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Category: Bird
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My bird has a stomach ache. He has be vomiting but he is

Customer Question

My bird has a stomach ache. He has be vomiting but he is still on his perch and moving around. He tries to eat but not much. He was just running back and fourth to each food cup but it's like the taste bothers him buy he want to eat. I put fresh food in his cup lastnight. What should I do?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your bird eat anything unusual?
Customer: No, but I gave him a bath yesterday and rub him down with antibiotic ointment because he plucks his feathers.
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Jo-Jo is his name and he is 18 years old.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Name?
Customer: Yes Jo-Jo has been plucking his feathers for 14 years now.
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  DrMichaelSalkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site.

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 like you have, might be a symptom of crop infection/impaction and a bird losing ingesta in that manner will become malnourished.

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: will take a look into JoJo'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 etiologies of vomiting 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'm concerned that JoJo may have ingested too much of the antibiotic ointment. I would be more comfortable knowing that JoJo was examined by an avian vet.

Gram negative bacteria are a common cause of gastrointestinal infections. These bacteria may proliferate 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 an infant fluid and electrolyte replacer such as 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 JoJo inhaling the fluid and developing pneumonia. Please heat up his environment to 85F so he need not expend excess energy keeping his 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 pablum or baby rice cereal and a few licks of natural live-culture yogurt.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. Jo-Jo is doing much better now. I gave him some mineral water with electrolytes in it and he's eating and drinking now. I have been looking for Avian vets in the Washington DC area for a while and yet to find any, if you have any suggestions please let me know. Again thanks for all your help Jo-Jo and I appreciate it.
Expert:  DrMichaelSalkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the good update. Here's where you'll find such a vet: Click on "resources" and then "find a vet" in the drop down menu.

I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Expert:  DrMichaelSalkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?