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Sick Regent Parrot

Expert Question

My Question: My regent parrot is sleeping a lot and has his feathers puffed up, also not eating well. I took him to the vet and he examined him, thought he was a bit over-weight and maybe had caught a bug. He gave him some antibiotic by syringe and put some in a bottle, telling me to add it to my parrots favourite food for 7 days. I`ve tried putting it on fruit for him (as it is bitter) but he refuses to eat it. As I keep trying to get him to take it he has become aggressive and is biting me. He was very tame and didn`t bite before, it seems like his personality has suddenly changed. He had been chewing a lot at a new toy with pieces of leather attached to it also I noticed little holes in the plastic that he had broken pieces off. I`ve taken this toy away now and am wondering could this have made him sick.

Would you have any ideas what could be wrong please?

Expert Answer

Elizabeth - the best suggestion I can give you is to return to your veterinarian and ask for more than a diagnosis of being a “bit overweight and maybe caught a bug”. There should be more to this puzzle than that. If there is obesity, a specific plan for dietary modification and enrichment of physical exercise can be instituted, and a careful monitoring of body fat stores and body weight can be set up between you and your veterinarian to guide your bird through this plan’s effect and outcome. If there is suspicioin of underlying infectious disease, a more clear pursuit of diagnosis can lead to a clearer course of treatment, and ideally, a better prognosis. If there are problems with the administration of treatment, resulting in increased fear and learned aggression, the behavioral aspects of your treatment plan need to be re-assessed in order to minimize stress, minimize unwanted learned behaviors and optomize your odds of true success.

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.