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Perfect health Conure with weird problem.

Summzz

Strolling the yard
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117
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Canada
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Summer
Hi everyone!
I have a question about my 10 year old, Female, Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure, Claire.
She has had a couple health problems in that past (all things to do with hormones, egg binding) and otherwise is very healthy. There has been a recurring issue that seems to pop up every now and then, that we can't figure out. Now before I continue, she has been to the vet recently ( a check up with a new vet in February) and I have asked them this and they weren't 100% sure, but she was given a full check with her being in perfect health.
The problem is a little hard to explain but I see it as choking/sneezing/regurgitation. It seems weird but what happens is all of a sudden she will start making a sneezing/ coughing noise ( It looks similar to a way a human coughs, chest moving with the cough with the mouth slightly open), it sounds like sneezing but a ton right after another. After about 30 seconds, she starts bobbing her head (quite violently) like she is trying to regurgitate. This will last (going back and forth between sneezing/cough and the regulation) from any where 1 minute to about 3. The weirdest part is that a couple times she has brought up a very sour/ sweet smelling chunks of.. food? I'm not quite sure what it actually is but it looks like a white grain the size of about 3/4 the size of rice (with some smaller pieces). Usually after she brings these up, shes fine and back to normal but sometimes nothing comes up and shes fine after about a minute or so. While it's happening she does seem sort of distressed ( I don't think she is having trouble breathing at this point but I'm not 100% sure) but after she is back to normal like nothing happened.
The first time she did this she had gotten scared of a noise and flew around for a bit, calm down and then this happened. When I told the vet they thought it could be brought up food from her crop that got brought back up from when she was scared. However, the rest of the times that it's happened ( about 3 other times, one being just today) she has not been scared and had not eaten right before ( today she ate about an hour before it happened).
I really have no clue what is happening and even though it doesn't happen very often, it is concerning as during I don't know how to help (if I can) and I don't know what's going on. I sadly don't have any video as every time it happens, I'm so worried I don't even think about grabbing my phone.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this, knows what this is or has any idea!
Thanks!
 

Summzz

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/7/20
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117
Location
Canada
Real Name
Summer
Update: I found one video of her doing this. It was in the middle of the night and she woke me with the problem. I sadly only caught the end of it as I only clued in it would be good to get it on video after she was almost done. It's near the end so she is just sneezing/coughing and little head bobbing. While it normally happening there is a lot more sneezes/coughing, a ton louder and more head bobbing.
 

Mockinbirdiva

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Andrea
I would have the food she brings up cultured for bacteria or a crop swab done by your vet ( certified Avian Vet?) . That's not normal. The smell alone would make it very suspicious of an infection that needs to be addressed by a culture to be sure it's an infection, what type of infection it could be so an appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed.
 

Summzz

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Canada
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Summer
I would have the food she brings up cultured for bacteria or a crop swab done by your vet ( certified Avian Vet?) . That's not normal. The smell alone would make it very suspicious of an infection that needs to be addressed by a culture to be sure it's an infection, what type of infection it could be so an appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed.
Thanks for the reply. I asked my mom (who has a better memory and came with me to the avian vet when this first happened) and she said the vet did a cultured bacteria test on what she brought up (not a crop swab though, didn't know that was a thing) and it came back with nothing. The vet was surprised too as that's what she thought it was. She, just in case, gave some antibiotics and we are not sure if it worked as she didn't have another issue like that for a long time, but then it happened again about 2-3 months after that. This time it was a lot longer since it happened. Not sure if a crop swab would bring up anything different? The new vet we took her too hasn't done any test yet (she was due for another appointment this month for my other birds check up, which got canceled from COVID) so not sure if they would do/ find anything different.
 

Mockinbirdiva

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Thanks for the reply. I asked my mom (who has a better memory and came with me to the avian vet when this first happened) and she said the vet did a cultured bacteria test on what she brought up (not a crop swab though, didn't know that was a thing) and it came back with nothing. The vet was surprised too as that's what she thought it was. She, just in case, gave some antibiotics and we are not sure if it worked as she didn't have another issue like that for a long time, but then it happened again about 2-3 months after that. This time it was a lot longer since it happened. Not sure if a crop swab would bring up anything different? The new vet we took her too hasn't done any test yet (she was due for another appointment this month for my other birds check up, which got canceled from COVID) so not sure if they would do/ find anything different.
I'd suggest keeping a journal with dates on anything of concern to help when talking to the vet. I'm sure you already know these other things but I'll mention making sure you thoroughly wash your water cups daily. Even the splash back or mist from faucet water in a kitchen sink can spread any bacteria that may be present and contaminate your birds cups. I only use paper towels for scrubbing my cups and toss them after use to avoid cross contamination from a sponge or scrub brush. If your conure is anything like mine ( My female green cheek is the worst for making soupy water with her pellets) they love to soak their food when they eat and the water can get nasty quick and grow bacteria in a short time. Fresh foods should not be left for more than an hour as they spoil quickly too so if you feed fresh you can feed smaller amounts to avoid waste and spoilage. Since I feed fresh daily I change all my papers every evening so there's nothing for them to want to go down the the floor of the cage to pick at and eat.
 

