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Old 05-12-2018, 06:35 PM
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Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

I recently bought a baby turquoise gcc. he's still living at the parrot store for now but his take home date will be next week. he's been panting a lot every time I've gone to see him and I'm really worried! Is this normal or do you think he could be sick? he's clipped, so this happens when he's just sitting there on my finger. I can't take him to the vet bc he's not in my possession. The lady at the store said she's not concerned at all about it. Here is a video: Could he have some kind of respiratory illness?
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:01 PM
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

First Welcome to Parrot Forums!

My experience is with larger Parrots. That said, it looks like this Parrot is working to breath, as if s/he had just completed a fly around the shop. It would be uncommon for a rested Parrot to work this hard to catch its breath. Is it possible that the area that the Parrot is in is very warm /under high wattage bulbs area.

For me, I would recommend that you consider another Parrot unless the Shop has the Parrot seen by an Avian Vet. But that is just my two cents. Others with more experience with this species may have a different reading.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:07 PM
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
First Welcome to Parrot Forums!

My experience is with larger Parrots. That said, it looks like this Parrot is working to breath, as if s/he had just completed a fly around the shop. It would be uncommon for a rested Parrot to work this hard to catch its breath. Is it possible that the area that the Parrot is in is very warm /under high wattage bulbs area.

For me, I would recommend that you consider another Parrot unless the Shop has the Parrot seen by an Avian Vet. But that is just my two cents. Others with more experience with this species may have a different reading.
Thanks for replying! I already paid for him :'(. Any advice on what to do?
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:43 PM
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

Quote: Originally Posted by birdlady91 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
First Welcome to Parrot Forums!

My experience is with larger Parrots. That said, it looks like this Parrot is working to breath, as if s/he had just completed a fly around the shop. It would be uncommon for a rested Parrot to work this hard to catch its breath. Is it possible that the area that the Parrot is in is very warm /under high wattage bulbs area.

For me, I would recommend that you consider another Parrot unless the Shop has the Parrot seen by an Avian Vet. But that is just my two cents. Others with more experience with this species may have a different reading.
Thanks for replying! I already paid for him :'(. Any advice on what to do?
- A purchase of Property (Parrots are Legally Classified as Property) 'assumes' that unless otherwise stated that the item being purchased is of Good Health! If you are seeing anything that would alert you otherwise (Panting in this Case), you have the right to a full refund of your money or apply that money paid to another item.


FYI: Based on North America Laws
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Last edited by SailBoat; 05-12-2018 at 08:45 PM. Reason: FYI
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:50 PM
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

If you can’t take him to the vet, you don’t own him, meaning she hasn’t sold him to you. In which case you get your money back because you haven’t bought anything. Contact th3 Better Business Bureau right away, they love help usually.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:01 AM
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

Such labored breathing at rest is abnormal. Unless the bird has just flown or labored excessively, respiration is not overly noticeable. I would request a lot more information, and consider a well-check *at their cost* with a certified avian vet.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:59 AM
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

Before watching the video, I thought it might have just been that birdie might have just been excited to see you ... all of my birds do a kind of panting thing when they're happy and mine range in sizes...

After viewing the video, that definitely doesn't look normal to me. Like the others said - shouldn't be breathing that hard at rest..... pet shop worker obviously doesn't know what they're talking about, they just don't want to have to deal with it.

It seems though that you're already at least a little attached to the bird though, so if it were me, I don't think I could just refund and get a different bird. Poor little one won't get the attention it needs since these people at the store don't seem to care. I would say since you've already spent the money, you have the right to get her checked out by a vet and they are also obligated to sell you a healthy bird. They could be fined for doing otherwise, so it would be in their best interest to let you get little bird checked out before she goes home. Scott is absolutely right -- they need to pay for it as well.

On the topic of getting a different bird, I also don't think that's a good idea because the little one might even get better once it's out of the store. In my experience, a lot of pet shops don't have the best living conditions for birds..

But yeah, that doesn't look normal, he/she needs to get checked
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:37 PM
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

Is this Green Cheek being hand-raised by someone at the shop? Or was it simply parent-raised by it's mother/father with limited interaction with humans? I'm asking this because if it was not hand-raised/hand-fed by a human then it may have anxiety when approached/touched by humans...that being said, since he's obviously stepping-up onto your finger, it's likely he was at the very least hand-fed by someone and then put back in the nest box with his parents...just asking to be sure...

