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Old 05-03-2019, 08:36 AM
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Question I have a red Lored Amazon

My red Lored Amazon belonged to a man who had Alzheimer's and did not know how to take care of a bird. He fed the bird everything he ate, including but not limited too, fried chicken, pork chops, coffee, etc. His beak was over-grown, and it doesnt seem to go down much even with a sand paper perch, cuddle bone, and toys to chew on. He can eat perfectly fine, so I'm not in a rush, but I would like to know what it might cost to take him to an avian vet, have his beak trimmed, blood test, and physical? I don't have a whole lot of money right now, but I have wanted to get him to vet since I got him. Also, any pointers to training him to step up? I can pet him all over his head,he isn't scared of my hands, but for some reason he won't step up. I push lightly on his stomach and he just ignores me. Sometimes he will put 1 foot on my hand ,make noises, and fluff his feathers, but he rarely puts his weight on me. I tricked him into stepping onto my hand once, and once he realised he was, he got scared and got off my hand. Any help at all would be appreciated I would love for him to be more willing to be on my hand, so he could explore my house safely. I also have two cats so it is a little nerve wracking when he flies. One cat I know would never hurt my bird, the other has never acted interested in killing my pet birds,(the parrot, a cockatiel, and chickens) but has killed many birds that live outside, and I still don't trust that she wouldn't attack him if I don't get to him first.
Sorry this was such a long post, this is my first Time on a forum in a while, and I have so many questions about this beautiful bird that I didn't want answered by Google alone. Like I said, any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.

Last edited by Georgany; 05-03-2019 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:03 AM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

Welcome to you!
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:14 PM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

It may take quite a while for him to warm up to you. I think you have made great strides just getting him to let you touch him. He sounds like he could be a really sweet bird for you.

First, I would slowly try to change his diet. Those foods are not good for parrots. When they get fat, they get fatty liver which could make them very sick. Fresh fruit and veggies, a nice pelleted parrot food and occasional nuts and seeds for treats should be good.

How much a vet visit would cost with all of those things depends on where you live. I am in NYC, and my I just paid $495 for my BFA to have grooming, bloodwork and health checkup. That is once a year for us. Some areas may be a little less, but it will still be a hefty price. CAV are pretty well trained, so most charge quite a bit. It really is important, though, after the diet he lived on before, to get him checked.

Just have patience with him and go slowly with new things. I bet before you know it, he will come around!
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:16 PM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

I had a Red Lored Amazon for about 26 years.
She was re-sold at a pet shop and was I think 12 at the time I bought her.

She is no longer with me, she had a horrible death about 2 years ago.

I don't know where you live so it's difficult to say how much the medical care will cost.
Blood work for me was around $230-$250 US dollars.
Beak and nail trim should not be to expensive $36 to $50 US dollars.
As for stepping up you might try using a short perch instead of your hand/fingers. It could be that's what she is use to doing.
I think the standard method for teaching to step up is with a food reward held out in front of him and coax him to put just one foot on your finger to get the reward.

I have never had much luck teaching with a food reward but that's just my experience.

I think the RLA is one of the most beautiful of amazon birds with all those colors in there face.

Would love to see pictures of your baby.

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Old 05-03-2019, 12:45 PM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

Welcome to the community!!! And thank you for providing this guy a loving, responsible home...

It's a really good idea to first find the closest Certified Avian Vet (CAV) or Avian Specialist Vet to you (try to avoid "Exotics" Vets because they have no special/extra education or experience with any species of animals/birds, they are simply General Vets who have graduated from Veterinary Medical School and passed their Board-Exams for their state, and who have lots of experience in Dog and Cat medicine and that's it, just like a "General" Vet, the only difference (in the US at least) is that "Exotics" Vets are simply willing to see all types of animals/birds, while General Vets are not, they only see dogs and cats...There is an excellent search-link all through the forum in tons of posts, the best one I've seen, for finding the nearest CAV or Avian Specialist Vet to you by Zip Code, Town/City, State, Country, etc. It's a world-wide search, and it only gives you CAVs and Avian Specialists (there are some Exotics Vets who are ALSO CAVs/Avian Specialists, they're rare but they do exist as well, and they are also listed by this search tool)...I'll see if I can find the link and copy/paste it below in this thread for you...That's step #1...

