Motion Sickness

by Jennifer Gutierrez
(New York City)

I have a 7 month old umbrella cockatoo who gets car sick and always throws up. Each car ride, he is now throwing up sooner. Is there any medication I can give him to help out with this or any suggestions on what to do? I keep him in a travel crate when we are in the car.

Comments for Motion Sickness

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Oct 12, 2016
Motion sickness in Eclectus
by: Alvin Rendell

Sorry to contradict, but in my experience many parrots get motion sickness without any bother health complications. It is common with conures and Eclectus, some individuals much more than others. It is not strange to me as when birds fly they are in personal control of the motion and are not picking up static charged road vibrations.
I have tried ginger before the trip with no success with some of the worst cases. Can't say it doesn't help, just hasn't in my cases.

May 06, 2010
Bird with motion sickness
by: The Avian Vet

This is a common problem, with no solution. There are no medications that I recommend using. You can try covering the cage when you travel. If that does not work, try sitting the cage high in the car so you bird can see out. Also, do not feed your bird for 1 hour before traveling.

I have always found it strange that a birds with their ability to fly develop motion sickness.

Dr B

May 03, 2010
by: Anonymous

Ginger is highly recommended & used widely in Eclectus parrots because they're terrible for car sickness. Ginger works really well!!

You can make a ginger tea, allow to cool down & give it your bird, instead of water for the next 2 days before traveling.

Or you can offer fresh ginger as it is before a trip. Most birds love the taste of ginger & it is completely safe to use for car sickness & is very good for them.

Apr 28, 2010
Motion Sickness
by: Linda

No there is nothing we can recommend for this.In fact, legally, we are unable to recommend any over the counter drugs for birds. We are not Avian Vets, and they are THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN DIAGNOSE AND WRITE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR BIRDS. Actually, my strong suggestion is that you take your bird to an Avian Vet in your area to see if there is something wrong with it because it sure sounds like it. Birds normally DO NOT GET MOTION SICKNESS BECAUSE THEY ARE BIRDS AND JUST DON'T HAVE PROBLEMS IN THIS AREA. What you are describing could be an inner ear problem that needs attention or some other infection.

DO NOT GIVE ANY OVER THE COUNTER MEDS AND THIS INCLUDES THOSE FOUND IN PET STORES. Most of the employees in these stores are barely trained to know one bird from another, and are not Avian Vets so cannot legally give you advice on ANY KIND OF MEDICINES. Be very wary of ANY lay people, even breeders, who give you advice about home remedies because most of them don't work, and they put your bird in danger because the main cause of illness is NOT being treated. Always go to an Avian Vet with your parrot when it appears it is sick as they are the only vets licensed and trained to treat birds. Dog and cat vets will give the wrong meds because they do not know how to diagnose illness and problems in birds.

So, make an appointment and take your bird into see an Avian Vet in your area. All new birds need to see an Avian Vet first thing because the stress of moving causes immune system to be less able to ward off infection which may be what's wrong with your bird. Tell vet that this "looks" like motion sickness, and he'll do an exam on bird's ears and see what's going on and prescribe any medicines necessary to get bird well.Good Luck and God's Speed!

Thanks for writing,

Editor's note: Dr B, who is an avian vet, will eventually answer this question.

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