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Throwing up at nothing?

thickwig

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My 9-month-old parrotlet, Porkchop, has been with me for 4 months. He sometimes stands on top of his cage, throws up at absolutely nothing, then briefly becomes aggressive and lunges at me if I go near him. I'm not certain if he is vomiting or regurgitating. He's not looking at a toy or at me when he does it. After a few minutes, though, he goes back to actively playing at usual. His droppings are always normal, as well.

It's been difficult for me to pinpoint what could be making him throw up, which makes me worry that he may be unknowingly exposed to something he is allergic to or is dangerous to him.

He did it again today. Earlier, he was playing with one of those little rubbery spiky balls that came on a new toy. He has played with these before with no issue. He was also chewing on one of his bells (he just discovered the joy of bells this week).

A couple times, he's thrown up after eating carrot, but he eats carrot quite regularly, so I am inclined to believe that this is not the cause.

At least once, he's done this while listening to his favorite music station. It's unlikely that he likes Yann Tiersen so much that he regurgitates when he listens to it, right?

The issue is so vague that I feel like it's an overreaction to make an appointment with an avian vet until I can gather more concrete facts. Should I be worried? Is there something I can do? Does anyone else's baby do this too?
 

Mizzely

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Is he bobbing up and down and then bringing up food? Or is he shaking his head when it happens? Is it undigested food?

He could just be practicing if it's true regurgitation. He's getting closer to maturity and that's a skill an adult bird needs!

Here is some info Ask A Vet Online For Free 24/7 - PetCoach
 

thickwig

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He does shake his head after, which after reading the source you provided, likely means he's vomiting. It is hard for me to determine the digested state of the food, as he flings it off into the ether where I can't, for the life of me, find it to investigate!
 

Mizzely

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Regurg is, as far as I know, never a shaking head motion. Based on that, I would certainly schedule a vet visit
 

GracefulWolf

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No, that’s incorrect. Parrotlets shake their head side to side to regurgitate. It’s called wiggle necking. They’re different from other parrots. It’s completely normal and healthy to regurgitate from shaking side to side. It’s only a problem if he starts obsessively regurgitating to the point where he’s losing weight.


So if your p’let is wiggle necking like the video, he’s fine. 9 months old, his hormones are kicking into full gear. He’s likely going through or just finished puberty. Each parrotlet goes through puberty at a different time, but it’s generally between 6-10 months old and lasts for a couple weeks.

Milo will start wiggle necking to songs he really likes. It’s hilarious. It’s also common to wiggle neck for toys. Luka will wiggle neck randomly for a few seconds when he’s really happy. You can help reduce his wiggle necking by making sure he gets 12 hours of sleep every night and lots of veggies in his diet. Reduce how much seed he gets and take away any cuddly beds/toys as they increase hormones.
 
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Mizzely

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How cute! The vomiting I am talking about is more like a flicking or shaking of the head. The wiggle neck is still a bobbing motion, just side to side vs up and down.
 

thickwig

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Baby Pork wiggle necks at me on occasion (which I gently discourage), but Mizzely is correct in that he does the head flicks. They flick their heads to spit out vomit that is acidic and bad tasting. I did make a vet appointment for tomorrow, though, so hopefully the vet will be able to shed some light on what's going on!

But speaking of birdy puberty, I do make sure to give him a full 12 hours of darkness and healthy and fresh foods low in natural sugars every day! Any toys or shelters that could trigger nesting behavior are kept outside of his cage near his play gym.
 
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