The reason you want to take your Amazon to specifically a CAV/Avian Specialist Vet only is because it's probably been quite a while since he's had a full Wellness-Exam that includes not only a full visual/physical exam, but also a Fecal Gram-Stain/Microscopy, which is done in the office on the spot, and then a Fecal Culture&Sensitivity, which they send out to the lab they use, and then also full, routine Blood-Work (FYI, a bird should NEVER be given any type of sedation or anesthesia to have blood drawn from their neck, and when you call to make the appointment for his Wellness-Exam you need to first ask them if their Avian Vet uses any type of sedation or anesthesia to do the blood-draw from the neck, and if they say yes, that they use ANYTHING just to do a simple blood-draw, then you want to move on to the next Avian Vet and not take your Amazon there. This is a huge RED-FLAG that tells you that basically that Vet is not comfortable handling/working with birds at all, and more-importantly they are not at all confident in their Avian-Medicine skills/education, nor have they done many blood-draws from birds at all, and you need to run far, far away! A blood-draw from a bird's neck is a very simple, extremely common procedure that is no different than us having blood taken from our arm to run blood-work; birds have 2 Jugular-Veins in their neck, and blood can be drawn from either of them (one is usually more prominent than the other, and that's the one they use), and the entire process from start to finish takes all of a minute or two...Putting birds under any type of sedation or anesthesia is risky, and where they typically have issues is when they are coming-out/waking-up, and that's when they typically stop breathing if they do...It's much less-common today, as the drugs we use are much safer and tailored for use with birds, but you still don't want your bird to be sedated or put under any type of anesthesia when it's not necessary, and like I said, the larger issue with having blood-drawn from a bird if they say they always use sedation/anesthesia is that the Vet just isn't a competent Avian Vet, nor do they probably know much about Avian-medicine in-general...

Make sure you take a fresh Fecal-sample/droppings from your bird to your appointment so they can run the Fecal-Testing...You can either collect a fresh dropping from the morning of the appointment, or from the day before, as long as it's no older than 24-hours. Just put it in a plastic baggie or container and put it in the fridge until you leave for his appointment. Typically a Wellness-Exam only includes the full visual and physical exam, the 2 different Fecal-tests (one in the office on the spot, the Gram-Stain, and then they send out the other to their outside-lab, the Culture & Sensitivity), and then the routine Blood-Testing, which includes a full CBC panel, Chem7 panel, Coag panel, a Nutritional panel/profile, and a full Liver and Kidney panel. This will give you a pretty good picture of his overall-health and well-being...However, there may be some additional, individual tests that you want to add to the regular, routine Blood-Work, such as a DNA-test for gender, if you were not given a DNA-certificate along with him, as unless the first-owner had a DNA-test done then you don't know his sex (I don't believe Red-Lored Amazons are sexually-dimorphic, meaning that you can tell the males from the females from visual differences between the two; I'm pretty sure they are sexually-monomorphic, meaning that the males and females look exactly the same, and the only way to know their sex for sure is to have a DNA-test done, either by using blood or by plucking a few fresh feathers from their chest.

I don't know how old your Amazon is supposed to be, based on what you were told by the prior-owner, but I''m assuming that your bird is an adult bird who has already gone through puberty and is already sexually-mature, so the reason that you always want to know the sex of your parrot with 100% certainty is because if you have a female bird, you need to know and be aware of the potential for the laying of infertile-eggs, which can lead to egg-binding, which is pretty much 100% fatal without immediate medical attention. Also, you need to know how to stop your bird from continuing to lay infertile-eggs over and over and over again once they start, as without the proper know-how on that it's not unusual for females to become chronic-layers once they start...So unless you got a DNA-certificate along with your bird, I would highly suggest you add a DNA-test to the regular, routine Blood-Work, since they're already doing a blood-draw (Was this man the bird's First-owner, or just his last owner?