Who was the bird's breeder, the shop-owner or employee of the shop, or was it bred and hand-raised/hand-fed by a private, outside breeder that the shop buys their babies from? This is a question that is extremely important for you to find out, because it's not unusual for pet shops to want to buy hand-raised baby parrots that are already extremely tame, but they can't simply "order" babies that are hand-raised from the large parrot mills/companies which a lot of the larger pet store chains order their birds from. Most of the birds, even the very young babies that pet shops can order cheaply are not at all tame, and are rather parent-raised and very timid, hence the very young but very afraid and timid budgies you see for sale at Petco and Petsmart.

So if this is a private pet shop, not a large chain like Petco or Petsmart, and they actually buy their hand-raised babies from a private, outside breeder, then it's important to know what kind of set-up their breeder has, how long have they been doing this, is it clean, do they have their breeding facility tested at least yearly for microbes, etc. These are questions to ask the pet shop owner...If this pet shop breeds and hand-raises/hand-feeds all of their own babies from 2 or 3 weeks old in-house, then this bird would have siblings there that have not yet left for their new homes, you may be able to see the environment they were raised in, etc...

Are any of this bird's siblings acting this way too? IF ALL OF THE YOUNG GREEN CHEEKS THERE FOR SALE ARE ACTING THE SAME WAY, THEN IT IS EITHER THEY ARE ALL VERY ANXIOUS, OR THEY ARE ALL SICK.

When a shop owner says that they "aren't worried at all about it", you have to realize that this is either because #1) They just don't care at all and only want to sell you the bird and make money, or #2) Because they know nothing about baby parrots or parrots in-general, and that's a red-flag, especially if they are the one's breeding and hand-raising their own birds...

If this is one of the large chain pet shops, like Petco or Petsmart, as they do occasionally order hand-raised baby birds and have them for sale this time of year at these two big-box stores, specifically Green Cheek and Sun Conures, then there are 2 things that you can do even if you already paid in-full for the bird: Both Petco and PetSmart allow you to get your money back in-full before you take the live animal out of the store, so all you need to do is say you changed your mind due to the bird's breathing, and they will refund your money (ANY PET SHOP WILL DO THIS AT THIS POINT, AS YOU HAVEN'T TAKEN THE BABY OUT OF THE STORE YET, ANY PET SHOP)...Now both Petco and PetSmart have a live-animal policy for I believe the first 30 days of ownership where if the animal dies they refund your money, or if it becomes sick they will take it to a local vet for you...

****I have a feeling that this is more an issue because you've most-likely been visiting this little baby on a regular basis for a long time and you have bonded with him, which is exactly what is supposed to happen, and this situation is awful for you, and for the baby bird, because it is likely that if you don't take him and he keeps doing this that no one will take him..This all being said, you need to do some more investigating on this pet shop's live-animal policies. Even private, small pet shops have live-animal policies in place for these types of problems. So they most likely have a refund policy and a veterinarian/illness policy in place for the sale of all live animals. You need to find out exactly what their policies are, and ask the questions:

"If I take the bird home next week and get him to a Certified Avian Vet within a certain amount of days, and the CAV diagnoses him as being sick with a serious illness, can I return him and get my money back? If he is diagnosed with an illness that is able to be treated, like an Upper Respiratory Infection, and simply requires Nebulizer treatments with antibiotics or something similar, will you pay a portion or all of the Avian Vet bills? And how many days do I have to get him to an Avian Vet to be diagnosed for you to pay, how many days is your full-refund policy in place?" THESE ARE ALL QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK THEM, LIKE TODAY!

