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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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Lisa My Parrot has a bit blood in his pooh. Presently, he's

Customer Question

Hello Dr. Lisa
My Parrot has a bit blood in his pooh. Presently, he's been cared for by a Vet for about 1 week. The Vet was able to stop the bleeding once, but it started again. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.

My apologies for this delay and that Dr. Lisa is no longer with us. I will certainly try to help with your bird

What kind of bird is it? What is it that the vet found as the source of the blood in the droppings and how did the vet stop it?

Is this a male or female bird?

Any details - from where your bird is kept, what it's fed, age, how long you have had it and if other birds are around will be very helpful

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yellow Nape aproximately 25yr old. The Vet is not sure of the source of blood. "Scooter "bird name is ***** ***** and one other drug for a fungus infection.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Scooter is Caged alone inside our house and feed seeds and fruits.
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.

I agree with you that this is a perplexing and potentially dangerous event. I'm not sure why the vet Rx'd an anti fungal The Cipro is a broad spectrum antibiotic in the same family as Baytril - which is rarely used to treat anything in avians anymore so I'm wondering if this vet is actually a well versed avian vet or if they see mostly dogs/cats and occasionally birds.

In any event, please feel free to print this out and share it with the vet so they at least have more to consider in pursuing new avenues of treatment

What seems to be blood in the droppings might also be a type of bile. It could indicate anything from lead or other metal poisoning to the lesser seen, kidney infection. No matter what, blood in a bird’s droppings is an absolutely serious care situation without any home treatment available. I can only help you with support options while awaiting the first available vet visit for hands on treatment and evaluation

If this is a female you must consider the possibility of egg binding or Dystocia, even if you can’t see the egg or feel it. It’s important to keep in mind that birds will maintain an ‘act’ of health, right down to singing and other usual behaviors, up to the very moment it’s too overwhelming (and serious) for them to keep up.

Have your vet perform a blood serum test for zinc levels (just in case your vet isn’t an avian vet, zinc levels over 2 ppm are positive for zinc toxicity). There will also likely be elevated WBC’s (white blood count).

Zinc can be ingested slowly over time when toys, clasps, chains, links or even cages are chewed on or played with. Other poisonings occur when the bird actually swallows a toy, link or piece of one. Watch out for bell clappers for instance.

X-rays should also be employed to rule out toxic ingestion like this.

Here are your support options

Offer your bird extra water after a bout with bleeding of any amount. Children’s Pedialyte is also a good fluid choice. You can try plain sugar water too. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of real sugar, no substitutes no matter what they claim, into a cup of water. Another well tolerated fluid is apple or grape juice, mixed ½ and ½ with water. Mash up some melon or try some applesauce, juice mixed with mashed banana - anything your companion will try in order to replace bodily fluid and sugar levels after bleeding.

Sticking with all natural options is best and of course a vet will be able to do more in the way of IV fluid replacement, antibiotics and even oxygen if necessary.

*** The other thing that is important to address, but we can wait until after this current issue is taken care of, is feeding. Seeds for birds, no matter what the packaging says about 'fortified' or healthy - are like feeding a child nothing but ice cream and french fries. That child will grow and seem just fine until one day an incident will point to liver disease, heart problems, diabetes and a host of other serious illnesses that will be complicated and costly to 'fix'.

I'm happy to work with you even beyond this bleeding issue and help you get your companion on a more healthy diet which will include a pellet base. Pellets are not 'cereal' or junk - the good pellets are actually made from real fruits and vegetables that are processed into an easy to eat and easy to maintain pellet that is healthy.

Seeds are not so much for parrots as they are for straight billed birds like sparrows, canaries and so on. Hook bills (parrots) are largely fruit, vegetation and nut eaters. When they find seeds it's a 'treat' in the wild, as it should be. Just like french fries and ice cream should be 'treats' for humans.

But right now lets get to the bottom of why your bird has bleeding.

Even if you rate this question now you can re open it anytime. You're in total control over it -- so please be sure to follow up with me ok?