Conure - frequent sneezing, vet says is healthy, looking for answers

Kalhagen

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Oct 18, 2020
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I am looking for assistance in figuring out what I should do with my conure, as my vet thinks he is healthy but I have concerns.

Background Info
About four months ago we adopted Mango, a sunday conure (mix between a sun and jenday conure) from a local rescue. He is 12 years old, and since the first day we brought him home I have thought he sneezed more frequently than a typical healthy bird should. We just moved about 2 months ago, and the sneezing seemed to worsen after the move. We don't use non-stick pans, aerosol, self cleaning ovens, or anything scented in the house. The only real change since the move is that his cage went from a bedroom to a living room. We are looking into replacing our air purifier next to his cage for something that can handle larger square footage. He does like to be in the kitchen/dining room with us when we cook, but like I said, we are using bird safe products and the kitchen is well ventilated.

Symptoms
On average I would say I notice about 6 sneezes an hour, but those are only the ones I see directly, and I'm assuming he is sneezing more. When he sneezes I can feel/see extremely tiny bits of clear fluid exit his nares. Right in the morning when he wakes up, he usually has a little spell of rapid fire sneezing and is shaking his head from side to side. This only lasts about a minute. He also takes his toe nail and digs inside of his nostrils on both the left and right side periodically throughout the day, and this usually induces a sneeze.

Treatment
We have taken him to the vet 3 times now for this. Once immediately after we adopted him, and twice in the last few weeks. We take him to the same vet that the bird rescue uses for all of their parrots. After the exam each time the vet has said that physically everything checks out, which is very confusing. As is typical, the first thing we tried was an antibiotic. Mango was on Baytril for 7 days, but then the vet recommended that we stop early before reaching the full 10 days because it seemed like the digging in the nostrils was becoming more frequent and he thought it was possible he was itching as a side effect. We then did a nasal flush and everything ran through fast without any blockage, and there wasn't any discharge.

Other Behavior
Mango eats and drinks without any issue, and his stool seems completely normal. When he is interacting with anybody, his energy is at 200%, but he does fluff up a tiny bit when he is by himself and relaxing throughout the afternoon, and sometimes he takes an afternoon nap. The vet said that we shouldn't be concerned about the little bit of fluffed-up-ness as this can be normal when just relaxing, and just to make sure he isn't doing it when he is typically excited.

I don't know what to do next!
So right now we aren't doing any treatment, just keeping a close eye on him. His behavior all seems completely normal besides this! Our vet said that we could continue testing but because he does seem so healthy it probably wouldn't be worth putting him through all of it at this time, and it is safe to wait. Those next steps would be either a nasal swab, x-rays, blood work, or an anti-fungal. He said it is highly probable that his nares could just be highly sensitive compared to other birds, and this could just he his normal behavior. I am happy that he is still healthy, but I am still worried about him!

What do you think?
I have owned other small/medium birds for about 12 years, but this is my first conure. I am very curious if anyone else, conure or not, has seen similar symptoms, and what it turned out to be. Or what the community recommends I should do. Continue testing, or wait a little longer. Thanks so much for your time in reading this, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Mango and I greatly appreciate it! :orange:
 
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Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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chronic low Vitamin A
Presents like this . If he has had a bad diet for a long time, it can be harder to absorb nutrients

Red chilli pepper, fresh and dried has a good a good amount of Vitamin A. Fresh leafy vegetables...

I'm also big into advising sun therapy, in a secure cage, bottom tray secure too, or take fir walks in a travel cage. Light shade is perfect, as long as sun isn't filtered by a window they can absorb vitamin D .
This is a pretty good article on vitamin A. You dint have to have these sever symptoms to have a problem. When a bird has respiratory issues m6 first thought us Vitamin A, second is chlamydia. But by far it is nutritional , vitamin A and D, and sometimes calcium..

Offering a probiotic like live culture yogurt with no artificial sweetners, ( read label carefully), can be helpful in balancing tge gut. And birds take to yogurt pretty well.

Also have a digital kitchen gram scale and track wright.

https://birdsupplies.com/blogs/news/144546247-parrots-and-vitamin-a-deficiency
 
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Kalhagen

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Oct 18, 2020
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Laurasea, I appreciate the quick response!

I have the paperwork for Mango from his previous owner here. His diet had been a mix of Zupreme Fruitblend and Zupreme Pure Fun, with occational dried fruit and nutriberries. At the rescue, and then with me, his diet was switched to a mix of Goldenfeast Central American and Goldenfeast Petite Hookbill. We also suplement his diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. We have been trying to give vitamin A rich foods like sweet potato, broccoli, and mangos.

I do not know much about the Zupreme diet, but is that on track with your line of thinking that it could be a vitamin A deficiency? And if that is the case, is this something that we will be able to correct with a proper diet, or are these symptoms just something he will have to live with for the rest of his life?
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
That is a lot of sneezing. What tests have been performed diagnostically up to this point?
There are a ton of things that can cause sneezing and so the specific tests are really important.
 
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Kalhagen

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No tests have been done, just the Baytril which didn't lessen the symptoms and then the nasal flush which didn't show any signs of blockage or illness either. Our vet said that made the possibility of it being an infection go down significantly.
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Yeah, I would 500% try to find a new vet. No one should be prescribing without first testing. Heck, even my exotics vets in the past haven't done that. Not all antibiotics work for all things, plus it could be vitamin related, or fungal (and antibiotics could make a fungal infection worse).

Roughly, where are you located (if you don't mind sharing)?
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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The diet sounds good, but of course the most important part is what they actually eat :) from the diet. But if eating the veggies .

Then the next on my list is
Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, ornithosis and avian chlamydiosis, is a bacterial infection. And it can be a chronic low level, and a new move or stress event allows it to rear up..

Baytril wouldn't work on this bacteria. You would need doxycline. This disease can be cultured. But sometimes after any antibiotics are given it can be more difficult to culture and identify any bacteria cause. .

I'm just going through the most common things. I can't tell you from Afar what is wrong ...

Or it could be a yeast overgrowth...

But I know Vitamin A and Vitamin D support the immune system . As does yogurt . Yogurt helped my burd get over a yeast overgrowth. And they are always great plsces to start abd supporters of health.

You could have a combination of low level stuff... or something else completely...
 

mica21493

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Dec 12, 2019
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Bebee - Blue and Gold Macaw,
Little Bird - Goffins Cockatoo,
Mica and Daffy, greatly missed
My grey went through something like this, all the tests/cultures kept coming back normal. We tried so many things meds, flushes, humidity, air purifier, etc. It went on for months, nothing worked. Vet finally put her on an antihistamine and she stopped sneezing. I’ve always questioned if it was the medicine or coincidence because if it really was allergies I would think it would have happened again.
 

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