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Female Galah is vomiting. She has been a bit quieter today.

Customer Question
Female Galah is vomiting...

Female Galah is vomiting. She has been a bit quieter today.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the bird eat anything unusual?

She likes to drop her food on the floor of her cage, and then eat it later. Do you think it may be Sour Crop

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the bird's name and age?

Her name is ***** ***** she would be about 17 years old.

Veterinarian's Assistant: How old is Cuddles?

17 years old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Cuddles?

She has been in good health up till now.

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Bird Veterinary
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Answered in 9 hours by:
3/11/2018
Bird Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,232
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Bird Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It's important to clarify if a bird is vomiting or, instead, regurgitating. A bird that bobs its head up and down in a sort of pumping motion, beak open and then a purposeful delivery of partially digested food is regurgitating. This is something they would do to feed offspring or a mate. It’s done by some birds to objects (toys, mirrors, people) they are particularly fond of - especially if they’re in a breeding season, when a bird wants to please their owner and/or is of a nervous temperament.

Regurgitation that is unusual enough for you to make note of it might be a symptom of crop infection/impaction ("sour crop") and it’s a threat because it can lead to malnourishment.

Vomiting is more of a head “flicking” event. The bird will often seem uneasy, pacing or uncomfortable and although the head bobbing might be similar to the regurgitation action, it’s usually more of a shaking and the end result is a very splattered, sticky substance that may or may not include food. When there’s blood showing in the vomitus it may indicate esophageal or proventricular ulcers.

An avian vet (please see here: www.aav.org) will take a look into your bird’s mouth as part of a thorough physical examination and is likely to examine a swab of the oral cavity for abnormal numbers of either bacteria, yeast, or parasites. A good exam will also check for any growths or tumors.

Vomiting is a more serious symptom and seeing a vet as soon as possible is important. There are far too many possible diseases to list here, but as in any case of illness, getting it evaluated, diagnosed and treated right away is often the best outcome at the lowest cost. I would be more comfortable knowing that Cuddles was examined by an avian vet.

A common cause of vomiting in domestic birds is gram-negative bacterial infections which may have exacerbated after a bird is stressed. Stress can involve changes in their environment, being frightened, having their sleep hours reduced or other changes in schedules or even a difference in food. Another possible cause is contamination of food or water by fecal matter.

If your bird won't drink and eat on its own please consider eyedroppering a few drops of plain water, or better yet, children’s Pedialyte every 20-30 minutes. Put the dropper gently inside the beak and let the drops fall into the bottom beak under the tongue rather than trying to get into the back of the throat. We don’t want to chance Cuddles inhaling the fluid and developing pneumonia. Please heat up her environment to 85F so she need not expend excess energy keeping her body temperature up.

Another feeding option is to offer all natural, organic baby food (squash, yams, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables) which many birds take readily; also try some pabulum or baby rice cereal and a few licks of natural live-culture yogurt.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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