I found this on Facebook - from Brisbane Bird Vet - thought it might be worth sharing. This year we are seeing an alarming number of cases of gastrointestinal obstruction from cotton fibre. Often when our pet parrots have access to rope toys or perches, happy huts or any other source of cotton they will nibble at them. After months to years of doing this the minute fibres can accumulate in their crop, stomachs or intestines, leading to an obstruction. Parrots won’t necessarily chew these items in front of you and often the changes that occur to these items are very subtle. The only way to prevent a cotton fibre obstruction is the remove all the sources cotton fibre. This means rope toys and perches and happy huts. These photographs are from two separate cases of cotton fibre obstruction; one in the crop of an inquisitive cockatiel and the other in the gizzard (second stomach) of an energetic rainbow lorikeet. The cockatiel’s obstruction was detected early enough that it could be removed with long forceps via the beak under anaesthetic. The lorikeet required a surgery to open the abdomen and the gizzard to retrieve the material. It is worth mentioning that the lorikeet did not have access to some of the colours of cotton found in the gizzard for YEARS before she became clinically unwell. The cockatiel is doing well but sadly the rainbow lorikeet later passed away. Another bird, ‘Wonton’ who is the beloved cockatiel of Australian pop artists The Veronicas, also had a cotton fibre foreign body in her gizzard. Wonton had surgery earlier in the year and is currently doing very well. The clinical signs of a gastrointestinal foreign body can be very subtle and can range from no outward clinic signs to lethargy, vomiting, change in appetite, change in the droppings and feather destructive behaviour. If you have any concerns that your bird may have been chewing at something they shouldn’t, or about anything else related to their health and wellbeing, please make an appointment to see one of our avian veterinarians!