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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 11-10-2018, 12:39 PM
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Took a fall!

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So I have a lovely 14 yr old scarlet macaw. Her name is Jenna. She has had a history of getting a little skittish and used to be prone to fall from her perch. Always in the forward position and generally on her feet. There has never been any detectable damage, shes been vetted a bunch and she has improved in this area tremendously. However! She just took a fall for the 1st time in ages and landed on her back! The perch was about 4 ft high. She seems ok, startled and a bit rattled but otherwise ok. She settled down pretty well and went to her sleep cage with no problem. I checked in listening to her sounds and she was doing regular feather ruffles and beak grinding so seems relaxed.
I guess my question is- can a macaw take a fall like that and be ok?? The vet is closed til monday and I feel like Ill be a giant stress ball til then!
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:43 PM
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Re: Took a fall!

I don't have Macaws, but if she is perching, eating and drinking normally, then I am going to say yes. It probably scared her and hurt her a bit, but if her head didn't land first and all else is well, then you probably are okay...Smart to be vigilant, but I imagine birds occasionally fall in the wild as well. Just watch her closely. If you can, get her to a CAV and they can tell you for sure.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:54 PM
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Re: Took a fall!

Yeah, she seemed pretty normal but for the scare. She was preening and moving normally too. But the thunk sound when she fell!
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:00 PM
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Re: Took a fall!

Sunny gets divebombed by Japie and sometimes falls of table or cage.
(it happens less now she has at least some tailfeathers to help her balance, and I hardly have them out at the same time anymore)

I do now want to alarm you any further...but you just can never really tell.
Sometimes they can crash like a burning plane and be fine, and just like humans can just bump into something and actually break a bone.
There is no 'critical height' where it is no langer safe to fall from or something like that.

You know your macaw, and if she does not show/ betray any signs of things going wrong with her ... you will have to believe her.
(I am with "House" on this one: 'all patients lie!')

To answer your question *can* a macaw fall that way and be okay: off course it can!
Just keep and eye (and ear) out.
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:19 PM
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Re: Took a fall!

What size perch does she normally perch upon and are they dowels or natural branches?
I prefer larger perch diameters for any Parrot that is prone to falling from their perch. 3" (76 mm) diameter or larger natural branches!

Falls are never to be taken lightly especially from height. Birds have very light bone structure that can break with easy. Watch and listen closely to her breathing this weekend. Any signs of problem or difficulty breathing and it directly to Emergency Care.

Be watchful and remember that Parrots are closely connect with our emotions so keep a cap on your allowing yourself to stress.
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Last edited by SailBoat; 11-10-2018 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:25 PM
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Re: Took a fall!

Yes, all true. She has seemed to be very hardy but like I said it was the on her back thing that had me concerned. She perches on both dowels and natural branches. No odd breathing so seemingly ok on that score so far ��
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:23 PM
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Re: Took a fall!

Honestly I'd be more concerned as to what the underlying cause of her chronically falling for years is. It sounds like something either with her balance/vestibular system, or something neurological since it's been going on for years. If it was acute then you could guess something infectious such as advanced Psittacosis, but not in something that has been this regular and chronic.

Has she ever had an X-Ray done to look at her head/ears/sinuses and then also her air-sacs? (a single bird x-ray shows their entire body, so the question should just be has she ever had an x-ray?)
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:56 PM
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Re: Took a fall!

Yes, thats all been checked in the past. It was mostly due to her skittish disposition originally. Her original owner while not abusive clearly wasnt suited to a companion parrot. Also, she hasn't really been like that for years. We worked through it and she calmed down really well. The recent fall was an anomaly. Something startled her.
She IS doing really well, though! She behaves and sounds great and has let me fully examine her with no problem
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