Bird

Get Answers to Bird Care Questions. Ask a Bird Specialist.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Bird
This answer was rated:

A friend of mine has just inherited a Toco Toucan. Can you

A friend of mine has...
A friend of mine has just inherited a Toco Toucan. Can you tell me what special care and diet the bird needs?>
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Bird Question
Answered in 29 minutes by:
10/13/2013
ERAnimalNurse
ERAnimalNurse, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 2,302
Experience: 17 years of experience
Verified

Hello,

 

I have a few questions for you. Your answers will help me provide you with more specific information.

 

How long has your friend had this bird?

 

What kind of enclosure is the bird in (material enclosure is made of, temp, inside or outside, humidity, precipitation, size of enclosure)?

 

Is this bird housed alone?

 

Any idea how old the bird is?

 

What was the bird fed previously?

 

How does the current environment this bird is in differ from the previous?

 

Has this bird been checked out by a vet?

 

Let me know and I will try to help....

 

Ask Your Own Bird Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

We are in Guatemala, so the temp. is good. The bird is native. We have no idea how old he is, but he is certainly a mature adult. He is perched trained and sits on a series of perches in the lanai that he is free to visit at his choice. My friend has had the bird less than a week. A distant relative died and nobody else wanted [or had a place for] the bird. We have no idea what the bird was fed previously. There are no other captive birds with him, but wild native birds abound and actually come into close contact with him. The bird is a super big pet, and cannot be put out. He could not fend for himself. He is totally reliant on people. he is most likely a hand raised bird from the way he acts with people. There are no bird vets here. Obviously, all kinds of native food are available here.


 


thanks

Thank you for the additional information. It must be pretty amazing to see this bird up close and personal. It has been quite awhile since I have worked in Avian medicine, so I did some research for you. Following is some information from a lecture in 2009.

 

Toucans: Husbandry and Medicine World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2009 Zalmir S. Cubas, DVM, MSc
Itaipu Binacional - Refugio Biológico Bela Vista. Av., Foz do Iguaçu-PR, Brasil

19506729

 

Toucans and toucanets (family Ramphastidae, order Pisiformes) are widely distributed in the Neotropics from south Mexico to northern Argentina. These active and colorful birds are popular pets frequently taken to veterinary practitioners for medical assistance.

 

Feeding

Free-ranging toucans eat mainly fruits, arthropods, bird eggs, young birds and small vertebrates; occasionally leaves and flowers. In captivity toucans are particularly sensitive to iron storage disease (or hemochromatosis); therefore low iron diet (around 40 ppm) should be provided (Cubas, 2007).

 

Restraint, Anesthesia and Surgery

A net, a towel or leather gloves are used to capture toucans in their cages or aviaries. Birds are gently grasped first by the beak and the body is wrapped in a towel to control flapping wings. Care should be taken not to obstruct the nostrils at the insertion of the upper beak (Cubas, 2007). Isoflurane is the most recommended anesthetic agent. For short surgical procedures a combination of ketamine (20 mg/kg) and xylazine (1-2 mg/kg) IM or EV (slowly) provides anesthesia, analgesia and muscle relaxation (Cubas, 2007). Propofol, tiletamine-zolazepam and other drugs can also be used according to the veterinarian's experience. In painful surgical procedures such as orthopedic and visceral surgeries the association of an opioid analgesic such as butorphanol (1-3mg/kg IM) or fentanyl (0.02mg/kg IM) is recommended (Paul-Murphy, 2006)

Beak fracture is a common lesion to occur in stressed birds, which may injure themselves against wire netting. First treatment includes control of hemorrhage, wound disinfection, debris removal, fluid therapy, nutritional support and prevention of secondary infection. Care should be taken not to insert liquid or contaminants in the inner part of the beak. Healing (complete keratin deposition) usually takes weeks to months. Thereafter acrylic repair is possible for mechanical or cosmetic purposes. Prosthetic beak devices can be designed using either dentistry resins or the beak of a dead specimen of the same specie (Cubas, 2007; Cubas, 2001).

Dermal lesions and bone fractures are managed as in other avian patients. Birds unable to fly sitting on abrasive floor, may develop bumblefoot and abrasive dermatitis in and above the hock joint, and are treated as in raptors. Infected wounds demand parenteral antibiotics (Cubas 2007).

 

Diagnostics

Blood sample for hematology and serum biochemistry (Table 1 and 2) are collected in the right jugular vein. The ulnar vein can be used for fluid and drug injection.

