants for certain. IMPORTANT Check the website for the feed you give, there have been many recalls, some of which include toxins or infections that affect the GI; or check this link: you tell me more about the bird?​How long has this been going on?How long have you had him?Where is he from?Any accidents or trauma?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? 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 click on "find a vet" 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. AAV recommended lab work