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Old 01-01-2020, 11:03 PM
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Parrot sneezing only at night

Hello. Im Aliesha, im new to this forum. I wanted to ask for some opinions about my eclectus boy, Echo. For quite some time Echo has been sneezing at alot at night. Not every night and not all the time,but some nights he sneezes for a good 15 - 30 minutes. He's done this on and off for around a year and a half. Its wet sneezes aswell, so when hes finished he has wet patches around his sinuses, its clear and isnt 'chunky' like some people have described their birds having. He also does this yawning thing like hes trying to release pressure from his ears but he doesn't do it very often. At first I was very concerned, I took him to the vets to get a general health check ( this was not an avian vets as my nearest is 2.30 hours away. But they sought advise from the avian Veterinary and sent all the tests there) he had a check up on his breathing and checked for any (gurgling) in his breathing (i was told this was to see if they could hear any blockages in his breathing, like when you have a cold) . He had feces tests also and Chlamydia psittaci tests, And they came back negative. Since he's been doing it for a while and the symptoms haven't gotten worse or changed I've had to assume its dust or other irritants in the air. Or him getting feathers or seed in his nose as he does tend to scratch his nose when he sneezes as if its itchy. I dont use candles or any air fresheners. I have my windows and doors open alot during the day.( i live in spain during the winter so it is never really cold) I do use cleaning products but never in his cage or when hes in the room and i always make sure its been rinsed properly before hes back in the room, if i thought it was cleaning products i would of thought hed sneeze during the day aswell. He has no other symptoms, he doesn't have red or swollen eyes or crusty nose. He's a very active bright bird, who eats, plays and makes lots of noise, hes a very happy bird and he's with me 24/7 as i work from home, he also has a varied diet. But Im still concerned about the sneezing but dont know what to do from here, ive thought about getting air filters or air humidifiers to see if it could be that. Could it be that the air is dry? Im really stuck as to what to do. Could anyone suggest what tests i could have done for a sinus infection? I dont want him going under anesthesia if possible. Might be a silly question but does anyone know if theres a way u can find out if they are allergic to anything. I want to rule out all life threatening possibilities and dont want to get messed around by the vets making Echo get lots of different tests. So sorry this is such a long paragraph, just wanted to get everything in there. Any help will be much appreciated!! X
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Old 01-01-2020, 11:38 PM
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Re: Parrot sneezing only at night

Welcome!

It is weird that it is only at night...hmm...is there anything different about the night in terms of air quality/products/windows/location/cage/people etc? There are some flowers that open only at night, but that seems like a reach.
The fact that there is discharge etc coupled with the intensity/duration of these sneezing bouts means that there has to be something more than just feathers causing irritation.

You need to get him to a vet (preferably one that is avian certified). I would not wait because this isn't normal and it needs to be addressed (even though it has been going on for a long time and hasn't gotten worse).
Irritation can lead to other diseases and wear them down. You don't want him to get worn down and pave the way for things like aspergillosis or secondary infections. So even if it is an allergy, his response means that it is taking a toll on him and you don't want to let that go.

If I were you, I would have them do blood-work (a cbc and maybe a vitamin panel), possibly another gram-stain, and possibly swab tests/cultures in the mouth or nares...Of those listed, the CBC would be most important (IMO). The proper swab/culture test could also possibly tell you if he has some sort of localized infection (fungal, bacterial etc). Others may have more specific advice, so see what they say too (I'm just throwing things out there based on what I would do-I would want to rule out the most obvious situations by testing to cover the major "bases").

You shouldn't need to put him under anesthesia for any of that. Certain deficiencies in diet can cause respiratory issues and a vitamin panel will tell you that. The CBC will tell you if his liver, kidneys etc etc are working well and it will also give you an idea of white blood cells which can be indicative of infection when high. That having been said, in chronic illnesses, sometimes the white count drops back to normal over time while the bird is still dealing with the infection.
My thinking is A) attempt to rule out current infections , and B) make sure there is nothing underlying wrong with his system. There are some things that these tests wouldn't detect, but at least you could cross a few things off of your list if you knew what it could not be.

What kind of detergent are you using on his cage-cover? I would make sure it has no scent...no fabric softener or drier sheets either.

