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I have a question about my female java sparrow. Well, she…

Hello, I have a...

Hello, I have a question about my female java sparrow.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the Java sparrow?

Well, she seems outwardly fine and has for a very long time. But she's got a weird click/suck noise going on inside her. She's not having trouble breathing. But I can hear it clearly.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does the Java sparrow seem to hurt?

She doesn't seem to be in pain. It s the sound

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No obvious pain. What is the Java sparrow's name and age?

Pitter, 6

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Pitter?

She had previous hormonal problems. They caused her ovaries to swell and put pressure on her air sacs. But the vet says maybe it's not the same thing this time.

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Answered in 5 hours by:
4/7/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,352
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking with 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. Audible clicking noises are consistent with a tracheitis (inflammation of the windpipe) usually seen in conjunction with upper respiratory disease or other lower respiratory disease, although primary tracheal disease can be seen. Hypovitaminosis A (a lack of vitamin A in the diet) can play a role in the development of tracheal disease. Etiological agents include bacteria, fungi (Aspergillus, Mucor and Candidia spp.), viruses (poxvirus, herpesvirus), Chlamydia, parasites (Syngamus trachea, gapeworm; Sternostoma tracheocolum, air sac mite; Cryptosporidia; Trichomonas), inhaled irritatns (cigarette smoke, other pollutants), and trauma.

An avian vet might perform a tracheal wash to obtain samples of the trachea, bronchi, lungs, and potentially air sacs. Specific therapy is directed on the basis of the diagnosis or laboratory testing. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thank you very much for your answer. I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. In response, I can say that I've visited the vet for this twice. The first time, we found out that, because she was suddenly overly hormonal and had laid twice, her ovaries were swollen to the point where they were pushing on her air sacs. The vet gave her some hormone suppressants and the sound went away well. She doesn't seem to be in any physical distress whatsoever, nor does she seem to have actual trouble breathing- this sound is coming from within and is not an open-mouthed gasping or clicking. She doesn't have any signs of breathlessness after flying or moving quickly.The second time I went to the vet, she seemed to be having some sort of trouble with her throat where she was open-mouth clearing it way more than I thought was normal. I was worried something was stuck or inflamed, and the vet took another x-ray, as well as a tracheal swab (I believe). She said her hormone levels were fine, and nothing seemed overly swollen or pressing on anything else. Also, no mites. She said it might be bad bacteria that had suddenly gotten a hold, and gave her antibiotics for a week. The sound didn't really change. She also gave me some powdered medicine for reducing fat around the liver.My problem is, as well, that the sound isn't always there, but recently it's quite audible, especially when she's sleepy or dozing. The vet actually couldn't hear it, rather, she didn't seem to be doing it, when I brought her the second time, which was why is was sort of guessy. But I fear that taking her to the vet yet again and putting her through all those tests is really stressful, and especially if it's for nothing. The sound does go away occasionally, but comes back. It's just disturbing how well I can hear it.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Oh, I live in Japan, by the way. The vet I go to is literally the best in my region. I know there are large discrepancies between eastern and western veterinary technology and practices. This is why I'm looking for a second opinion.

Thank you for the additional information. It sounds as if you've been fortunate to find a quality avian vet where you live. I agree that additional diagnostics - particularly if a tracheal swab has already been taken and examined and you haven't seen a positive response to presumptive antibacterial therapy - aren't likely to be helpful. Can you upload an audio file containing this breathing to our conversation? You can upload it to YouTube or a similar app and then provide me with the link. I might be able to localize the disorder although my initial thought was that the click/suck represented tracheal/syrinx constriction due to inflammation. What has Pitter's diet consisted of, please? Are you supplementing with vitamin A at this time?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I’m not supplementing anything in particular now. Her diet consists mostly of low-fat pellets that I buy at the vet, mixed with 1/3 the amount of seeds and added to with a little oats, dried fruit or herbs. She gets fruit and veggies when I eat them, and the occasional plain piece of pasta or cracker. (when she was hormonal she was eating a lot and we were just a little concerned about her getting fat- she never did though. Also, we strictly limited her food for a while to stop her being “eggy”)The sound, like I said, is internal- I don’t think it’s coming from her throat, but after all she’s so small, so I can’t be positive. As for a recording, I’m honestly unsure if it could be picked up well enough- sometimes I have to put my ear right up against her to hear it, sometimes I can hear it if I put my ear up against the cage cover (she sleeps right against it) I can try.I think the vet would be able to hear the sound if I brought her back, this time, as it’s more obvious than when I went back the second time. I’m just worried about doing either too much- I don’t need to pump her full of meds- or too little- I’m so scared that it’ll just suddenly be a huge problem.

Thank you for the additional information. I understand your concerns. The reason I mentioned vitamin A is that a lack of that vitamin in the diet can cause changes in the lining of the respiratory tract leading to respiratory sounds. Her diet sounds excellent, however. It's not unreasonable to see how a liquid soluble vitamin supplement such as Oasis brand dosed at half of the recommended dose on the label so as not to be make her water distasteful affects Pitter.

Yes, you may be hearing heart sounds, sounds of an air sacculitis, or perhaps an anatomical obstruction (neoplasia?) in her respiratory system. Regretfully, X-rays or CT might be needed to detect pathology in those areas and I would be circumspect about performing such advanced imaging in an otherwise well sparrow. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,352
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. 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.

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