Member Login



Auto-login for future visits

Join or Renew Today!

Membership Benefits:

Close Button

Sick Patagonian conure

Expert Question

Hello. I have a friend who has a 28 year old female patagonian conure. This bird has been sick for about a year with her main symptom as vomiting up large amounts of clear mucus intermittently. She appears to be gagging on it. Her beak has also gotten soft at times, has overgrown requiring trimming, and she has extra folds of skin inside her mouth on both sides, at times. She has been to 3 different vets in our area and no one seems to know exactly what is wrong with her. She’s currently on Baytril and Fluconazole because the last vet did bacterial and fungal cultures, and blood tests, finding a moderate amount of pseudomonas aeruginosa (sp?) and an elevated aspergillus galactomannan. She seems to be withering away before our very eyes, sits puffed up and almost appears gray in her feathering. This treatment regimen doesn’t seem to be working and we don’t what else to do. Can you give me any advice on this? Thank you.

Expert Answer

Dear Cindi - Your bird is certainly ill and in need of an accurate medical diagnosis and treatment regime.

First up, I would suggest that you ask your current attending veterinarian if they would be willing to refer you to a qualified colleague, hopefully a certified specialist, for further evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. At 28 years of age, there are a vary very large number of problems that could be potentially of concern here. In general, regurgitation of mucus and weight loss would be suggestive of an upper gastrointestinal issue that may require far more than simple blood tests and aerobic cultures in order to diagnose. It is not uncommon to need radiographic imaging, and even dynamic fluoroscopic imaging, plus or minus endoscopy in order to establish a diagnosis. Possibilities of some chronic infectious disease issues, some forms of cancer, gastric foreign bodies or combinations of these all remain distinct possibilities here. The presence of an elevated blood level of Aspergillus galactomannan, alone is far from a clear diagnosis of the disease, Aspergillosis, and the described clinical signs here tend to make me suspicious that at-best, Aspergillosis if present is far from the only disease process present.

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.