You can cheaply buy your own humidity monitor for a few dollars if that is a concern. Shoot for 50-55% and no lower than 35%. That having been said, I doubt that all of that wet sneezing could be attributed to something like humidity alone (although all of these things could be contributing factors). If you get a humidifier, make sure that you use distilled water in it (unless instructions tell you to do otherwise--some are unique). You don't want to blast minerals etc around the room.

You really should try to find an alternative to the standard/unsafe cleaning products---they can cause irritation/lower immunity and allow other sorts of infections to occur over time or worse in higher doses. There are alternatives, like vinegar and water, or f10 sc.

If you are opening your windows and you live in town, then you could also be letting in a bunch of irritants from car exhaust, fires etc (depending on what your neighbors are up to) which could also cause irritation and lead to issues over time...especially if you have smog or ozone alerts.

I would definitely get a purifier---True hepa and one that does not require the ionizing feature to stay on. You cannot safely use ionize/sanitize settings around birds because they produce ozone, so you must be able to turn them off if the machine has them as options.

If it is something like aspergillosis, you will want to keep your air as clean as possible...

What are you using to clean your birds cage?
What is his daily diet (in general)?
Do you have any other pets?

Last edited by noodles123; 01-02-2020 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:19 AM
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Re: Parrot sneezing only at night

BUMP.....Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:54 AM
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Re: Parrot sneezing only at night

The yawning can be normal. Or a sign of tracheal irritation...

What is the diet???

And I would feed a small amount of live culture yogurt like a teaspoon once a week. Incase you are dealing with a yeast overgrowth , and to balance the gut. It's on the parrot safe list of foods. I do this, and I learned it here. Yes parrots guys are different, but some bacteria is the same.
Lactobacillus acidophilus was listed in the bird probiotics I got at the pet store, and also it's in yoghurt. I found better results with yoghurt than with the dried powder sold at pet store.

After bathing my birds will have wet sneezing, even the day after the bath. And it freaks me out!ol is your guy sneezing after baths?

It worth also mentioning that clear sneezing can still be an infection. My beloved Burt the Bird had chronic sinus infections her whole life. From improper hand feeding as baby and results initial infection scarred one nostril close. Do she only had one working nostril. When she had infections the discharge and sneezing were clear. Just FYI
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Old 01-02-2020, 05:10 PM
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Re: Parrot sneezing only at night

Thank you so much, Ill have to look into that.
I use a mixture of hot water, lemon and baking soda to clean his cage and everything in it, then i make sure its completely cleaned off again. Sometimes i use other natural ingredients that are supposed to be antibacterial (like vinegar) I live in Wales (UK) in the summertime and Spain in the winter, i live in countryside on the coast in both countries so I know the air is as fresh as it gets these days. And he's sneezing in both countries so I hope it cant be outside irritants or the air quality. I just thought that maybe it could be the change of air inside the house or more likely an issue with his health. His daily diet he has seeds, nuts, different fruit and veg. I try to buy him as many different fruits and veg as i can (he gets easily bored with his food) I dont have any other pets, but my mum does come over often with her dogs but i havent found any patterns of allergy when it comes to them.
Thank you for your advise X
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Old 01-02-2020, 05:25 PM
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Re: Parrot sneezing only at night

Quote: Originally Posted by Laurasea View Post
The yawning can be normal. Or a sign of tracheal irritation...

What is the diet???

And I would feed a small amount of live culture yogurt like a teaspoon once a week. Incase you are dealing with a yeast overgrowth , and to balance the gut. It's on the parrot safe list of foods. I do this, and I learned it here. Yes parrots guys are different, but some bacteria is the same.
Lactobacillus acidophilus was listed in the bird probiotics I got at the pet store, and also it's in yoghurt. I found better results with yoghurt than with the dried powder sold at pet store.

After bathing my birds will have wet sneezing, even the day after the bath. And it freaks me out!ol is your guy sneezing after baths?

It worth also mentioning that clear sneezing can still be an infection. My beloved Burt the Bird had chronic sinus infections her whole life. From improper hand feeding as baby and results initial infection scarred one nostril close. Do she only had one working nostril. When she had infections the discharge and sneezing were clear. Just FYI
Thats a brilliant idea, thank you. Ive given him abit of water that has had boiled ginger in it as I have read it is good for their respiratory tracks and acts like abit of an antibiotic, just for the mean time. Come to think of it, he used to sneeze after a bath but doesn't anymore. Yes i didnt want to assume there was nothing wrong just because he has clear discharge. Thank you for your advise! Much appreciated X
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