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Old 06-21-2008, 10:17 PM
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Concerned about my brown-headed parrot

Hello,

Sorry for the long post but I want to get all of the detail out there.

We have a brown-headed parrot named Jimmy which we adopted from a refuge a few months ago. His history, as we were told, is that his previous owner was an older woman who kept buying birds until she had too many, and gave him up. No mistreatment that we know of.

Since we got him he's had a sneezing problem -- all day long he sneezes, sometimes two or three times in a row. Additionally, one of his eyes seems to constantly be a little droopy (both of which sound like allergies or a upper respiratory infection).

We've taken him to the vet many, many times. They've done swabs and blood work, weighed him on every visit, and most recently (at our insistence) are testing him for aspergillosis.

First the vet said it was a respiratory infection and put him on an antibiotic. When that didn't change anything, they put him on a stronger course of antiobiotics. Now, after almost a month of antibiotics and a week off of them, he is still sneezing and more lethargic than ever. For the past week he hasn't been vocal and his droppings are smaller in size and more liquid than solid.

On our last trip to the vet we saw that he'd gained weight, and the doctor says he has a healthy body and is responsive. Regarding the lethargy, she said maybe the diet we have him on (organic pellets supplemented with fruits (strawberries mostly) and vegetables (carrots, walnuts)) is too potent for him, and that we should try some "junk food" (cheaper grade pellets). We're weening him onto that right now but in the meantime we're concerned that his health is declining for reasons that have nothing to do with his diet, and we don't know what to do.

If anyone has any suggestions of what this may be, what to have them check for, or things to try, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.


Mark
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:44 PM
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Re: Concerned about my brown-headed parrot

I'm glad you've taken him to the vet. Is there another avian vet in your area. I would strongly reccomend a second opinion.
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:11 PM
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Re: Concerned about my brown-headed parrot

I would agree with the vet in this situation, walnuts shouldn't be a staple food, but more of a 'treat' they are high in fat ... glad to see that you did the right thing and got your buddy to a vet though ... but, I am going to agree with bird crazy. Jimmy has been under treatment for a month and you haven't seen any improvement, and you had to specifically ask for an aspergillosis test (which in my mind should be done FIRST since it's so important to catch it early) I would go to another Certified Avian Vet and get a second opinion.

Good Luck with this situation. Hopefully you will get something that works for Jimmy soon!

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Old 06-23-2008, 06:49 PM
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Re: Concerned about my brown-headed parrot

I second the opinion about getting a second opinion

Another vet may bring a fresh perspective. However many of the 'newer' symptoms may be side effects of the antibiotics. I don't know if there are probiotics for birds, but if you can find one that could replenish the normal intestinal flora helping digestion and perhaps the lethargy.

The main concern should be the initial symptoms: why is he sneezing and what's wrong with his eye. It MAY be possible that sneezing is a learned behavior, I have heard of parrots mimicking a sneeze and getting lots of attention, and just like that they are "allergic" to being ignored. This is of course only a LAST option after ALL medical tests have been done (such as aspergillosis) but it should be kept in mind.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:04 AM
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Re: Concerned about my brown-headed parrot

Sidney mimics people sneezes but they are very different from a birdy sneeze - now like Auggie's dad said your little guy could be a much better mimic and mimic his own sneeze to get attention but the eye thing doesn't sound good either.
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