Mockinbirdiva

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I would think a sample of what she may vomit up ( on a sterile culture swab- you might ask if you can purchase or have one on hand from the vet in the event your bird does this and you can simply drop it off for them to test) would be substantial for a diagnosis of bacteria or fungal infection and would be less evasive than your vet swabbing the crop for culture.

What is your current diet ( complete list) for your bird?
 

Summzz

Strolling the yard
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117
Location
Canada
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Summer
I'd suggest keeping a journal with dates on anything of concern to help when talking to the vet. I'm sure you already know these other things but I'll mention making sure you thoroughly wash your water cups daily. Even the splash back or mist from faucet water in a kitchen sink can spread any bacteria that may be present and contaminate your birds cups. I only use paper towels for scrubbing my cups and toss them after use to avoid cross contamination from a sponge or scrub brush. If your conure is anything like mine ( My female green cheek is the worst for making soupy water with her pellets) they love to soak their food when they eat and the water can get nasty quick and grow bacteria in a short time. Fresh foods should not be left for more than an hour as they spoil quickly too so if you feed fresh you can feed smaller amounts to avoid waste and spoilage. Since I feed fresh daily I change all my papers every evening so there's nothing for them to want to go down the the floor of the cage to pick at and eat.
Those are great suggestions that we already do. I actually have been keeping a log book for some other problems with egg binding she had so might just add it in there to try and keep track ( it will most likely take awhile before it happens again but will still be good to write down).
I would think a sample of what she may vomit up ( on a sterile culture swab- you might ask if you can purchase or have one on hand from the vet in the event your bird does this and you can simply drop it off for them to test) would be substantial for a diagnosis of bacteria or fungal infection and would be less evasive than your vet swabbing the crop for culture.

What is your current diet ( complete list) for your bird?
Yea, last time we got it tested that's what we did. We were told it had to be fresh so the first time it happened we took her and the sample right in but they found nothing. I never thought about asking if they had one we could get, might be nice to have one on hand that we can just send in when it happens again. It's a great idea that I will definitely ask my vet as it would be hard to get in right now and I would rather not go for the crop swab first if we can get something from what she brings up.
As for their diet on the they are on a pellet feed. They get the occasional seed and nut as a treat. We have just gotten them to use foragers and now that's all they love to use. I still keep a amount of pellets in the dishes but other than that they just use the foragers. They get some fruit every once and a while and we have been trying to get them to eat more veggies. They are like picky toddlers but today we got them to successfully eat a little bit of cooked veggies. I also add some Prime (multi vitamin) and calcium supplement as she has trouble with egg binding and over producing eggs.

When she first had this issue they were on a seed pellet mix diet. We changed them after that but that was almost two years ago.
 

Mockinbirdiva

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Those are great suggestions that we already do. I actually have been keeping a log book for some other problems with egg binding she had so might just add it in there to try and keep track ( it will most likely take awhile before it happens again but will still be good to write down).

Yea, last time we got it tested that's what we did. We were told it had to be fresh so the first time it happened we took her and the sample right in but they found nothing. I never thought about asking if they had one we could get, might be nice to have one on hand that we can just send in when it happens again. It's a great idea that I will definitely ask my vet as it would be hard to get in right now and I would rather not go for the crop swab first if we can get something from what she brings up.
As for their diet on the they are on a pellet feed. They get the occasional seed and nut as a treat. We have just gotten them to use foragers and now that's all they love to use. I still keep a amount of pellets in the dishes but other than that they just use the foragers. They get some fruit every once and a while and we have been trying to get them to eat more veggies. They are like picky toddlers but today we got them to successfully eat a little bit of cooked veggies. I also add some Prime (multi vitamin) and calcium supplement as she has trouble with egg binding and over producing eggs.

