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Sick blue fronted Amazon parrot in Brazil

Expert Question

My 3 yr old female amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva) is presenting health problem and in the Brazilian town where I live there is no an specialist avian vet. From three weeks ago it started with watery green drops and was not eating well and changed its behavior becoming quiet and not vocalizing almost all the time. I brought it for a (not avian) vet and he noted it has fever and ventricular atony. He prescribed an antiemetic (metoclopramide cloridate 5mg/mL - 3 drops twice during 3 days) and antibiotic (oxitetracyclin cloridrate 810mg/100mL - 5 drops twice for 7 days). The parrot does not get better and I return yesterday to the vet and he prescribed again the same antiemetic and a vermifuge (mebendazol 5g/100mL - 10 drops diluted in 100mL of its drinking water). Now its drops are still watery and now yellowish (I have a picture if you need). Do you have any suggestion? Do I keep the prescribed treatment?

Expert Answer

Luciano, these clinical signs are alarming, and I hope your bird has improved in its condition. It is virtually impossible for me to advise you accurately on the treatment of your birds considion, in the absence of a clear diagnosis. In general, yellow tinged urates and urine is indicative of liver-associated problems, and there are a handful of bacterial and viral diseases that must be considered. Of these, the disease Psittacosis is potentially contagious from your bird to you. Should this be Psittacosis, you may want to ask your doctor about the possibility of treatment with the antibiotic Doxycycline, as this drug is the treatment of choice for this disease internationally. Birds really do not have fevers - but rather, their normal body temperatures are quite high normally. Atonic conditions of the gizzard are uncommon in parrots, overall. My suspicions would be that there is most likely an infectious condition here, that you would be best to press your doctor to considering diagnosing or treating differently. Often, these birds will require hospitalization, tube feeding, injectable fluids and other supportive care in addition to treatment for their primary disorder. Wishing you and your poor bird the best,

Brian Speer, DVM
About Brian Speer, DVM

Avian veterinarian Dr. Brian Speer was raised in a small town on California’s coast. He received his BS in Biology from California Polytechnic State University in 1978, and his DVM degree from the University of California at Davis in 1983.

An active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Dr. Speer is a much sought after guest speaker and has presented at numerous conferences in the avicultural and zoological communities both within the United States and abroad. He is well published in the AAV annual proceedings, has served as guest editor for the journal Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, the Veterinary Clinics of North America, and authored chapters in several recent veterinary medical texts on pet bird, avicultural and ratite medical topics. In 1995 he co-authored the extensive avicultural reference, The Large Macaws, and helped to co-author Birds for Dummies in 1999.

Since 1989, Dr, Speer has run a “bird’s only” practice in the San Francisco Bay area and is the President and Director of The Medical Center for Birds. He is a consultant for The Veterinary Information Network (Avian Medical Boards) and the Maui Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Lafeber award for excellence in private practice of avian medicine and surgery and in 2006, was named Speaker of the Year for the North American Veterinary Conference.