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Old 11-07-2019, 11:30 PM
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Hello

I’m new to this site and basically new to the proper care of parrots. I have a white fronted amazon who is roughly 42 years old. His name is Pretty Bird and he was given to me by my brother who traveled a great deal and could not take care of him. At that time, about 41 years ago, I was told that he only eats sunflower seeds. I bought him his seed diet from neighborhood pet store. I now realize all these years later how much harm I caused my sweet parrot. In the 41 years I owned him he saw a vet only four times, two of those times are recent. The lapse in vet visits stemmed mainly from not being able to find an avian vet, the first vet we saw no longer was practicing. The vet I took him to this past February basically just said he looked ok for a 40 year old parrot, did not even weigh him, and I basically was not satisfied with exam, so I just recently found a new vet a couple hours away from our home. This vet weighed him, he is underweight. On exam of his mouth, he noted and explained to me what Choanal papillae is and told me Pretty Bird does not have the little papillae normally seen. He said this is usually seen in parrots on seed diets and that sometimes the papillae are blunted but Pretty Bird does not have any, it is smooth. He gave him a shot of vitamin A and other vitamins. I noticed he is sneezing a lot today and scratching his head a lot. He also is opening his mouth while stretching his head up, which I though was adjusting his crop but now I’m not so sure. I also noticed his feathers seem to be turning black more so than they were. I have been literally scanning internet and looking up as much info as I can to see how bad things are for my sweet baby bird. My nerves are shot and I can’t quit crying because I am thinking things are quite worse than I thought. All the vet told me to do was to get him on a better diet. Do you think the vitamin shot could have anything to do with him sneezing and scratching himself all day. Also, the absence of Choanal papillae, Is there anything I could do about this. I’m sorry for rambling but I don’t know what else to do. Can someone comment or give me some hope.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:21 AM
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Re: Hello

Welcome to you and Pretty Bird! Thank you for a heartfelt introduction, far from rambling! I understand your concern and yearning for answers. Knowledge is power and what you seek is best obtained by an ethical certified avian veterinarian. How to find a practice: https://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803 Board certified specialists: https://abvp.com/animal-owners/find-an-abvp-specialist/

A comprehensive examination includes weight, detailed physical observation of the vent and mouth areas, and blood chemistry profile. Cultures from "both ends" are desirable. Diet is extraordinarily critical, the good news is benefits can rapidly accrue from positive change.

Please read this and other "sticky" threads from the Parrot Food, Recipes, and Diet forum: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:38 AM
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Re: Hello

Thanks Scott for quick reply. I will call our vet back tomorrow if he is still sneezing and “yawning” and scratching. I just thought if anyone else had problems with Choanal papillae being flat and if a bird can live an otherwise near normal life. I just keep reading about all the respiratory issues and now he’s sneezing and yawning(adjusting crop, breathing issues, etc?). Thanks again for response
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:51 AM
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Re: Hello

Vitamin A deficiency can cause real issues but so can stress etc (could be a separate thing if your bird's immunity is lower due to vitamin a deficiency, but vitamin a deficiency can have a respiratory component). I'd get him back to a CAV. The one you took him to sounds better than the last, but are they are Certified Avian Vet? If at all possible, get to one that is.

With it being winter, you might want to check on your humidity levels and get them up if needed (using distilled water and a teflon free humidifier). 55% is about where you want to keep it but these do need to be cleaned with a bird-safe product often.
Don't use any scented products or cleaners around the bird (these irritate their respiratory systems)---No candles, fabreese, plug-ins, aerosols etc and absolutely no Teflon/PTFE/PFOA heated up in the same house ever.
With powder-down birds like greys and "toos" I think air filters are very important, so you might consider getting one with a true hepa filter and WITHOUT ozone/ion production (as ionizing/ozone producing purifiers are very bad for birds).

I wouldn't pull if off seeds cold-turkey unless you are certain he will eat his new food. You don't want to accidentally starve him when he is already underweight, but certainly sunflower seeds should be reserved for treats.
Sneezing if often a sign of illness when it increases from a normal rate of maybe 0-1 x a day (or whatever is typical for them).
My bird had some sort of bacterial infection the last time she was sneezing.
Tail bobbing when breathing (like a noticeable tick of the tail with each breath) and wheezing/clicking sound from chest are major red flags to look out for. Honestly though, don't let it get to that point. You are smart to be concerned because they hide illness so well that a seemingly "minor" issue can actually be much larger.

Did they happen to do blood-work when you went in?
After that many years, he should have blood panels run. A CBC is recommended at least 1x yearly.

Last edited by noodles123; 11-08-2019 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:04 AM
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Re: Hello

Hi and welcome!
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:42 PM
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Parrots:
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo / RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
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Re: Hello

Quote: Originally Posted by Catlady53 View Post
Thanks Scott for quick reply. I will call our vet back tomorrow if he is still sneezing and “yawning” and scratching. I just thought if anyone else had problems with Choanal papillae being flat and if a bird can live an otherwise near normal life. I just keep reading about all the respiratory issues and now he’s sneezing and yawning(adjusting crop, breathing issues, etc?). Thanks again for response
You are very welcome!! I am not familiar with side effects from vitamin shots, but strongly believe you need the science of laboratory testing to better assess Pretty Bird's health. Changing diet from seeds to more vegetables/fruits and possibly pellets will be beneficial.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:02 PM
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Re: Hello

I'm so glad you're here! We'll help you and support you and PB all the way!
You're already getting great advice. I'll add my most special good wishes and encouragement.
Welcome to your new Community.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:32 PM
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White fronted amazon
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Re: Hello

Thanks so much for the welcome...I’m still learning how to navigate but I’m so happy to have found all of you.
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