When she first had this issue they were on a seed pellet mix diet. We changed them after that but that was almost two years ago.
If the bulk of her diet is pellets you do not ( and should not) need to give her additional vitamins... the pellets are formulated to give them what they need. I would agree with the calcium supplement if she's had issues with egg binding.
 

Summzz

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Summer
If the bulk of her diet is pellets you do not ( and should not) need to give her additional vitamins... the pellets are formulated to give them what they need. I would agree with the calcium supplement if she's had issues with egg binding.
Okay, thanks for the information. We started them as our old Avain vet said they should have a little bit (once every couple of weeks on veggies) along with the calcium. We have a new one that I'll have to re ask.
 

Mockinbirdiva

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Okay, thanks for the information. We started them as our old Avain vet said they should have a little bit (once every couple of weeks on veggies) along with the calcium. We have a new one that I'll have to re ask.
You might print out the list of ingredients or take the bag of pellets with you so the vet can read the vitamins listed.
 

ChrisB4773

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Chris Bennett
Hi everyone!
I have a question about my 10 year old, Female, Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure, Claire.
She has had a couple health problems in that past (all things to do with hormones, egg binding) and otherwise is very healthy. There has been a recurring issue that seems to pop up every now and then, that we can't figure out. Now before I continue, she has been to the vet recently ( a check up with a new vet in February) and I have asked them this and they weren't 100% sure, but she was given a full check with her being in perfect health.
The problem is a little hard to explain but I see it as choking/sneezing/regurgitation. It seems weird but what happens is all of a sudden she will start making a sneezing/ coughing noise ( It looks similar to a way a human coughs, chest moving with the cough with the mouth slightly open), it sounds like sneezing but a ton right after another. After about 30 seconds, she starts bobbing her head (quite violently) like she is trying to regurgitate. This will last (going back and forth between sneezing/cough and the regulation) from any where 1 minute to about 3. The weirdest part is that a couple times she has brought up a very sour/ sweet smelling chunks of.. food? I'm not quite sure what it actually is but it looks like a white grain the size of about 3/4 the size of rice (with some smaller pieces). Usually after she brings these up, shes fine and back to normal but sometimes nothing comes up and shes fine after about a minute or so. While it's happening she does seem sort of distressed ( I don't think she is having trouble breathing at this point but I'm not 100% sure) but after she is back to normal like nothing happened.
The first time she did this she had gotten scared of a noise and flew around for a bit, calm down and then this happened. When I told the vet they thought it could be brought up food from her crop that got brought back up from when she was scared. However, the rest of the times that it's happened ( about 3 other times, one being just today) she has not been scared and had not eaten right before ( today she ate about an hour before it happened).
I really have no clue what is happening and even though it doesn't happen very often, it is concerning as during I don't know how to help (if I can) and I don't know what's going on. I sadly don't have any video as every time it happens, I'm so worried I don't even think about grabbing my phone.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this, knows what this is or has any idea!
Thanks!
Have you discovered the cause yet? My bird did this, but I'm unsure what caused it.
 

Pixiebeak

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Have you discovered the cause yet? My bird did this, but I'm unsure what caused it.
I wasn't part of this initial thread. But my gcc Ta-dah, and later a quaker at a different time has this . Both of those ended up being yeast overgrowth in crop. Especially a sour smell to regurge and being whitish . Vets can swab crop and do a stain and look under microscope fir budding yeast, or do a culture fir both yeast or bacteria.
 

Summzz

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Summer
Hi there! Sorry for the late reply!
Have you discovered the cause yet? My bird did this, but I'm unsure what caused it.
I never was able to get a 100% on what it was. Tests were done but nothing really came back as super abnormal. We didn't have any blood tests done as most of the vets didn't want to risk it with her being so little and not showing any other symptoms. She did sadly past away last February but I could not say if it was related or not as she went pretty fast. I can say from what I've heard the most common cause did seem to be the overgrowth in the crop like what Pixie said. Which also seems to be a some what of an "easy" fix. When in doubt, I always suggest an avian vet!
I wasn't part of this initial thread. But my gcc Ta-dah, and later a quaker at a different time has this . Both of those ended up being yeast overgrowth in crop. Especially a sour smell to regurge and being whitish . Vets can swab crop and do a stain and look under microscope fir budding yeast, or do a culture fir both yeast or bacteria.
Sounds so similar to what Claire was doing. Every time she had a swab though it was normal. The vets were surprised because they thought it was the same thing you experienced. Sadly for her it would happen on and off over years and each time it came back normal even when we added different meds just to be safe.

Hope all your babies are doing well!
 
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