How to stop vomiting bird?

Kait

New member
Sep 20, 2023
4
6
Parrots
Cockatiels
I've got three cockatiels and one of them, Hershey 12-13 years old, started vomiting. The first time it happened was last November. We took her to a vet and they said it was hormonal and gave some suggestions on how to get her to stop. The behavior decreased but never went away. We took her to a different vet in January who said basically the same thing. Sometimes I think I've got it fixed and she'll go a couple weeks to a month without doing it. Yet she always ends up doing it again. The most effective thing so far has been limiting her seed input (but the other birds aren't huge fans of this as it means they get less too) but nothing has worked 100 percent. This is the only hormonal behavior she does and everything else is fairly normal. Also, any suggestions on how to clean her when she does? It gets all over her face and I always end up taking a couple feathers too when I wipe it off.
 

Terry57

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Nov 6, 2013
47,443
Media
47
Albums
13
38,439
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
Parrots
Hawkhead(Darwin),YCA(Dexter),VE (Ekko),OWA(Slater),BHP(Talli),DYH(Calypso),RLA(Kimera),Alex(Xander)CBC(Phoe),IRN (Kodee,Luna,Stevie),WCP (Pisces),CAG(Justice)GCC (Jax), GSC2(Charley)
First, welcome to the forum!
Have the vets all felt that she is regurgitating rather than throwing up?
If so, several of my birds regurgitate at different times and since that is the only hormonal thing they do I haven't done anything to stop it.
Here are a couple of ways to identify whether it is regurgitating or vomiting:

This is from Vomiting pets, written by
WSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Teaching Hospital
A problem that can be confused with vomiting is regurgitation. Vomiting is the ejection of contents of the stomach and upper intestine; regurgitation is the ejection of contents of the esophagus. Regurgitation often, but not always, happens right after eating and the pet will try to eat the regurgitated food. Vomiting occurs a variable time after eating or may occur in a pet who is off food.

How do I know if my pet is vomiting or regurgitating?​

Vomiting is an active process, and your pet will be apprehensive and heave and retch to vomit. If food is present in vomit, it is partially digested, and a yellow fluid, bile, may be present.

Regurgitation is fairly passive. The animal lowers its head and food is expelled without effort. The food brought up by regurgitation is usually undigested, may have a tubular shape, and is often covered with slimy mucus.

As far as cleaning her up, I would wet a soft cloth or paper towel with warm water and clean it off as soon as it happens.

I'm really happy you joined us!
 

LoveMyFids

Active member
Aug 19, 2023
83
106
Parrots
Meyers, Rock Pebbler, Bourkes, African Grey, Barraband
I've got three cockatiels and one of them, Hershey 12-13 years old, started vomiting. The first time it happened was last November. We took her to a vet and they said it was hormonal and gave some suggestions on how to get her to stop. The behavior decreased but never went away. We took her to a different vet in January who said basically the same thing. Sometimes I think I've got it fixed and she'll go a couple weeks to a month without doing it. Yet she always ends up doing it again. The most effective thing so far has been limiting her seed input (but the other birds aren't huge fans of this as it means they get less too) but nothing has worked 100 percent. This is the only hormonal behavior she does and everything else is fairly normal. Also, any suggestions on how to clean her when she does? It gets all over her face and I always end up taking a couple feathers too when I wipe it off.
When you took her to the vet did they do a full blood panel on her & did they do a fecal to check for parasites? This can cause it, hormones can cause it, food allergy can cause it, a crop issue can cause it, aspergillosis can cause it, having an egg can push on the stomach area & cause it. They would need to xray to check for eggs to rule that out. If it hormonal, there is a shot than can be given to reverse the hormone in some cases. Not keeping her in the same cage or too near other birds, put them to bed early (12 -14hrs. sleep),exposed to less hours of light per day, restrict high carb & high fat foods & no egg, because that stimulates hormones as does having any paper or shreddable things in the cage to play with. No sleeping huts either. Those simulate mating behavior. There are some veggies that are estrogenic as well, which should be avoided & soy is too.
 
OP
K

Kait

New member
Sep 20, 2023
4
6
Parrots
Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
First, welcome to the forum!
Have the vets all felt that she is regurgitating rather than throwing up?
If so, several of my birds regurgitate at different times and since that is the only hormonal thing they do I haven't done anything to stop it.
Here are a couple of ways to identify whether it is regurgitating or vomiting:

This is from Vomiting pets, written by
WSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Teaching Hospital




As far as cleaning her up, I would wet a soft cloth or paper towel with warm water and clean it off as soon as it happens.

I'm really happy you joined us!
Yeah it's definitly regurgitation, sorry I used the wrong word. Most of the time I can't even tell where she had done it because she eats it up right away.
 