***The other test some people like to do during a routine Wellness-Exam is a regular, plain-film X-Ray. The reason for this is because #1) Most people take their parrots for a full Wellness-Exam as I described above only once a year, so they figure they should just get it all done during that one trip to their CAV; and then more-importantly is #2) Because when you have a regular X-Ray taken of your bird, you get the entire body, from head to toe, and this is an excellent way (and really the only way) to catch abnormal growths ANYWHERE in the bird's body, specifically Tumors, and then so you can start treating them or have them removed in the early stages...This is a personal choice, but the reason I mention it is because I think it's important that you're aware of 2 things: #1) They DO have to use sedation to take an X-Ray of a bird, that's really the ONLY TIME they should be using sedation/anesthesia on a bird other than during a surgical-procedure...But they should still only be using an EXTREMELY-SHORT-ACTING-SEDATION/ANESTHESIA ONLY when they are taking an X-Ray, either Isoflurene Gas (most common), OR Intra-Nasal Liquid Sedation. That's it, those are the ONLY TWO types of sedation/anesthesia a CAV should use when taking an X-Ray, because both are extremely short-acting and last just long enough to take the X-Ray, and they both leave their systems/bodies fully, 100% gone within 10 minutes or less after the bird wakes-up, unlike other types of IV sedation/anesthesia...and then the other thing that you need to be aware of as a parrot owner, if you don't already know this, is that ALL BIRDS, both wild and captive-bred/pet birds, possess a natural, innate survival-instinct to hide any and all outward signs and symptoms of illness and pain for as long as they possibly can, and they are EXTREMELY GOOD AT IT, OFTEN HIDING THE FACT THAT THEY'RE SICK FROM THEIR OWNERS FOR MANY MONTHS! So for this reason it's extremely important, usually it's the difference between Life-or-Death, that we as their owners IMMEDIATELY get our pet birds to a CAV at the very first sign we see that they might be sick or in-pain. And I'm not exaggerating here, the #1 reason that most captive/pet birds die of very simple, very treatable/curable illnesses is because we as their owners have no idea they are at all sick, and by the time we first notice that our birds are sick, even if we get them to the Avian Vet within hours of us first noticing that something is wrong, it's often still too late to save them. So this is something that you need to be aware of and that you know that you cannot be too cautious or careful when it comes to any signs that something is not right with your bird...BTW, this is a protective-mechanism that all birds just innately/naturally do in-order to not only protect themselves from predators, but even more-so to protect their entire Flocks, who are made predatory-targets when even one bird in the Flock appears sick or weak...
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:18 PM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

So that above post answers the medical questions, though I can't answer much about the cost of a full Wellness-Exam with a Fecal and routine, baseline Blood-Work, as all Avian Vets seem to have drastically-different costs, but figure for a full Wellness-Exam/Office-Visit fee, a Fecal Gram-Stain and Culture, and then routine, baseline Blood-Work, it's typically around $200 or so. But do the search for your closest CAVs and Avian Specialists, and then call around and ask what their total will be for a full Wellness-Exam and the Fecal and Blood tests, because those are going to be necessary for your Amazon, and I would spend your money on the Blood-Work and Fecal before I spent it on having his beak trimmed, because you mentioned that his beak just continually grows despite you providing him with a cement-perch, Cuttlebone, etc...And that is typically a very common sign that your bird is suffering from Fatty-Liver Disease, the #1 symptom of this is a continually quick-growing, long beak. So you need to get the full Blood-Work done so that you can make the necessary changes to his daily-diet to not only remedy the FLD, but also his nutritional-health in-general, which is probably lacking and has been for a long, long time...

How long have you had your Amazon now? The reason I'm asking this is because you're saying that the cement-perches, Cuttlebones, Avian Mineral-Blocks (if you have one of these already, if not then you should pick one up at Petco/Petsmart ASAP for both his beak and his health), etc. have not been helping to keep his beak trim, and you also stated that you cannot get him to step-up for you, and I'm wondering how long you've been his owner...This is an extremely important question, along with how old he is (if you know), and also how many owners he has had/was the elderly-man you adopted him from his only owner, how long did he have him, and what is his regular, daily-diet (what is his daily "staple" diet(seed-mix or pellets, and exactly what brand/type of either does he get), how often/how much fresh Veggies, dark, leafy Greens, and Fruit does he get, and what "treats" or treat-foods does he get and how much/how often? If you can answer all of these questions, we can tell you a lot more about what might be going on with his overall-health, what changes you need to make to his diet ASAP to improve his overall-health and well-being and help to remedy the beak issue, and it will also allow us to give better advice about the stepping-up issue and other behavioral issues...

