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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am very worried about Ashlynn.

She is an African Grey, hatched in mid July. She has been home about 4 weeks.

Yesterday evening I noticed that when she ate her Zupreem pellets she seemed to have a great difficulty swallowing. She would move her head from side to side and you could see her swallow and see the path the food seemed to take. I had never noticed this before.

It was too late to call the vet. I already have a well bird appointment for her on Tuesday. I think the vet's office will open for buisness as usual on Monday, but it could be closed of Monday because that may be considered a holiday.

Today I notice a lump in her throat. Sometimes it is very hard and pronounced, and sometimes it is not there, or at least I can't see or feel it. When it is pronounced, the feathers are pushed out there, too. It is above where I believe her crop is, but I am not great with avian structure.

Her poohs are absolutely normal in size, volume, color, consistency, and rate. Other than the extra effort to swallow, which I still notice intermittently today, she is behaving perfectly normally. Her vocalizations are also normal. However, I have noticed her sneezing a few times, which is new, too. It is a very cute sneeze. Her nares seem clear. She seems to be shaking her head more than normal, but that could be my imagination.

My vet is a devout Catholic, so I am certain Christmas is very important to her. I would not know how to get a hold of her in an emercency, anyway, though I suspect her number would give me an answering maching with this information if it were really an emercency.

My bird store will be open tomorrow. I can call them at noon.

Should I be doing anything else? I have decided not to give her the usual Sunday bath tomorrow. I don't want to bathe her again until she is seen by the vet.
 

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Ohh, I hope everything turns out okay! I'm sorry, I'm not exactly sure what else to do. You'll have to update us on what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jenny suggested she could be dehydrated, so I have given her some pomegranite and some soaked buckwheat. I believe she is very likely dehydrated because I have been trying to switch her mostly to TOPS pellets. I had forgotten, but more than once the people at the bird store have mentioned that the birds drink a lot more water when they are eating TOPS than when they are eating other pellets. However, she has been drinking even less water. I don't know why she is drinking less, but I'm going to try to entice her to drink and/or eat foods with a higher liquid content.

Thanks for your concern.
 

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That's a good idea. I would try that, wait a while, see if it gets better. I'm looking forward to see if she gets better. Make sure you update!
 

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Vets seem to know a ton, I'm always impressed about what I hear from them when I go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She already has that appointment scheduled for Tuesday, so unless the vet tells me otherwise tomorrow, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and keep and eye on her, too, and then just take her in on Tuesday. I doubt it is an emergency since she is acting normal, but then they will act normal until they are in a critical state. The poohs are normal, too, though, so that is the big thing for me.

This morning she seemed to be swallowing more easily. She also ate some more pomegranite with gusto.
 

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I've never had this sort of problem with a bird, so all I can really say is I hope everything turns out good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I spoke with the vet's technician on the phone, and decided that it is ok to wait until tomorrow and keep the appointment that had already be scheduled for Ashlynn. Her symptoms, while still present to some degree, are not as pronounced as they were on Friday evening. Her poohs have never looked different, although the pomegranite is going to darken them considerably, lol. Other than color, which can change greatly when the diet changes, there has been no change in them. Their consistency is the same as normal for her. She is behaving normally, vocalizing normally, and breathing normally.

I will be glad to have her seen by the vet tomorrow, though. She always does a swab of the mouth (I'm not sure exactly what she does swab) and a fecal exam for every well bird test. I will be happy to have those results.

Do any of you think that I should ask for any other test regarding the crop or throat or mouth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I took Ashlynn to the vet today. Long story short - she is fine. :biggrin5:

I will post more later to explain.
 

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That's great news nanay! Glad to know all is well :biggrin5:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The vet did gram stains of her fecals and of her crop. Everything looked good. She palpated her throat. It felt normal. She was not dehydrated. The vet did the normal well-bird exam.

Ashlynn has gained quite a bit of weight, too. Four weeks ago her breast bone was somewhat pronounced. Now it is not.

The vet feels that she is simply stuffing herself too full. She explained that they can bring food back and forth from the gut to the crop - similar to, but not exactly like a ruminant does. When Meridith wrote that what I was describing was similar to what birds of prey do when they eat a huge meal because they may not eat again for a few days, Ashlynn was doing that, but that is not the way parrots are really designed to eat.

Ashlynn and her clutchmate both started eating really, really young, and I remember the folks at the store telling me that the two of them would stuff themselves so full that they could barely get enough very thin handfeeding formula in them to keep them hydrated. This was when they were still not fully feathered. She must not know how to regulate herself well. She doesn't seem to know that she is full. Basically, she is a glutton. :rofl:

The vet said that I will have to regulate her pellets. She has been eating too much. Perhaps this is because she got off to that bad start of not eating for several days when she first came home. Then I gave her the pellets she wanted, the kind that I don't think are good for her - the ones full of sugars and dyes, for two full weeks. I let her have as many as she wanted because she had gotten so thin. I was also offering the kinds I want her to eat in a separate bowl. She had started to eat those from the other bowl, so I was attempting to switch her to the organic pellets I feed everyone else. I was giving her only the pellets I want her to eat in the mornings and then giving her a small portion of the stuff she likes but I don't prefer to give her in the evenings. She must have decided to eat all of the organic pellets and then, when she got the ones she wanted but hadn't had all day, thought she had to snarf them down right away or maybe they would disappear or something. :rolleyes:

So her pellet intake will be strictly limited from now on. And also, I will feed her in small portions. For the rest of this week while I'm on vacation I think I'll feed them in three separate portions, but eventually I'm going to have to go to only two portions of pellets a day. Everyone else I just always have pellets in front of because they are good about it.

I had noticed that there was a time there when everyone seemed to be eating very little, and then, for the past couple of weeks, everyone's appetite seemed to increase and all of them were eating much more than normal. I was scared I was starving them or something. The vet said, "no". They are getting enough and more than enough.

So I will be buying a scale as soon as I can get it ordered. Additionally, I'm going to be more careful of the portion sizes. The vet also said that eating is a flock behavior, and a social thing, and so perhaps they all have begun to eat too much together as their own kind of social club activity. :rolleyes:

I feel really stupid. The vet said I was just being a responsible owner to notice the behavior and watch her poohs and all.

The thing that bothered me the most was her pooh sticking to her vent. The vet could see that her feathers around that area were soiled, but she really examined her good and did fecals and said she is ok.

My vet has birds herself, three large cockatoos and a cockatiel, so she takes her avian practice very seriously.

I still believe she had been somewhat dehydrated earlier, but the extra pomegranite had helped with that.

I want to thank everyone on this forum for your responses and your suggestions. I hope I don't repeat my mistakes
 

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Ah, I am so very glad Ashlynn is okay! Thank goodness! Please disregard my question about her in that other post. But really, I'm very happy for you and thankful you got it all sorted out. Way to go for being such a responsible owner!
 

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Glad to know everything is okay :lovehearts:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ashlynn is seeming fine today. She is not happy about her new, more restrictive diet. She keeps quacking at me like she is hungry. Oh well.
 

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Quacking? Hehe. Sorry she's so unhappy with it, though. This morning Sun Conure was making a fuss and squawking and I realized it was because I hadn't refilled her food dish this morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, she quacks. She seems to be kind of getting used to it, though.
 

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From what I see, you are just giving her less pellets? Will you increase it ever again?
 
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