If you do decide to take the baby home because you are already bonded with him and love him, which is totally understandable and I would never tell you to not take this baby home, simply because it's likely that with that behavior, if it continues, even if the bird is not sick but it's rather just anxiety, that this baby will not find a home any time soon and will be stuck in that shop...So if you do decide to take him home, and you said that this would happen this coming week, then you need to call TOMORROW to the nearest Certified Avian Vet, whether you have to drive hours one-way to get to a Certified Avian Vet then that's what you have to do, as you will find there is a huge difference between a Certified Avian Vet who only treats birds and has extra education and training in birds, and an "Exotics" vet, who has no extra education or training in birds at all...You need to find the closest Certified Avian Vet to you, which we can help you find with just your town or city and state, explain the situation to them, and ask them if they can get him in for a "Wellness Exam" that is going to include nostril/nare, throat, mouth, crop, AND Fecal cultures being taken and sent-out for Culture and Sensitivity testing to be done to confirm or rule-out an Upper Respiratory Infection, Crop Infection, and/or either a fungal/yeast and/or bacterial infection(s) throughout the Gastrointestinal Tract. And tell them that you must have the initial appointment done by whatever day the pet shop tells you their policy requires. You don't have to have the testing done on that day or have a diagnosis, but you must get the bird in to a Certified Avian Vet by whatever day they tell you...
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:22 PM
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

I wanted to add something to the technical post I just wrote to the OP above...

I want you to know that most-all of the members of this forum, including myself, totally understand the terrible decision you have to make regarding this baby bird that you have probably been visiting for quite a while and have been planning on bringing into your family this upcoming week. I'm sure you've been quite excited about it for a long time, buying a cage, toys, food, etc. for him already...And like I mentioned in my first post, it's likely that if this bird continues to act this way, or is actually ill, that it will be hard to sell him, which the owner of the shop is well aware of too.

I'm hoping that you can sit down with the shop owner and ask him/her all of the questions about the baby's history, breeder, hand-raising/feeding history, about his/her siblings and their health and personalities/behavior in comparison to this baby's, and about the shop's policies regarding Live-Animal Sales, Vet Bills, etc. directly after purchase. Hopefully they will answer you honestly and without any hostility. If they obviously lie to you, seem like they are upset, angry, frustrated, etc. about answering any of these questions, or they are simply unwilling to answer any of them, then this is an indication that this pet shop is one to stay away from and never buy another live animal from again, as they only care about getting the birds out of their shop and collecting their money...which unfortunately is not uncommon. If it's a Petco, Petsmart, Petland, or other big-box pet shop, then they all have policies in-writing, which you sign on the day you take the live-animal home, to protect you, the animal, and the store, so that actually makes this process a lot easier for everyone, as they all cover the vet bills and/or refund you money in-full if the bird is found to be sick by a licensed Avian Vet within a certain number of days from the date of purchase.

***I forgot to ask you something, stupidly, as it's an important question:

-How long have you been going to visit this bird? Has this bird been doing this breathing thing from the very first time you went to see him/interacted with him, or did this start suddenly sometime AFTER you had already been visiting the bird?

-How is this bird's personality, and what is it's level of tameness? Did the bird step-up for you right away, does he allow you to touch him/pet him, etc.? Does he get upset when you try to touch him, does he squawk/scream at you or has he nipped or even bitten you when you're touching him or getting him to simply step-up?

***These are important questions to ask yourself, as obviously if you've been visiting this baby for a while and he/she only started exhibiting this breathing behavior some time after the first visit, or after many visits of acting normally, then that makes it quite obvious that the bird either contracted an infection or illness of some kind, OR as already mentioned by someone else may be living under a lamp or in a temperature that is far too high for him. IN CONTRAST, if this bird did this breathing behavior from the first time you visited him and EVERY TIME you have visited him since, AND the breathing behavior is the ONLY sign/symptom of illness that the baby is displaying, then it's likely that the bird is actually not sick, but rather extremely nervous, anxious, and worked-up. This would definitely be reinforced if the baby is also not very tame, gets upset and squawks/screams, nips, or bites whenever you have tried to touch him or get him to step-up...

