Unusual behavior from 7 YO female Solomon Ekkie

by Brendan Sinclair
(Santa Rosa, CA, USA)

Rescued her last May. Straight to the vet - dozen different infections, zinc toxic, malnourished/underweight. Chelation worked, Baytril worked, had to use human toenail fungus med to finally (in Dec) clear the candida.

She's a spoiled brat, and sleeps on my nightstand. Last night she woke me with clear product sneezing, followed by shrieking. It was a noise that had been previously reserved for her vet. I reached over and picked her up and talked to her, and she settled down.

She's in a brooder now, going through her first molt. Her weight crested 490g on Harrison's, so she's on Roudybush low fat (about 1/3) mixed with organic fruits, veggies, grains, & legumes (remaining 2/3).

She gets about 1/2 teaspoon of an organic seed mix after her afternoon meal, and one or two organic raw almonds in the shell per day - although she's not terribly successful in getting into them.

She enjoys at least one thorough soaking bath a week (she gets three or four, but only really enjoys one), is pooping fine, perches and navigates the cage and playstands well. The only abnormality aside from the sneezing and shrieking was a delayed interest in her breakfast.

She is usually quite fierce about her dishes and shamelessly dives in, but she just perched next to her dish for about 30 minutes this morning before ambivalently nibbling.

She's never laid an egg. Last labs in Dec showed her healthy.

Comments for Unusual behavior from 7 YO female Solomon Ekkie

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May 31, 2009
Eclectus sneezing
by: Donna

I have a female SI Ekkie, 2 years old and she has been sneezing well over a year. It gets worse all the time. Probably dust because she is housed with 20 other dusty birds in Arizona. She sneezes well over 100 times when she wakes up and it goes on all day. Have moved her cage to other rooms to no avial. Not sure what to try. There is no nasal discharge.

Apr 15, 2009
Eclectus sneezing etc.
by: The Vet

First, allow me to say that if your bird is not sleeping inside of a cage, then you need to start. She will feel much more secure in a cage. This will also prevent accidents. If she decided during the night to get into your bed, there is a real possibility that you could roll over on her. I have clients that this has happened to.

I see night sneezing in many eclectus. I can contribute it to a number of different possibilities. I would first guess that the humidity in your home is too low. These birds live in an environment in the wild that is 70%+ humidity. In most homes we are lucky to get to 20-30%. This dry air is a strong irritant and will predispose your bird to infection and more violent reactions to the mildest allergens such as dust. Recently this was happening to one of my eclectus patients, and after much investigation, I found that the owner was using an air cleaner that produces ozone. These are very bad and should never be used. However, I do recommend using an air cleaner of some kind, but no ozone.

Check around you home for possible allergens that could be causing sneezing ? anything dusty, another bird perhaps, even what ever you put in the bottom of her cage. Use only flat paper, no corn cob or shavings. It is also possible that air fresheners, laundry detergents, perfume, etc. could be contributing.

Be careful that she has excellent ventilation in the brooder given that she is having some respiratory problems. Poor ventilation will only make things worse. Why is she in a brooder? Is she feathered? Is she showing significant signs of illness ? fluffed, not eating, sleeping more, etc.?

I don?t necessarily agree that she should be on a low fat diet simply because her weight is 490. I see lots of eclectus that are that weight and not overweight. Her body condition should be based more on physical exam, for example, if she has fat pads on her abdomen or under her wings or around her neck, then she may be overweight, but if not, this could be a normal weight for her. I recommend that you reassess her condition and put her back on Harrison's.

It is possible that she doesn't "dive in" when eating because she does not like what is in her bowl. The diet you describe is very boring and bland, and does not have enough calories for her to be able to effectively fight what ever her problem is.

The sneezing and shrieking is a concern, and you need to have some more diagnostics done to determine the cause so appropriate treatments can be administered. If this was a one time occurrence, it may be nothing, if it is happening frequently, then you need to investigate until a cause is determined. There are many diagnostics that are useful in these cases. For example, nasal flush, cultures, x-rays, blood work, etc.

Dr. B

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