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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2474
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My African grey is making a cracking sound like he has a sore

Customer Question

My African grey is making a cracking sound like he has a sore throat. What can I do to help him I'm worried
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

I'm Dr. Jo and I will do my best to help you with your questions about Eddie.

Dr. Jo :

I'm sorry he's got you worried, but glad you are looking for the information you need.

Dr. Jo :

You are welcome to join this conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say, then clicking REPLY.

Dr. Jo :

That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.

Dr. Jo :

I'd like to start by recommending the following first aid steps:

Dr. Jo :

-Place Eddie in a small carrier or cage with food and water easily accessed.

Dr. Jo :

-Put this cage or carrier in the bathroom and close the doors

Dr. Jo :

-Turn on the shower and steam it up.

Dr. Jo :

A hot, steamy, bathroom is the best first aid you can provide at home for sick bird, especially when you're worried about respiratory problems.

Dr. Jo :

More to follow...

Dr. Jo :

That being said, I'm doubtful as to whether or not Eddie is even sick.

Dr. Jo :

I have two major points to make while I wait for you to return online.

Dr. Jo :

1. Making an unusual sound is by itself no reason to suspect Eddie is sick. As I'm sure you know, African greys are exceptional mimics and can make all kinds of sounds. I've seen many "sick" birds in my clinic where the owner brought them in for sneezing. The owners reported huge, frequent, very congested sounding sneezing episodes. Turns out the bird was fine and was just copying the sound of human sneezes.

Dr. Jo :

2. "Sore throats" as an entity are not something we commonly see in birds. An upper respiratory tract infection does not affect a bird's voice, as a bird's speech is developed at the syrinx down by the lungs.

Dr. Jo :

Sorry - those should have just been ONE point.

Dr. Jo :

I have a final important point to make...

Dr. Jo :

Birds are really good at hiding all signs of illness until it's really serious.

Dr. Jo :

Because of that, I always recommend pursuing any kind of abnormality, including a change in vocalizations, with a thorough physical exam in the hands of an experienced and knowledgeable avian vet.

Dr. Jo :

So, if you're convinced this isn't just a new noise that Eddie has learned to make, please follow the first aid steps I outline above while making plans to have him seen by a vet as soon as possible.

Dr. Jo :

I would like to have the opportunity to discuss this with you in more detail, but I still you are still currently offline.

Dr. Jo :

like this.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss this with you until you are satisfied with the information I've provided.
You may return to this page at any time to review the information and/or post more at no additional charge to you. I will be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help.
If you are satisfied with the information I've provided so far, I'll kindly ask you to rate my response on your way out of the chat, as this is the only way I am compensated for my time and effort.
If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.
Thank you for using our website.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
I wanted to add one more thing.
Respiratory distress or labored breathing can be hard to identify in an African grey parrot. Things to watch for include the following:
-a wheeze or whistling sound with every breath
-stuffy nose/nasal congestion sounds coming from the nose (not a mimicked sound of someone sniffing or blowing their nose
-nasal discharge
-exaggerated movement of the chest/belly with every respiratory effort.
-tail bobbing with every breath. Tail bobbing is the most reliable indicator of subtle respiratory distress.

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