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We have a peach fronted conure approximately 26 years old.

We have a peach...

We have a peach fronted conure approximately 26 years old. Started hanging on side of its cage this morning. Sneezing or blowing frequently. Then when it ate seed & drank water, began regurgitating making wet spots over the clean papers in bottom of cage. Seems somewhat more lethargic than normal. Is there something we can do to help or treat it?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?

Not that I know of. We haven’t had it to a vet in several years, it has been very energetic and no major issues.

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Answered in 11 hours by:
2/11/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 34,902
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. There appears to be two different body systems affected at this time the symptoms of which may or may not be related. Frequent sneezing/blowing is most often associated with an infectious rhinitis (inflammation inside the nasal cavities) - bacterial, viral, fungal - or perhaps the inhalation of a foreign body (seed, usually). Regurgitation needs to be differentiated from vomiting as the causes and treatment of these signs differ. Most important, once a conure acts ill it's already quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild.

An avian-oriented vet might first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of your bird's choana - the slit between its oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be helpful as well.

Until your conure can be attended to, please heat up its environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into its partially covered cage (not at night when it needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of its cage. Remove its perches and put its food and water on the bottom of the cage along with hit Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to itswater at half of the recommended dose so as not to make its water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to its water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in its water. They won't be effective if only because an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has your conure's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of its diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you. Since yesterday, our bird has stopped throwing up and the sneezing/ blowing. We had never seen the bird have food come back up out of its mouth before. It is eating and producing droppings again like normal. Maybe it had a stray seed or something stuck? What else would cause one day episodes? As far as diet, this bird eats a lot of seed, but we have offered other foods daily, fruits, cooked meat,cheese, rice or pasta. We have also offered vegetables, but for most of those he has given those items a big sling and discards them! We were told not to give the bird berries with seeds( raspberries, strawberries). Also bird Loves sunflower seed, but we were told to limit those as well. Seed is more like 50 -60% of diet. Likes seedless grapes, apples, banana but sparingly, eats potatoes but we haven’t tried sweet potatoes.

Thank you for the good update. I never argue with success. Yes, perhaps there was a foreign body because infections and nutritional deficiencies don't come and go in one day. I don't see a problem with berries containing seeds. Ideally, he would eat formulated pellets but that's going to take a bit of work to transition him. Please see here for tricks in doing so: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/using-our-foods/large-bird-conversion/

Birds both regurgitate and vomit with vomiting generally more serious. 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.

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. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
How is it best to transport this type of bird in the cold weather if we would take to an aviary vet? Cage is on the smaller side, but doesnt really travel that easily. We keep the cage on a cart in the house so we can move easily when needed. I am reluctant to take out in cold unless absolutely necessary. BTWwe tried to take away perches and this bird “Peaches” would have none of it. Climbed on sides of the cage and hung upside down to reach food & water. Wasn’t too weak!

I would avoid transport in extremely cold weather unless you could limit the distance between house and car and have the car already warmed prior to transfer. The cage should be wrapped in a blanket with a heating disk inside during travel. Please see here: https://www.amazon.com/Snuggle-Safe-Pet-Microwave-Heating/dp/B00008AJH9

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you for your help!

You're quite welcome. 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.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 34,902
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

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