OP
K

Kait

New member
Sep 20, 2023
4
6
Parrots
Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
When you took her to the vet did they do a full blood panel on her & did they do a fecal to check for parasites? This can cause it, hormones can cause it, food allergy can cause it, a crop issue can cause it, aspergillosis can cause it, having an egg can push on the stomach area & cause it. They would need to xray to check for eggs to rule that out. If it hormonal, there is a shot than can be given to reverse the hormone in some cases. Not keeping her in the same cage or too near other birds, put them to bed early (12 -14hrs. sleep),exposed to less hours of light per day, restrict high carb & high fat foods & no egg, because that stimulates hormones as does having any paper or shreddable things in the cage to play with. No sleeping huts either. Those simulate mating behavior. There are some veggies that are estrogenic as well, which should be avoided & soy is too.
The vets were both pretty certain it was caused by hormones, though I don't remember all of the tests they ran. It's not an egg, she's never laid any and she's had it for too long for it to caused by egg bound (there is also no distortion/swelling). It's not parasites as none of the other birds have ever had an issue and they share a cage (one likes to "chew" on poop too, doesn't eat it though). I've never given them sleeping huts, they don't have any super "shreddable" toys most are wood (and they've never been big on toys in the first place so they go ignored). They are on the natural daylight cycle because I mainly use windows, not lights. She's done it during all seasons though so I don't think it's a light thing. I don't feed egg just: Harrison's pellet, Hagen's Tropimix, oven baked bites, and dried veggies (they won't eat anything with moisture so we settled for these) (spray millet as a treat too). Her diet has been about the same since I've had her and the issue is new so I don't think it is that. But this is the only 'hormonal' problem she has. It's not constant either, sometimes she'll do it twice in a week and sometimes she'll go a month without it.
 

LoveMyFids

Active member
Aug 19, 2023
83
106
Parrots
Meyers, Rock Pebbler, Bourkes, African Grey, Barraband
The vets were both pretty certain it was caused by hormones, though I don't remember all of the tests they ran. It's not an egg, she's never laid any and she's had it for too long for it to caused by egg bound (there is also no distortion/swelling). It's not parasites as none of the other birds have ever had an issue and they share a cage (one likes to "chew" on poop too, doesn't eat it though). I've never given them sleeping huts, they don't have any super "shreddable" toys most are wood (and they've never been big on toys in the first place so they go ignored). They are on the natural daylight cycle because I mainly use windows, not lights. She's done it during all seasons though so I don't think it's a light thing. I don't feed egg just: Harrison's pellet, Hagen's Tropimix, oven baked bites, and dried veggies (they won't eat anything with moisture so we settled for these) (spray millet as a treat too). Her diet has been about the same since I've had her and the issue is new so I don't think it is that. But this is the only 'hormonal' problem she has. It's not constant either, sometimes she'll do it twice in a week and sometimes she'll go a month without it.
Hmmmmmm. Well, as far as the poop goes (chewing on it or not, but the chewing on it is bad), is that there are bacteria which exist in it & if they poop in their water or food for example, or chew on it, or step in it & clean themselves later ingesting it, they can get things like giardia & coccidia. Coccidia causes smelly diarrhea though-so it's probably not that. The excess of bacteria from the poop-over crowded cage, etc., can cause a problem though. These can be tested for by the vet. Housing them together may be a big factor though with continual hormonal behaviors. You should separate her into her own cage on the other side of the room-not totally next to them-as an experiment for a few months to see if that behavior stops. Then you could really see if it's hormones or not. Preening each other & stuff can stimulate wanting to regurgiate for another out of affection. It would be worth a try to do that & it could save you a lot of vet bills if it's just hormones & you can control it this way.
 
OP
K

Kait

New member
Sep 20, 2023
4
6
Parrots
Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Hmmmmmm. Well, as far as the poop goes (chewing on it or not, but the chewing on it is bad), is that there are bacteria which exist in it & if they poop in their water or food for example, or chew on it, or step in it & clean themselves later ingesting it, they can get things like giardia & coccidia. Coccidia causes smelly diarrhea though-so it's probably not that. The excess of bacteria from the poop-over crowded cage, etc., can cause a problem though. These can be tested for by the vet. Housing them together may be a big factor though with continual hormonal behaviors. You should separate her into her own cage on the other side of the room-not totally next to them-as an experiment for a few months to see if that behavior stops. Then you could really see if it's hormones or not. Preening each other & stuff can stimulate wanting to regurgiate for another out of affection. It would be worth a try to do that & it could save you a lot of vet bills if it's just hormones & you can control it this way.
I've already tried separating them before for a month and it didn't do anything to stop the behavior. If anything she got worse (I think it was cause she was bored in the cage while the others were free-range). Also, they get along with each other but aren't super close like mated pairs are. They are only caged at night (about 9pm to 9am) and free range in my living room for the rest of the time. The one bird (Mickey) will walk on the ground to chew on the poop and I can't clean it every-time they poop so there isn't much I can do to curb that. She's always had some weird traits and I think it's a result of bad care before I had her. The bird that is regurgitating (Hershey) isn't a poop-chewer. Mickey isn't having any problems though and has chewed on Hershey's poop so I don't think its parasite based. The cage is 3ft wide, 2 ft deep, and 4ft tall so i wouldn't consider it over-crowded. Especially since they only spend nights in it.
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top