New member
Mar 15, 2015
Northern New Jersey
Mabel - Green Cheek Conure
my greencheek conure might have to go in for an x ray. I am very worried about putting her under anesthesia. Does anyone know if this is a safe procedure?
It is a concern anytime they are being put under and may not be able to recover. I know a little conure didn't do well being put was a sad outcome....
Anesthesia should ONLY be done when it is an ABSOLUTELY necessary procedure that needs to be preformed. You should also ONLY have an experienced avian specialized vet preform the procedure, as a regular vet is not use to the dosage requirements a bird needs. If it is an experienced avian vet putting the bird under, it is a relatively safe procedure. Of course birds are such delicate creatures, even more so when sick or injured, and there is ALWAYS a risk (as your vet will explain). My mom's amazon had to be put under 4 times over a couple month period when she broke her foot some years back. Unfortunately, her foot took a rather long time to heal completely, so she had to go under 2 additional times to re-x-ray to be sure the fracture had healed completely so he could remove the cast. The vet was very careful with dosage each time and she came through fine. Each time he had my mom sign consent forms and re-explained the risks.

If you don't mind me asking, what does your conure need an x-ray for and when? A suspected broken bone or ingested foreign object is an emergency that requires an immediate vet visit.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
a pot handle was burnt in my house 2 months ago. i took her to the vet afterwards and he said her lungs sounded fine. i've been paranoid and have been toying with the idea of getting her lungs xrayed just to make sure. i just dont know if the risk is worth it.
Has she been having respiratory problems since the incident? Typically, if something releases toxic fumes, the bird becomes ill or dies rapidly (within minutes to hours). If this event happened months ago and she has been feeling fine and the vet thinks she is fine, i would probably find the risk of putting her under to be a greater risk than her having any long term effects from a single incident months ago.

Have you been sure to replace your cookware and bakeware with 'bird safe' ones so you don't have a potential repeat?
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
yes i have replaced all the cookware.

i noticed that occasionally she makes a loud exhaling sound. she doesnt make it everytime she breaths. only every once in a while. but the sound is so quiet i'm not sure if its something she's always done or if it is an effect of the pot handle.

do you think there could be long term health effects?
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
I meant to say that the sound is so quiet I dont think I would have noticed it if I wasn't listening for labored breathing. I'm not sure if she's always made that sound and i've just never noticed it, or if something is bothering her respiratory system.
Are you sure she isn't hissing or just exhaling after a big breath (or maybe even sneezing)? It's perfectly normal for birds to do all those things from time to time. Have you noticed any other changes? Loss of appetite, nasal discharge, changes to droppings, sleeping excessively ext...? Honestly, I just cannot imagine a single time where she was not even adversely affected at the time causing any long lasting effects. I think the fact the vet checked her and found her to be fine and she hasn't been acting sick probably means she is fine:) I do get your concern though, I think we all worry about our feathered babies because they are such delicate creatures.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
Her behavior seems to be completely normal. She eats, plays, droppings are the same, sleeps normal, squawks. I just really want to know why she is making that sound. From what i can tell, she seems to make it when she is sleepy, but thats just a guess.

Someone had mentioned that i could get an x ray to reassure myself but I really don't know if I want to go through with it. I wanted to get opinions from other bird owners.
I've had a budgie and Tootsie go under anesthesia and both of them did fine. But I was at a certified aviation specialist's office when they were. Tootsie was out for about 5 minutes while the vet did a probing of her upper respiratory issues. The budgie was under for 15 minutes or so for surgery after I found a growth under her feathers that started to bleed.

There is always risk having a bird under anesthesia. If you bird is seemingly healthy I would not risk it. Just keep monitoring and see if there are any changes over time. If you do decide that an x-ray is needed then make sure you have it done where they really know what they are doing. There is so small of a margin for error.
One of my vets (the one I go to for surgery or more complex issues) uses digital x-ray as his number one diagnostic tool. He's so experienced, being one of around 10 exclusively avian vets in the US, that I trust him completely. Robin has been put under several times, and is "awake" and normal again right away. I'm very fortunate to have this vet close by. I wouldn't trust a vet as much who didn't do it regularly or didn't have enough experience with it.
Since this is all to assuage your concerns and you want to be sure you get the best services around, why not call Cornell's vet hospital & have the procedure done there.....They'd have the best equipment in the area & I would think that costs would be comparable to what might be available to you locally.....I don't know your circumstances, but if I was that close to Cornell, I think I might just take a day & run up there.....

Cornell University Hospital for Animals

Good luck.....
Last edited:
We bird guardians are true worry warts. The question I'd ask myself is; if something is found on the lung x-ray can it be cured, treated, or will it serve as knowledge base only. My macaw recently started sneezing (2-4 x's/day) and I've been on pins and needles, even sleeping in the bird room. Please let us know your decision.
My macaw recently started sneezing (2-4 x's/day) and I've been on pins and needles, even sleeping in the bird room.

Sounds like seasonal allergies. Kiwi sneezes a lot in the spring too (and so do I! lol).
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #16
well my primary concern is that this incident caused long term damage to her lungs. Does anyone know anything about that? I know most times when a toxin enters a birds system, it kills them very quickly. Is it possible for there to be long term damage?
well my primary concern is that this incident caused long term damage to her lungs. Does anyone know anything about that? I know most times when a toxin enters a birds system, it kills them very quickly. Is it possible for there to be long term damage?

The short answer is Yes or Possibly.....just like our own lungs would have possibly received some amount damage, but like LadiDy mentioned, to what end would be the benefit, other than your personal knowledge.....
Typically, for long term damage to occur, there has to be long term exposure to a toxin. One time exposures to a toxic substance typically create an immediate acute reaction or cause no harm at all. For example, if you smoke a cigarette once or twice in your lifetime, your risk of getting lung damage from it is virtually non existent. If you're a pack a day smoker for 20 years, that's when you start developing "long term" problems. If a one time exposure to something potentially harmful didn't cause an immediate acute reaction, it isn't going to cause long term damage months after the fact either.

Even a tiny bird body can process a small amount of toxins if it's a one time exposure and not a lethal dose or lethal substance. Was this pan even made with pfoa/ptfe (which are the ones known to kill parrots)? When the pan burned, did she get sick at the time? I think if she never got sick in the first place from the burnt pan and seems fine now, she probably is fine:)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #19
The pot itself was coated with pfoa/ptfe, but it wasn't the pot that burnt. it was the handle. the water boiled over causing the flame to jump up higher and melt or burn the plastic pot handle. I was sleeping upstairs at the time when someone downstairs started shouting about the smell. I ran downstairs right away to remove her from the area. we have a very open floor plan so smells travel around the main floor very quickly.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #20
And no, she didnt seem to be sick immediately after. She was sleeping in her little tunnel thing when I burst into her cage. She flew out in a frenzy like "why are you bursting into my cage at 6 am?" I brought her upstairs and she went back to sleep. We went away for the weekend to let the smell clear out. It wasnt until 2 days later that i noticed the exhaling noise she makes, which leads me to believe that its something shes always done and that i've just never noticed it before.

Most Reactions

Latest posts