Parrots are extremely intelligent creatures, with the intelligence of a 3-4 year-old human child. They use logic and reasoning skills, and they have better memories than us. So depending on your Amazon's age, his history as far as ownership, routines and time spent with him, his daily-diet, etc., there are changes that you can make immediately and then also changes that you'll need to make gradually over-time to improve not only his overall health, but your relationship/bond with him...So we need a little more information about him and your time/life with him so-far to help you in a educated, informed way...But typically the beak-issue you're describing is almost always due to a daily-diet that is way too high in fat and too low in protein, and typically is an all-seed diet; more-importantly it's typically an all-seed diet of a seed-mix that is very "junky" and contains ingredients such as Sunflower Seeds, Nuts, and Dried Corn Kernels or pieces...These 3 ingredients are extremely high in fat, low in protein, low in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc., and provide little nutritional-value to them, and are just used as "fillers" by the bird food companies...Sunflower Seeds of any kind should ONLY be very occasional treats, or even just used as the bird's "Training-Treat" if they really love them and that's it...Nuts should also not be a part of your bird's regular, daily staple-diet, as all Nuts contain tons of fat (oils), more-so than any other ingredient in seed-mixes...And while the healthier Nuts make very good occasional treats or your bird's Training-Treat, such as Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Filberts, Walnuts, Pecans, Pine-Nuts, etc., your bird should NEVER BE FED ANY PEANUTS, NOT EVEN AS TREATS, as they all carry a certain type of mold which is toxic to birds....And as far as pieces or kernels of Dried Corn go, they serve absolutely no purpose at all in a bird's diet except to be a "filler"; if you want to give your bird some fresh Corn-on-the-Cob once in a while when you make it for yourself, that's an awesome treat, they love it, and at least the fresh Corn-on-the-Cob presents a bit of nutritional-value...But Dried Corn Kernels/Pieces that are found in cheaper, junky seed-mixes serve no purpose and are nothing but empty calories and tons of fat.

And seed-mixes are not all bad, there are a few parrot seed-mixes that are extremely high in protein, low in fat, high in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc., and provide your parrot with the roughage that their GI TRacts were designed to digest, as well as providing your bird with some active-foraging time...It's all about what seed-mix you feed them, just like it's all about what pellet you feed the, because fruit-flavored pellets are ALL full of tons of added sugars, which are turned into fat and stored in their livers, just like the fat from the seed-mixes...And some people will say things like "All birds need to have Nuts be a part of their regular diets like they eat in the wild", or "They eat tons of Sunflower Seeds in the wild", etc....But the fact of the matter is that we're talking about PET/CAPTIVE parrots/birds that hardly fly at all or get much exercise at all, and that have a bowl of nutrient-dense food 3 steps away from them at all times,, not Wild Parrots/Birds who fly 8-10 miles EVERY DAY searching for enough food to meet their nutritional needs! That's the difference...

***So if you can fill in the blanks on the questions I asked about your Amazon, we can give you some more advice regarding the behavioral issues...You have to remember/keep in-mind that if you've only had your Amazon for a short period of time, then this is typically the reason/explanation for most of these problems or hesitations that your bird is having about hands-on interaction with you, like stepping-up for you.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:45 PM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

I'm not sure how long I've had this parrot exactly, I only just recently started caring for him myself. My parents fed him and chose his food before me, and I just used what they used to feed him. Seed based diet, nuts as treats. I will absolutely be changing that. Where can I buy a pellet based food for him? Would they have it at a pet store, or do I have to go somewhere specific? I was told that he was kept in a garage with a mate before he was given to the old man. Something broke into the garage, and killed his mate. The man then gave away this bird, presumably because they were a breeding pair and he had no use for the bird anymore. I have no idea how old he is, we were just told he was an adult.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:31 PM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

Welcome and be welcomed. You have gotten WONDERFUL and ACCURATE info above. I suggest you go the the Amazon subforum and read all the stickies @ the topof the page. Life saving !
FWIW, my first parrot was a red lored Amazon and he was the mellowest friendly parrot. Even liked my ex !
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:34 AM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

The fear of the lored is the beginning of knowledge...
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:45 PM
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Re: I have a red Lored Amazon

Best of luck finding a trusted Avian Vet. We struggled with this before finally finding a great one at a University. Our first vet appointment covered a physical, nail trim, beak examination (no trim was needed), DNA Sexing, and a blood work up. We spent just under $300. Of course every office is different.

We were not use to that kind of bill for an annual exam. (domesticated pet owners here) However, this is really a life long companion animal. To us it was worth the money. It gives us a better understanding of her needs, gives us a base for the future, and helps down the road if an illness/emergency does come up. Going forward we will just do an annual physical which is $75. Other work would come as needed.
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