my baby macaw can't squak

by Rebecca
(Abilene, Texas)

Mo Jo was given to us out of a neglectful home. He has shown lots of progress over the last week as far as walking and talking to me. He really listens and tries to talk.

Sunday morning he woke up and not only can he not stand up but he can't squak. He makes all the motions and tries to but nothing but what i call a whisper comes out. We did take him to the only bird vet in the area and is on antibiotics for a respitory infection. The vet we talked to said he was not trying to squak, he was gasping for air but my husband and i do not agree because he is following the same pattern of squaking as before but only a whisper comes out. (and he does not do it when he is tired or sleeping)

I guess my question would be is have you got another opinion of why Mo Jo fell silent? Maybe the local vet will take another opinion if i offer one. It has been a lot quieter at the house but i know something is wrong.

Comments for my baby macaw can't squak

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Jan 27, 2010
Quiet macaw
by: The Avian Vet

In my experience I have seen this with Aspergillus fungal infections, commonly seen with African greys, cockatoos, pionus, and some other species; but any bird is susceptible. Often it is associated with corn cob bedding in the cage. This may also be related to a vitamin deficiency, most notably a vitamin A deficiency. Respiratory infections also cause these symptoms.

Dr B

Jan 26, 2010
my baby macaw can't squak
by: Linda

Your bird is very sick, and you must finish all the antibiotics, and it may require more before he gets completely well. He is not making sounds because he has a severe upper respiratory infection, and he needs to be kept warm as a sick bird cannot regulate their body temperature. Cover him up at night and during the night and day, put a heating pad under his cage on low or medium and partially cover cage--at least the top part to hold heat in. Also, if he is in too large a cage, move him into a smaller cage where it will be easier to keep him warm and covered. If you don't have one, you'll need to get one for him because sick birds have to have supplemental heating. This does not mean turning up heat in house to 80, it means doing what I said above and keeping him around 80-85 until he starts to show signs of getting better. Work with the Avian vet you are going to now because sometimes these upper respiratory infections take a long time to get over. Even when he's over it, he may still be hoarse for a while, so please give this baby time to get well without stressing him out. When you are expressing stress, your bird is picking it up and becoming stressed. The last thing a sick bird needs is more stress.

Once medicine is gone, wait about 48 hours and then take him back to vet on the 3rd day after meds are finished. It takes at least 48 hours for meds to get into the system and the same time to leave the system.

A word of caution here, your bird is extremely sick, and you MUST take this seriously or you can very easily lose him. There is no other reason for not making sounds except for being critically ill.


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