 

Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Escherichia coli and Salmonella sp. are potentially pathogenic in debilitated birds (Cubas, 2003). Avian pseudotuberculosis (Yersinia pseudotuberculosis) has been reported as the cause of death of toucans in North American and European bird collections. Rodents and free-ranging birds are incriminated as the reservoir and carriers of this bacterium (Cornelissen and Ritchie, 1994). Avian tuberculosis was diagnosed in toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) and black-necked aracari (Pteroglossus aracari) [Cornelissen and Ritchie, 1994; Worell, 1996]. Clostridium colinum infection was reported in six birds that died without premonitory signs over a period of four months (Cubas, 2001). Bacteroides spp. (var. nonfragilis) was isolated in a toucan that had severe necrotizing enteritis with multiple nodules filled with caseous material, and hepatitis with multiple granulomatous lesions (Cubas, 2007). Candidiasis (Candida albicans) and aspergillosis (Aspergillus sp.) occur in debilitated birds and chicks showing retarded growth. The author has seen young toucans and toucanets with severe necrotizing esophagitis caused by multiple bacteria and fungi infection. There are scarce reports of viral diseases in toucans. Newcastle disease virus was isolated from three of 48 toucans in a quarantine station in the United States. A herpesvirus serologically unrelated to Pacheco's disease virus was identified in a toucan. Reovirus was recovered from a toucanet that died of enteritis (Ritchie, 1995).

 

Parasitic Diseases

Capillariosis (Capillaria sp.) is one of the most important causes of toucan death in captivity in Brazil. Capillaria worms adhere to the intestinal mucosa, causing loss of anemia, dehydration, emaciation, hypoproteinemia, hyporexia, anorexia, apathy, lethargy, and brown to bloody diarrhea. Worms can be particularly resistant to usual anthelmintics (CUBAS, 2007). Fenbendazole at the dose of 50 to 100mg/kg/day for 10 days may be effective. Adult filarids of Dessetfilaria guianensis and Dessetfilaria braziliensis have been found in the aorta, pulmonary trunk and auricle of free-ranging toucans in French Guiana and Brazil (Cubas, 2001; Cubas, 2007).

Coccidiosis and Giardia sp. can occasionally cause diarrhea in toucans. It was reported the death of two toco-toucans possibly due to sarcocystosis in a zoological collection in Brazil (Cubas, 2001).

 

Noninfectious Diseases

Hemochromatosis or iron storage disease is one of the most common causes of toucan mortality in captivity. The liver may show areas of necrosis and degenerative processes. Etiological factors are the excessive dietary iron and high rates of iron absorption and retention in susceptible bird species. Clinical signs can go from subclinical to nonspecific, such as apathy, dyspnea (with ascites) and anorexia. Necropsy findings may vary from liver congestion and slight enlargement to rusty hepatic discoloration with multiple round foci of different sizes in the parenchyma, fibrin deposition and ascites. Liver biopsy is currently considered the most accurate method of diagnosis, and microscopic changes consist of granular pigments of iron deposits in the hepatocytes and mononuclear-phagocytic system. Reduced hepatic function can be assessed by elevated values of liver enzymes and changes in iron panel. Treatment consists of daily to weekly phlebotomy, deferoxamine mesilate (100mg/kg/day SC for 110 days) or deferiprone (50mg/kg PO bid for 30 days) (Cubas, 2007).

 

Young birds fed solely on fruits and insects are likely to develop rickets and emaciation. Clinical signs are beak softened with wrinkled appearance, lameness, spontaneous fractures, feather discoloration and non-specific signs. Toucans are susceptible to cardiovascular diseases. Predisposing factors to arteriosclerosis are obesity, high-fat diets, advanced age and chronic liver failure. Pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus have been reported in toucans. Clinical signs are loss of weight, decreased appetite, polydipsia, polyuria and lethargy (Cubas, 2007).

 

Following is some information from National Geographic.

 

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/toucan/

 

Following is some information on husbandry provided by the Nashville Zoo.

 

http://www.nashvillezoo.org/piciformes/toucan_husbandry.htm

 

Following is a link that details nesting logs.

 

http://adventuresintoucanland.com/2012/03/nest-logs-for-toco-toucans/

 

I hope this helps :)

 

ERAnimalNurse
ERAnimalNurse, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 2,302
Experience: 17 years of experience
Verified
ERAnimalNurse and 87 other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask ERAnimalNurse Your Own Question
ERAnimalNurse
ERAnimalNurse
ERAnimalNurse, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 2,302
2,302 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 17 years of experience

ERAnimalNurse is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Thank you so much!!! I love this service. It has given me peace of mind and extremely valuable information at an affordable price 24/7 to care for my beloved pets. THANK YOU

LindaCenterreach, NY

I found my experience with you to be very positive. Not only did the vet answer my question thoroughly, he left me with a better knowledge to follow up with my vet.

MarilouEast Taunton, MA

I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there.

Alice H.Jacksonville, Fl.

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

August Abbott, CAS

August Abbott, CAS

Certified Avian Specialist

2,640 satisfied customers

Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author

Anna

Anna

Bird Expert, Biologist

1,332 satisfied customers

Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.

