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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7621
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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My macaw vomited yesterday and today, not sure. I asked my

Customer Question

my macaw vomited yesterday and today
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your bird eat anything unusual?
Customer: not sure. I asked my kids and they said they didn't give him anything.
JA: What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: we give him oranges and apple
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your bird?
Customer: Mojito and hes about 1 yr old
JA: What is the bird's name?
Customer: Mojito
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He's very quiet and not making noises like he used to. He looks tired and sleepy. He keeps wanting to eat but vomits them out. We fed him apples and his solid bird maintenance food. I wipe his surroundings and his cage with Clorox wipes. I change his water everyday, morning and at night. I place peepee pads at the bottom of his cage and make sure to change them when it's dirt full. He doesn't squawk or talk like he used to.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His feces are liquidy. Please help. Thanks.
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.

I'm here - are you still online? Tell me more details about the vomiting. Is it a head shaking event where the substance that comes out is thrown all over the cage and ultimately ends up on his head as well? Very sticky substance?

Or is it a head bobbing event where partially digested food ends up delivered pretty much directly in front of him?

Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.

- It seems you've signed off and I'm about to do the same for the night, but I want to be sure you have some good info to at least get you through the next several hours or couple of days depending on what you observe.


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 they are particularly fond of, especially if they’re in a breeding season. It might also be done when the bird is nervous or trying to ‘please’ you.
Regurgitating can be a symptom of crop infection or other problems, but generally it’s a threat because it can lead to malnourishment. If your bird is giving up too much of the food they should be digesting for their own nutrition, the result can be pretty serious.

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.
If possible, collect a sample of this substance to bring to the vet with you.
When there’s a blood showing in the vomitus it may indicate esophageal or proventricular ulcers ( .
The vet will take a look into your bird’s mouth for other symptoms and I’d ask for a swab culture if the vet isn’t going to do one anyway. 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 outline 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.


The top causes of vomiting in domestic birds are (gram-negative) bacteria, something that may increase to a troublesome point after the bird is stressed somehow. 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.

Pet Education


The other possible causes are contamination of food or water by fecal matter. Be sure there are no perches above food/water bowls which could allow this to happen without you noticing until after the bird has ingested it.
Candida (also increased after a stressor) infection or Trichomonas are also causes that should be explored by your vet. When these are all ruled out, the search for a cause can get pretty complicated.
If you’re dealing with regurgitation, as hard as it might be for you to do, remove the object of your bird’s affection and begin to modify the bird’s light and dark hours to help curb this behavior.
By changing the cage around, switching up the food and water dishes, taking out familiar toys and adding new ones, you alter the possible triggers. Change the location of perches, or the types, but always keep in mind that the highest perch where the bird will spend most of their standing time should never be a coarse or grooming perch which can cause foot and leg problems. Those perches are excellent options in a cage, just not for long time standing or sleeping.

Take a look here for more about sleep, sleep cages, open perches and lots more

I'll be back on Sunday and looking for you. If you need anything further please let me know. From what you've described you're taking excellent care of your companion and he's lucky to have such an attentive and sincerely ***** *****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I leave food for my bird? He will be alone all day today.
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.

I've been trying to reply to you all day, but couldn't log on enough to lock the question. Something's been a little 'off' with my net connection or this site, I'm sorry

While late, the answer is 'yes', leave your companion food. And of course always clean water.

How has he been with the episodes? Have you determined by the descriptions I gave you last night whether or not it's vomiting or regurgitation?

Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
S. August Abbott, CAS