Green wing macaw- breathing

by Alaynna

Hi there, I am an 18 year old girl and I work at a pet store and a few days ago I found one of our 9 month old sun conures at the bottom of his cage on his back feet clenched, barely breathing, with his wings spread out and eyes closed, as I rushed him to the vet he passed away. Unfortunately with the franchise I work with we need approval to get a toxicology report done on the conure from our employer so I have no idea how he died. Now, we have a green winged macaw that is only 6 and a half months old who earlier started breathing fairly heavily just how the sun conure did a day before, he was fine one minute and then all of a sudden it sounds like he's gasping for air. He is at the vet now, but since I was unable to take him to the vet I do not know what they would have told my manager. I am unsure as to why firstly our conure died, and why our macaw started breathing heavily. Since I am so close with the macaw (we like to call him Spartan) my managers asked me to try to calm him and relax him while they called our avian vet, usually "Spartan" would talk and try to play peek-a-boo with me, however he was not his talkative self. Is it possible that there is a "bird flu"or a parasite responsible for these incidents? Thank you for your time.

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Apr 16, 2010
Macaw breathing
by: The Avian Vet

I do not think that it is bird flu, nor parasites. I see this commonly when stores are cleaned with cleansers, especially bleach. What do you use in the enclosures? If it is corn cob, that is a good source for infections, especially aspergillus mold and bacteria. You need the autopsy reports to make sure that you determine the cause and prevent it in other birds.

Dr B

Apr 13, 2010
Green wing macaw- breathing
by: Linda

Infections of all kinds whether bacterial or viral will kill everything in site if not brought under control and quickly. All of your birds will die from this, and tests have to be run to find out what it is, and if the Macaw dies, a necropsy HAS TO BE DONE IMMEDIATELY. This sounds like it could be a viral problem, and trust me when I say, you will lose all your birds if this is not handled carefully. DO NOT SELL ANY BIRDS UNTIL THIS IS BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL. DO NOT BRING ANY NEW BIRDS INTO THE STORE AS THEY WILL ALSO GET SICK AND POSSIBLY DIE. You may let your Manager read this and have them understand the seriousness of the problems you are having. Necropsies have to be done in case this is contageous to humans, and some of the viral and bacterial infections are passed from bird to human, so this is a potential problem that will get the store shut down and legal problems can follow that close behind.

All the birds must be taken immediately to an Avian vet for diagnosis and treatment. Any dead birds have to the necropsied in the name of everyone's health including people working around the birds. I worked in a store in Portland, OR where an outbreak of pscittacosis(sp) broke out, and an entire room of birds died. I also became infected, was misdiagnosed and almost died from it. It looks like a cold or the flu, and will ONLY RESPOND TO THE TETRACYCLINE FAMILY OF DRUGS. All other drugs do nothing while the bird or human gets sicker and sicker.There are a couple of other really bad boys where the county will put you completely out of business. No birds can be moved until you know what this is.



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