Dr. Pat

Dr. Pat

Avian Veterinarian

621 satisfied customers

25 years as avian-only veterinarian

Joan

Joan

Vet. Tech.

96 satisfied customers

Vet Tech

Dr. Angela

Dr. Angela

Bird Veterinarian

77 satisfied customers

Member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Extensive avian clinical experience.

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

49 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Theresa

Theresa

Veterinary Technician

28 satisfied customers

Several years experience in handling, care, and health of our feathered friends

< Previous | Next >

Related Bird Questions
We have a an alexandrine parrot 3 years old, He flew away
We have a an alexandrine parrot 3 years old, He flew away for 4 weeks ago and was in the wild for 3 nights. When he retuned he was highly stressed for 2 weeks, his injuries appeared to be from other b… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
2,640 satisfied customers
How do I bind my chicken's claw that almost broke off
how do I bind my chicken's claw that almost broke off completely right where it joins the toe? The claw is hanging there and it's bleeding some. … read more
Yankmedic911
Yankmedic911
Wildlife Veterinarian
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and
12 satisfied customers
Sick parakeet? We have four parakeets, two males, two
Sick parakeet? Hello, We have four parakeets, two males, two females, in a large cage. They've been together about 3-4 years. One of the females, Lily, seems like she may be unwell, please let me know… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
2,640 satisfied customers
Our bird ate 3 small candy bars-milky ways while i was at
our bird ate 3 small candy bars-milky ways while i was at work-suggestions? … read more
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo
Veterinarian
BA
1 satisfied customers
Why my canry breathing heavy. Breathing heavy and he puffs
I dont see if hes just breathing heavy like hes inhale and exhaling … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,236 satisfied customers
My amazon parrot has her head tilted down and not pooping,
My amazon parrot has her head tilted down and not pooping, seems weak and her wings are like lower. She cries when you reach to touch her … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
2,640 satisfied customers
Loss of feathers under my male cockateils neck. I see him
loss of feathers under my male cockateils neck. I see him picking at it and he picks and screathes under his wing but i'm not seeing any other bald spots. One answer a=was vit A another was Parasites?… read more
Heath Wilkerson
Heath Wilkerson
ER/ICU & Exotic Animal Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
46 satisfied customers
I have a Senegal parrot, he's 2 years old. I have him since
Hello. I have a Senegal parrot, he's 2 years old. I have him since he was 2 months old. He's a great parrot but when I take him out from the cage, at first he's very lovely but later he starts attacki… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
2,640 satisfied customers
My mothers 2-year old has had watery diarrhea for a few
My mothers 2-year old has had watery diarrhea for a few days. Eating same food, never leaves cage (Mom is 93, so doesn't handle him too often) … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
2,640 satisfied customers
I have a budgie that i've just adopted from some friends of
i have a budgie that i've just adopted from some friends of mine who've had him for about 7 years. until a couple of days ago he was very lively chirpping all day long and flying around the room (i no… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
2,640 satisfied customers
ONLY, PLEASE! I just opened up a new question thread. Baxter
ANNA ONLY, PLEASE Hi, Anna! I just opened up a new question thread. Baxter is doing considerably better today. I syringe fed and medicated him this morning before work, just to be safe. I did notice h… read more
Anna
Anna
Bird Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
1,332 satisfied customers
All the feathers are dull and no feathers left on the head,
All the feathers are dull and no feathers left on the head, took them to the Dr and she checked for mites and run a all type of test, check all over the body and said they were very healthy, she said … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
2,640 satisfied customers
Cockatiel is very weak, staying in the bottom corner of her
Cockatiel is very weak, staying in the bottom corner of her cage, can hardly walk … read more
divealot1
divealot1
DVM
6 satisfied customers
FOR ONLY PLEASE So ... Baxter is still turning in circles
FOR ANNA ONLY PLEASE So ... Baxter is still turning in circles and a little wobbly--which I expect right now. He ate decently last night. Today, he's taking treats but that's about it. My concern: He … read more
Anna
Anna
Bird Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
1,332 satisfied customers
Our duck has labored breathing and is lethargic. Daffy. He
Our duck has labored breathing and is lethargic. JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age? C… read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,236 satisfied customers
My parakeet just started falling over and i don't know y she
My green parakeet just started falling over and i don't know y she is a old bird she ben around four about16 years or longer … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,236 satisfied customers
My cockatiel has very dark nostrils, but otherwise, seems
My cockatiel has very dark nostrils, but otherwise, seems fine … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
We found him at the bottom of his cage. He looks very weak.
We found him at the bottom of his cage. He looks very weak. He cannot fly and fell when he walked to the edge of chair. He is making clicking noises. His poop looks normal. … read more
Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
546 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x