Also, I wanted to say that there is one situation where I personally have seen this EXACT BEHAVIOR in one of my own birds, a female American/English hybrid Budgie that I hand-raised myself name Sid, and who is now almost 3 years old and is perfectly fine health-wise. Sid is one of 8 American/English hybrid Budgies that I bred in the last clutch of birds I ever bred, retiring all of my breeder-Budgies right after this clutch. I pulled all 8 of the babies at 2 weeks old and hand-raised/hand-fed them, keeping them in a brooder and not seeing their parents again. All 8 of them are extremely tame, easy to handle, fly to me, etc. There were 6 males and 2 females, and all of them behaved completely normally from day 1...except for Sid's breathing. Now Sid would step-up and allow me to pet her with no problems at all, but I noticed very early on, and I'm talking just weeks, maybe a month or so after she weaned, that she would just be sitting in her cage on a perch, not moving around, not playing, and she would be breathing just like the baby in your video, exactly like your baby. Whenever I would go over to her cage, which she shared with all of her 7 siblings at this point as they were not mature and could not breed, and it was a huge, massive flight cage by the way, she would come right over to me, and I'd get her out, she'd step-up, fly around, etc. But her breathing was so heavy and labored I thought she for sure had an Upper Respiratory Infection, which meant they all did, all 8 of them, and possibly my larger parrots in the house too...Uhg. So right to my Certified Avian Vet, who did Fecal Cultures, as well as Cultures from her nostrils/nares, and flushed her crop and took cultures from the flushings...And besides a bit of a bacterial infection showing in her Fecal samples, which was not anything that I treated medically but rather with Apple Cider Vinegar and Probiotics, everything else was negative. My CAV said that it could be a temperature thing, but she did it constantly, no matter where she was. Of course at the vet she did it, but that's not uncommon as they all have anxiety at the vet. But what I took note of is that her breathing didn't get any heavier at that vet, it didn't change, it was the same...This went on for a few months. She was totally fine other than the breathing. Well once the Budgie siblings hit around 7-8 months old I put the 2 females in their own cage and the 6 males in their own cage, but it was basically just a huge, separated flight cage, they were all still right next to each other.(I obviously didn't want any in-breeding, or breeding at all)...Sid's breathing seemed to go to normal now and then, which was a big improvement from it being all the time, but she still did it at least a couple of times a day. Finally I decided to give Sid her own cage, by herself, and I put it in my bedroom where there were no other birds during the day. I moved her and figured that she would naturally need time to adjust to the new cage, new toys, new room, etc. But when I came back into my bedroom to check on Sid about an hour or so later, her breathing was completely normal. And from that point on for the rest of the day it was normal, UNTIL bedtime, when my 4 larger parrots come into my bedroom to their sleep cages, which is where they sleep at night, every night. The larger birds didn't even notice Sid in her cage, but Sid certainly noticed them. Her breathing went crazy as soon as they came in the room, and even after I covered all 4 of them, they were silent, and I cover Sid, she continued to have really labored, heavy breathing all night. And this continued, when any bird came into the room Sid had the heavy, labored breathing, and that also included my dogs coming into my room, but when Sid was in her own cage in a room by herself or only with me, she was totally fine...

This continues to this day, and my CAV totally agrees at this point that it's an anxiety issue that Sid has being around other animals at all. He offered to medicate her for anxiety, but I didn't want her to be sedated all the time, falling off her perches, not able to play, etc. So Sid is still in her own cage, in my room by herself during the day, and at night she is covered and put to sleep about an hour or longer before the 4 larger birds come up to bed. This for the most part works.

I'm telling you this story because the breathing is EXACTLY the same as your little guy in the pet shop, and though I don't know any other information about the timing of this labored breathing, when it happens, what is going on when it happens, if he's around certain other birds or people, under heat lamps or just really bright shop lights, etc., I thought that I would relay this info to you anyway. I'm in no way saying that I'm sure this is the problem with this Green Cheek, but rather saying it's a possibility and you have to look at the WHOLE PICTURE of what is going on, who, when, where, etc. and then put it all together...And a CAV exam and cultures is going to be a must for this baby no matter what.

And btw, if the shop owner won't allow you to even pay out of your own pocket to take the baby to a CAV for an exam and cultures to find out if he/she is okay, then that's a horrible red-flag...
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Re: Really Worried...Panting Baby Green Cheek (Video included).

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
I wanted to add something to the technical post I just wrote to the OP above...

