Aspergillosis and Papillomatosis Questions

by Darci
(Winnipeg, Canada)

I am having trouble getting a diagnosis in regards to my Sun Conure. Her blood work has come back normal and PCRs for Clostridia and Gardia have been negative. She continues to strain to produce droppings and continues to have bubbles present in her droppings.

She has also been experiencing some heavy breathing, I'm not sure if she is over heated when she starts to pant or if it could be caused by Aspergillosis. in addition to the heavy breathing she is also yawning and stretching excessively, shaking her tail frequently and exhibits some of the other signs I have read in regards to Aspergillosis including decrease in weight (she is was 109g March 1, from 122g in December), slow recovery of breath after exercise (she is flighted but doesn't fly much), lethargy, favoring one foot when at rest, abnormal droppings (straining and bubbles in droppings), changes in feather appearance (stress marks and yellow feathers turning black), nasal discharge (usually its just a blast of air when she sneezes but very occasioanlly I'll feel a spray), extreme itchiness, feather picking/pulling, wobbliness and change of gait (sometimes when she is laying on my chest she'll lift her leg up and kind of lose her balance and roll onto her back)

Would x-rays be the next best thing to do? Does it sound like she could have Aspergillosis or is there anything else you think she may have?

Also I am concerned the straining may be due to Cloacal Papillomas and was wondering if humans can pass this virus on to parrots as I have a few flat warts on my index finger that have not gone away despite treatment and I'm afraid she may have caught the virus from me but not sure if this is possible. Would papillomas show up in an x-ray or would a cloacal endoscopy need to be performed?

Any suggestions regarding further tests or insights are greatly appreciated as I am planning on seeing my vet again ASAP and would like to know what I should get done. Thank you very much!

Comments for Aspergillosis and Papillomatosis Questions

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Mar 20, 2009
Sun Conure health questions
by: The Vet

Response to first paragraph about the blood tests and droppings - It would not hurt to empirically treat for these two organisms since they are often very difficult to find on most tests.

Response to second paragraph - This is a real cacophony of symptoms. Some are related to others and some are not. In other words, there is not one single disease or ailment that can account all of these symptoms. I can give you some possible differentials, but I cannot give you a diagnosis. It would also help if I had more historical information; e.g. What is your bird?s diet? Do you KNOW this is a female with DNA sexing? Is there any odor to the droppings? What other lab work has been done? What is her environment like ? how much humidity, how much light, where is her cage located, does anyone smoke in the home, other pets, size of her cage, what is used in the cage tray, is she vaccinated, does she drink from a bottle......? Some of these symptoms are very serious and you should continue the quest of diagnosing these issues.

Would x-rays be the next best thing to do? Yes, x-rays would be of great benefit. Very likely a serious of barium contrast x-rays would also be useful.

Birds cannot contract viruses from people. Papillomas will not show on x-rays, but are visible with the naked eye when the bird is examined properly. Endoscopy is also useful in diagnosing some forms of papilloma.

Dr B




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