Green Cheek Conure Runny Droppings Sneezing

by Christine
(Medford, Oregon)

So basically, my precious green cheek conure named Marcus Junior whom I love more than anything in the world has been sneezing lately so I took him to the vet today. About a month ago, my dusky conure had a sinus infection and was sneezing but he is better now due to some antibiotics.

My green cheek was also put on precautionary antibiotics during this time though he showed absolutely no sings of illness or strange behavior.

Now it is about a month later and I noticed yesterday he started sneezing so I immediately took him to my vet this afternoon. The vet took a look at his sinuses, vital signs, etc. and said he seems to be fine and then took a throat culture to send in to the lab for testing. Then, my vet injected my green cheek with an intramuscular antibiotic. He also gave me a vial of oral antibiotics I have to syringe in Marcus Junior's mouth twice everyday for about two weeks.

My vet then took a look at the droppings in Marcus Junior's cage and said that they should not be staining his wood chips green and that maybe my baby has liver disease or a liver infection. Marcus Junior is about 2 and a half years old and has been on Harrisons pellets/seeds as well as fresh fruits and veggies as his diet. After his shot, he also was acting a little weird, tired, and somewhat disoriented. This was earlier today.

Now its about 2 in the morning and I just checked on Marcus Junior and he came out of his cage happy and chirpy and played with me :). Basically as I am anxiously awaiting the results of the culture I had a few questions. First, since he is sneezing more than often, can the runny droppings possibly be from the sinus infection, or do they absolutely point to liver disease? The droppings are a typical green color, and not really runny but tend to have a wetness to them that can be seen when the poop is excreted onto a paper towel. I hadn't really paid attention to his droppings before so I have no clue whether this is normal for him.

Also, was it normal for him to act so out of it after the vets office? He has been a little quieter and sleepy than usual in the past two days, hence the vet visit, but my dusky conure was the same way before he was treated with antibiotics for the sinus infection.

I am just really concerned, and cant sleep at all at this point. He is sleeping in my room with me tonight and I have the room very hot with a humidifier by his cage. Worst case scenario can my baby get liver surgery? I live in a small town and there is only one avian vet within driving distance, but I am willing to go anywhere and do anything for my baby to be ok. Thanks so much.

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Sep 11, 2010
by: SeattleParrot

You mentioned 'wood chips' in the bird's cage. I would not use them at all. Replace them with plain white paper towels for awhile so you can see the true color of the droppings. Some wood chips are toxic to birds. Most wood chips are dusty to say the least so perhaps this is the cause of the sneezing.
Bird diets are selectable by their owners and although it is good to offer a good pellet, I believe birds need a variety of foods in their diet. Fresh foods, seeds, pellets and fresh water are good starters. Hopefully your vet is a certified avian vet or the next best thing being a vet that has experience treating birds for a good length of time. If not, you may want to get a second opinion.

Sep 10, 2010
Conure with possible liver problems
by: The Avian Vet

Your conure should be fed 80% Harrison's and 20% treats.

The runny nose has nothing to do with liver disease. I suspect there is something in the environment (your home) that is causing both of your bird sinus problems. Maybe someone smokes in the home? It may be the chips you are using in the bottom of the cage. Do not use shavings or chips in the tray. These have lots of dust that will cause sinus infections and other respiratory problems. I will add that continual use of antibiotics can affect the liver and change the color of the droppings, but you cannot effectively judge the droppings in wood chips. You need to use sheet paper in the cage to see the droppings and assess them correctly.

Well, you need to look at his droppings daily to get an idea of what is normal for him. A little wetness on a paper towel is expected, but I cannot judge the color without seeing them. The droppings you describe do not necessarily mean liver disease. Did you have any blood work done to see if the liver is functioning or to see if there is evidence of infections?

A healthy bird will recover from a normal vet visit within about an hour. If you bird has not recovered after 2 days, then either your bird is sick, was handled roughly at the hospital, or does not handle vet visits as well as your dusky.

Liver surgery is not an option, but also not necessary. You need to put a heating pad on the cage to get the temperature up to 95┬║F. Heating a whole room will not be effective.

Sep 10, 2010
Green Cheek Conure Runny Droppings Sneezing
by: Linda

I think he will be okay once the meds kick in which takes about 48 hours in humans and not sure of exact time with birds, so you'll need to ask Avian Vet about that.The shot he received is to ensure meds kick in sooner.

The runny stool is pointing to a bacterial infection, and the fact that vet gave him a shot to get meds started and oral ones to clean the infection out says more about infection and less about liver disease. Avian Vets are usually cautious about saying too much before they know a diagnosis, so please relax and stop worrying. I don't think he has liver disease at this young age eating a good diet. The vet may want to do a little blood work in the form of a kidney and liver panel just to make sure.

The only thing to watch for here is an allergic reaction to the oral antibiotics he's taking. I had an Amazon hen years ago who had been severely neglected, contracted pneumonia shortly after coming to my home, and had a reaction to the first oral antibiotic she was given. Reaction will be easy to spot as Nicki got down in the bottom of cage and walked fast but kind of wobbly to one side, walked right into side, fell down, got up and did the same thing to the other side. She did this until she was utterly exhausted. I called Avian Vet, and he said no more of that med. We ended up having to give her injections, and the Avian Vet showed us exactly how to do that. Nicki fought the syringe with new oral meds, bit off all the tips, so we used a bent up spoon. That did not work either, so we had to resort to the shots. If your bird does well taking meds from syringe, then you probably won't have this problem. Just keep an eye on him to make sure he is not allergic to a med.

From what you said, it sounds like a regular bacterial infection that he most likely got from the other bird and just did not show any symptoms until recently. Birds hide their illnesses, so sometimes it's difficult to know until their stool starts becoming runny and head are stopped up.These infections are highly contageous, so I'm hoping you are not going to have the merry-go-round effect working here with one bird well and one sick for a while.

The other thing is be very careful with the humidifier as if it is too close to him or on too long, it can and does cause pneumonia. Call your Avian Vet and ask if the humidifier is okay for him.Do not keep house overheated either. Put a heating pad under cage on low to medium and cover top and part of the sides of cage. When you have a sick bird, make sure you have a smaller cage to use as a "hospital" type cage just for this reason. Sick birds need extra heat, but too much will hurt them.

Keep us posted,

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