Mystery Diagnosis

My rescued 13yoa Blue/Gold Macaw has symptoms my (avian) vet is unable to diagnose. He's had blood work, craw culture, and x-rays - everything seems normal, but I'm worried: for a few months he has had too much urine - sometimes mostly urine (stool and urates otherwise normal consistency).

He might also be pooping more often than he used to - I'm not sure. He dropped from 1200 grams to 1100 grams - I know it's a more normal weight,but a loss for him, although he seems to have stopped losing weight.

He has always done "affection regurgitation", but now he seems to be regurgitating using his own leg more than is normal and maybe to get some relief? Otherwise, he eats, drinks, plays and excercises normally.

He gets mostly pellets, some bird treats, some people food. He may still be mourning the loss of his dog companion (in July)(they were together almost 11 years).

In August, I got another rescue Severe Macaw to keep him company (separate cages,etc.) - I'm not sure whether that's been more stressful than I expected. Am I worrying unnecessarily? Or could there be a problem my vet isn't aware of? Your thoughts greatly appreciated.

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Jan 07, 2009
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your response. I use LaFabvre large pellets -sometimes give Zupreem in their treat bowls, but they aren't crazy about it. I just found out (online) that he's not supposed to have dairy products - he loves cheese and yogurt - and although it's not an everyday treat, I'm cutting it out completely. Stopped milk in oatmeal, which he was getting several times a week.

I purchased water bottles for both birds yesterday. However, so far, neither of them have been willing to use them in spite of my 'instructions'. I removed their water bowls for awhile, but was afraid to go too long for fear of dehydration. I'll keep trying.

Jan 06, 2009
Mystery diagnosis for B&G
by: The Vet

The droppings you describe are not normal. This could be due to disease, stress, or even diet. Without a lot more information I will not be able to tell you what is wrong with your bird. I would recommend either more work by your (avian) veterinarian or get a second opinion from a specialist.

What are you feeding? Some pellets such as ZuPreem will cause the watery droppings. You should be feeding a quality pellet like Harrison's.There are so many other things that can be contributing to this set of symptoms.

Does your bird drink from a Lixit water bottle or a bowl? Birds need to be on a bottle. Bacteria growing in the water dish (only takes 2-3 hours) can also cause these symptoms.

Dr. B

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