Sudden Sun Conure Death

by Jo
(Perth Australia)

Hi, Im just wondering if you can shed some light on the tragic loss of our bird. One minute he seemed to be fine, then shortly after he was bobbing his head and seemed in a daze. It was bedtime so I put him in his hammock and covered his cage. Shortly after he fell to ground and was clearly dying. There was a huge bloody poo on the floor of the cage,and when we picked him up, fluid came up out of his beak. He was gone, he was only 4 mths old.

Over the past few days, he had shredded the wood on his swing,which was leaving shavings of wood everywhere, do you think he could of digested some wood and had internal bleeding? Or could it have been a health condition? (he has had two or three epidodes of this strange head bobbing/daze before.) Your thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

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May 03, 2011
Sudden death of conure
by: The Avian Vet

I am so sorry for your loss. This sounds like a serious and complicated case. I do not believe that he ingested wood from chewing. I have never seen this happen. The liquid from the mouth was probably just flowing out of his crop. The blood pool is very concerning.

One disease that can cause this is called Conure Bleeding Syndrome. It can also be caused by severe infection. It can also be caused by Teflon poisoning and there are other toxins such as lead, and rat poison that can cause similar symptoms.

It is possible that this was an ingested toxin since he was head bobbing (likely regurgitating). It is vital that you have a necropsy (animal autopsy) performed to determine if this is a contagious disease, especially if you are planning to get another bird. The necropsy is very likely to help determine the cause of death. More historical information may help too.

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Dr B

May 02, 2011
Sudden Sun Conure Death
by: Linda

Though I'll try and soften this, it may still come out somewhat rough. You should have taken this bird to be examined by an Avian Vet long before his death. Especially if you had witnessed the seizure type behavior. (Maybe you did?)

This sound like a poisoning of some kind, and do not get another bird until you find out what it is. Use perches made of hardwood from safe wood branches and use the same kind of hardwood for swings and other toys. Some woods are poison, and there is a safe list on this site. Even safe wood can be toxic if it has ever been treated with pesticides or fertilizers as these become part of the flesh of the tree.

The other way birds get poisoned is with lead and zinc, so make sure all toy hangers are stainless steel or nickel plated and that you have checked with cage manufactuer to find out how much lead and zinc is found in metal or powder coating they use. All cages made in China as suspect for lead and zinc, and your bird died from some kind of toxin that was introduced slowly like from putting mouth on either a poison wood or metal. Cheap, bad food or tainted water can also cause poisoning as birds are much smaller than humans and can handle much less of any toxin.

As I said, do not get another bird until you have found what could have caused this poisoning.

A necropsy would have to be performed by an avian vet to determine exact cause of death, and necropsies have to be done shortly after death.


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