I want you to know that most-all of the members of this forum, including myself, totally understand the terrible decision you have to make regarding this baby bird that you have probably been visiting for quite a while and have been planning on bringing into your family this upcoming week. I'm sure you've been quite excited about it for a long time, buying a cage, toys, food, etc. for him already...And like I mentioned in my first post, it's likely that if this bird continues to act this way, or is actually ill, that it will be hard to sell him, which the owner of the shop is well aware of too.

I'm hoping that you can sit down with the shop owner and ask him/her all of the questions about the baby's history, breeder, hand-raising/feeding history, about his/her siblings and their health and personalities/behavior in comparison to this baby's, and about the shop's policies regarding Live-Animal Sales, Vet Bills, etc. directly after purchase. Hopefully they will answer you honestly and without any hostility. If they obviously lie to you, seem like they are upset, angry, frustrated, etc. about answering any of these questions, or they are simply unwilling to answer any of them, then this is an indication that this pet shop is one to stay away from and never buy another live animal from again, as they only care about getting the birds out of their shop and collecting their money...which unfortunately is not uncommon. If it's a Petco, Petsmart, Petland, or other big-box pet shop, then they all have policies in-writing, which you sign on the day you take the live-animal home, to protect you, the animal, and the store, so that actually makes this process a lot easier for everyone, as they all cover the vet bills and/or refund you money in-full if the bird is found to be sick by a licensed Avian Vet within a certain number of days from the date of purchase.

***I forgot to ask you something, stupidly, as it's an important question:

-How long have you been going to visit this bird? Has this bird been doing this breathing thing from the very first time you went to see him/interacted with him, or did this start suddenly sometime AFTER you had already been visiting the bird?

-How is this bird's personality, and what is it's level of tameness? Did the bird step-up for you right away, does he allow you to touch him/pet him, etc.? Does he get upset when you try to touch him, does he squawk/scream at you or has he nipped or even bitten you when you're touching him or getting him to simply step-up?

***These are important questions to ask yourself, as obviously if you've been visiting this baby for a while and he/she only started exhibiting this breathing behavior some time after the first visit, or after many visits of acting normally, then that makes it quite obvious that the bird either contracted an infection or illness of some kind, OR as already mentioned by someone else may be living under a lamp or in a temperature that is far too high for him. IN CONTRAST, if this bird did this breathing behavior from the first time you visited him and EVERY TIME you have visited him since, AND the breathing behavior is the ONLY sign/symptom of illness that the baby is displaying, then it's likely that the bird is actually not sick, but rather extremely nervous, anxious, and worked-up. This would definitely be reinforced if the baby is also not very tame, gets upset and squawks/screams, nips, or bites whenever you have tried to touch him or get him to step-up...
Thank you so much for your amazingly thorough replies! This is from a small independently owned parrot shop. The baby has been doing this from basically the beginning, but none of his siblings do it from what I have seen. I visited again today and spent some time with him (like 2 hours). He was definitely panting again from time to time (sometimes after flying, sometimes just sitting there) but not as much. Here is a video of him from today: https://imgur.com/cxzcdSV. He was eating a lot when they put him back in the cage with his buddies. (here is a photo of him eating). Here is a video of him panting randomly after calmly sitting on my finger.. The videos do not have sound but there were a few other adults and kids in the room visiting birds/talking. (sorry for my hideous nails, I didn't do a good job yesterday of removing my polish, lol). I also raised my concerns with the people at the shop and about taking him to the vet (the manager was busy so I talked to one of the workers who later told the manager). I didn't make it a big deal but I definitely mentioned it a few times to her throughout my visit when she was checking in on me. After I left and got home the manager called and told me they have another turquoise baby available if I were interested. She told me she just wants it to be a positive experience for me without apprehension, and that she understands I'm concerned, and that she will call/talk to the vet tomorrow and let me know. I'm still not sure what to do. I don't want to pick a different one but I also don't want to take home a sick or super high strung baby who will be uncomfortable/unhappy . When he starts panting like that his heartbeat gets really fast too, maybe he's just anxious? Isn't that going to affect his healthy...He's tame I think, he's mostly pretty sweet and just sits on my finger or tries to climb on my shoulder or snuggle my neck. He's bitten me a few times and makes a little angry noise right before he does it (like if I try to pick him off of my shoulder).
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