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My 6 week cockatiel sometimes cough or sneezes a bit when…

.My 6 week cockatiel sometimes...

.My 6 week cockatiel sometimes cough or sneezes a bit when being hand fed with syringe, is it a sign of aspiration and beginning of aspiration pneumonia ? He has started to wean himself.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I noticed she made some weird click sound when yawning just now.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
But no other noticeable sounds when breathing
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I'm worried he has mild aspiration pneumonia without symptoms.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
he just had a wet sneeze without being fed first.
Answered in 1 day by:
3/28/2018
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,875
Experience: Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
Verified

I'm August Abbott, owner of an animal rescue org.& state preserve wrkr. I cannot provide phone svc, but will compose a comprehensive reply for you

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Unfortunately, birds often don't show symptoms blatantly like a mammal would so we have to fine tune our observations and hearing to catch the most minor, little thing - and you've done an excellent job at that (good owner!)

Tell me first, was this tube feeding or just syringe feeding? Done by someone with plenty of experience? Was feeding a lengthy, no rush event or something to just do and get over with?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Syringe feeding, I'm not very experienced. But the problem is the syringe was not good, it sometimes could push very smoothly. I changed to a much smaller syringe which can be pushed more smoothly and now I only feed him 0.2 ml per syringe and up to 20 times each feeding. I reduced the amount per feeding and increased the frequency of the feeding. His overall intake of formula is less as he starts to eat solid food very well

The thing that has me worried is that you described hearing a "click". For that reason alone I'd seek out a bird specific vet quickly and here's why: Once a pneumonia happens it can complicate quickly with a bird's respiratory system being as different from a mammal's as it gets.

The Avian Respiratory System is unique in that they have a very small set of lungs, but what plays a more significant part in respiration are sets of 9 air sacs throughout their body.

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These also contribute to the bird’s lightweight structure and ability to fly. They also allow the air coming into the lungs to flow in a “unidirectional” manner. Mammals, on the other hand, have “bidirectional” air flow.
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Unidirectional flow means that the air, rich with oxygen, comes in through the nares (= nostrils on mammals) and rather than mixing with old air & carbon dioxide as it does with mammals, the oxygen flows from the lungs to the air sacs which perform like a bellows to ventilate the lungs and diffuse the oxygen into the blood.
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There are two anterior air sacs located on either side of the front chest area of the bird; two posterior air sacs located at both sides of back end of the body. Two cervical (near the neck) and two abdominal, plus one intraclavicular.

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So to summarize: As the bird inhales, the air sacs fill with fresh, oxygen rich air while at the very same time, this action moves air out of the lungs into the anterior air sacs.
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The air sacs go down on the exhale starting with the posterior sacs up through the lungs and the anterior air sacs out through the trachea.
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During inhalation, all air sacs expand as inhaled air enters the posterior air sacs and lungs and, simultaneously, air moves out of the lungs
and into the anterior air sacs. During exhalation, the air sacs diminish in volume as air moves (1) from the posterior air sacs through the lungs and
(2) from the anterior air sacs and out of the body via the trachea.

Pneumonia can disrupt the entire system which, if left untreated early on can result in a fatality or at least a very lengthy and costly battle to achieve a recovery.

If you go now and have it accurately diagnosed - an injection of an antibiotic or course of meds for you to take home can very likely take care of it without much fuss or bother

And... finally, it's time to establish him with a doctor anyway right? All birds need to have a vet in place for those little (and big) emergencies that eventually happen in all lifetimes. Once a vet is seen they have a record and there when you need them, while if an emergency occurs and no one is in place they may refuse treatment or charge an enormous amount - which is where the false rumor about avian vets being expensive comes from.

Do you have someone? Where are you located?

August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,875
Experience: Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
Verified
August Abbott, CAS and 87 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I ll go see a vet then thanks
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