Wet/moist tongue and/or mouth & Fecal Question

by Anon

Should a parrot have a moist tongue/mouth/throat besides after drinkig or consuming moist foods? My Sun Conure likes to pick/preen my face and I can often feel moisture coming off her tongue. I look i her mouth andthe throat looks moist/wet.

The tongue is not usually visibly wet or moist but after some picking at my face it becomes so. Also sometimes when she vocalizes she will start bobbing her head like she is about to regurgitate but nothiing comes out of her mouth. She does this sometimes for no apparent reason as well when she is alone in her cage.

I realize they may do this to toys or people (she does it often to me) but I was concerned about her doing it alone or when chirping. Any thoughts? Could she have a crop infection? She also picks out the feathers on her crop and has done this off and on for years. How is a crop infection diagnosed? Should I have cultures of the throat or crop done and if so how does a vet perform this?

I was always wondering if a vet does a Gram stain/wet mount on a bird's feces and nothing unusual is seen should a culture still be done and can a culture be done for more than one organism or is it for one specific thing and multipe cultures have to be done to check for bacteria, yeast or fungus seperately. Thanks!

Comments for Wet/moist tongue and/or mouth & Fecal Question

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Jan 06, 2010
by: Calculating cholesterol

Thank you for posting this information, it will help a lot of people.Can you tell me of other source of this information?

Jan 04, 2010
Bird with moist tongue and fecal question
by: The Vet

It is abnormal for a parrot tongue to be wet. However, they do produce saliva but it is far back in the mouth and not on the tongue. If the tongue is wet, then it is because they put it someplace wet or maybe the bird has regurgitated and there is residual moisture present on the tongue.

You should take her in to your avian veterinarian to investigate why she would be bobbing and regurgitating for "no apparent reason".

Yes a crop infection is possible, even likely in this case. To diagnose a crop infection you will need to culture it when it is empty. A swab can be inserted, or the crop can be flushed and the flush would be cultured.

If the Gram's stain is negative, then there is no need to do a culture. However, if bacteria are found on the Gram?s stain them a culture will be necessary to identify the bacteria specifically so a the correct antibiotics can be administered. Separate cultures need to be done for aerobic bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, and fungi (or yeast).

Dr B

Jan 02, 2010
Wet/moist tongue and/or mouth & Fecal Question
by: Linda

Gram stains are far more accurate when done on the throat. The ones of fecal material are not accurate as there is usually already some bacteria in fecal material. So, vet will have assistant hold bird, and someone else will hold mouth open while a swab is put into the throat, and then this will be looked at on a slide under a microscope. This is the very best way to tell about bacterial infections.

As for the wet mouth and tongue, is sounds like your bird may have a fungal infection or a bacterial infection which is causing mouth to be wet all the time. Regurgitation is usually a sign of love, and it is what breeding birds do with each other to show they are ready to mate. Whether anything comes out or not is irrelevant.

So, I do think your bird should be seen by an Avian Vet, and have bird checked out for viral and bacterial infections. Have the Gram Stain done on a throat sample as well as the fecal one to make sure the diagnosis is accurate for whatever bacteria is present in the throat. The vet may just do one on the throat and not the fecal.

As for picking feathers out, this is also a sign of possible illness or poor diet. Parrots should be eating a high quality, organic pelleted diet, with only 10% organic fruit/veggies. They should also NOT be eating ANY people food like from the table as most of the food we eat is high in salt, sugar and fat. Salt and sugar are toxins for birds, and fats accumulate and will cause heart attacks, strokes--same things it causes in humans.

Tracie carries several kinds of the organic pellets out here, and if your bird eats only seeds, he is open to more infections/illnesses than a bird on a healthy diet to build the immune system.Feathering and skin condition will also be poor for a bird eating only seeds.

Thanks for writing,

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