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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9384
Experience:  Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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My conure is fluffed up most of the time, she's heavily

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Hi, my conure is fluffed up most of the time, she's heavily molting. Eating, pooping, drinking and preening well. She's been like this for the past two weeks since she started molting. I've taken her to the vets and they said it could be due to molting. Also she's a bit weak in one of her toes, they said it's because she was free flying most of the time and gave calcium supplementation. Is she possibly I'll or is it just part of molting
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the fly's name?
Customer: Boon
Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Boon?
Customer: She's a rescue i got a month back. I've another green cheek conure as well. Boon is active some times but tries to sleep most of the time. Perches in one leg as well. No other issues
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi could you please let me know the estimated time for getting my answer
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I would like to wait for another 5-6 hours

I am August Abbott, Certified Avian Specialist. A moderator pointing your question out to me and without any rhyme or reason whatsoever I have no idea why this is the first I'm seeing it.

I apologize for whatever hiccup there is or was at the site (I'm an independent contractor so just as much a victim of delays are you are)

I own a 'broken bird sanctuary' so first, thank you for being so kind and big hearted that you rescued this bird rather than insisted on a 'new' one.

Tell me a little more: First, is this vet an avian specific vet? Doesn't need to be a 'board cert avian vet', but a vet who sees all or mostly birds would be good.

Did the vet do any lab work whatsoever? If so, what and what were the results?

One of my specialties with psittacines is nutrition - I'm a bit concerned about calcium supplements without a diagnosis of hypocalcemia (low blood calcium) since too much Ca can lead to hypERcalcemia (too much blood Ca) which can be equally dangerous.

In any event, you and I will figure this out and do what's right. Tell me more about Boon's general diet (seed or pelleted base feeding), where she's located in the house (near a window, near the kitchen, in living room, etc) and her daily routine. Does she share a cage?

Any other animals in the home?

What do you know of her history? And where are you located?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She is mostly on a seed diet, also eats berries like strawberry, black berries and blueberries and some fruits like apple and grapes as well. Her seed mix consists of some dried fruits as well. We have another conure from the past 1 year. Two birds are located in a box room, yes it has a window and our place is very windy nowadays. Boon seems to be active in the morning. And towards noon she sits in the lamp shade and other places and sleeping in one leg . She eats nicely ( I'm feeding them myself 3-4 times as I'm home now and they eat by themselves as well) her poop is okay and she does preening as well. Molting heavily now. Towards evening she becomes active again especially wants to be with my husband when he comes home. This morning she sneezed 2-3 times and I saw there was a bit wet inside one of her nares. I kept an eye on but it dried up quickly and there's no active discharge after that. She asks me to scratch her many times a day and makes happy sounds as well. That vet sees birds as well and she saw her poop but no exams are done yet.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She was previously loved very well and was handed over to the rescue when they couldn't care any more
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Our other parrot is a bit bossy and sometimes chases boon off from wherever she's sitting

Thank you for the add'l info. It helps a lot! When you saw the discharge was it pretty much clear or was it cloudy? Any color to it ?

It sounds like you got very lucky in getting a little one without abuse issues - and you're doing a remarkable job with the foods.

Are her droppings at all 'watery' ? Are the feces well formed (the string or rope-like center part)? Any odor to the droppings at all? How about color (is it generally consistent?)

Is there a favorite food of hers among the good stuff you offer?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It was a clear droplet of water it dint come out as well and quickly dried up and no discharge after that until now. Droppings are consistent and well formed, no smell, some times the green part looks a little light green but the parrot group from where I got said it's due to that special seed mix. She used to eat only a white seed in the mix but now she started eating walnuts and other seeds from the mixture as well

OK, chances are she has an upper respiratory infection and/or an allergic reaction. Believe it or not, birds can be allergic to their own feather down and dander, especially during a molt. It's far more prevalent in macaws, but any bird can have this happen.

Let's try this for the next few days while also putting a plan in place to have her seen (I'll go over what the vet should be checking for)

First though, let's keep it simple. As long as this lucky ducky bird is still eating and her droppings are normal and regular, let's clean her cage every day in order to reduce any chance of allergens. This is important because a 'slight' respiratory infection can turn serious in a bird in no time.

If you have a vaporizer put that in her vicinity (no meds in it of course)

The fluffing is her trying to build up heat. Whenever a bird is 'sick' or 'off', they tend to lose body heat. Even in the hot summer this can be a problem that leads to a bigger problem so try to increase her heat. You can layer a doubled over sheet on one side of her cage (use clothespins or other clamps) and then lay a heating pad over that - using the same or similar clamps, but careful to avoid pinching any wires. Ideally put this at the side of the cage where she tends to rest most often. Set the pad on Medium so the heat goes through. You can further cover the whole cage (leaving the front part uncovered) in order to hold this heat in.

You should notice a difference in 24-48 hours. As in no more fluffing up, no more discharge and more activity on her part.

Once we get her squared away, let's talk about those seeds.

Right now though - we're going to do this one little step at a time ok?

Also, if you can put her nearer a window so she gets some sunlight, great! Just be sure that a part of the cage is covered so no matter where the sun is during the day she can escape it to a shady part of the cage. This is pretty important. I had a client who wasn't home to see where the sun came in at all hours of the day; her bird suffered serious exposure complications from being in direct sun/heat and almost didn't make it. I don't want you going through this same thing

Sound like a plan? Of course I'll be with you so check in and let me know what's happening, yes?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you very much for your valuable advice. i ll keep all this in mind. Boon is doing better, no discharge from the nose since yesterday morning (just noticed one time yesterday morning and nothing after that). Eating, pooping, preening normally. I now wonder if thats her behaviour- she wants to sleep from mid-morning to late afternoon (but will interact with me if i take her during this time) and is active during the evening when my husband comes home. Today she had a bath, just went up to her bathing bowl. I will keep watching for her 2 more days and will let you know.

Typically a psittacine like this will wake up at first light - laze around a while and then start waking the day up with singing, chattering, even yelling.

Breakfast around 9-10 and then yes, they 'rest'. Activity picks up around noon and continues until between 1-3 pm when all of nature 'rests' again. It's amazing - go outside during this period and listen. You won't hear any noise. Or very little (there may be a few birds fighting their nap time)

Then activity picks up again around 3 and continues to dusk.

You may want to regulate Boon's hours to keep more with her natural circadian rhythm like this.

Put her in a 'sleep cage' in a different room (away from light and noise). If you start your day at 8 a.m., she should go to bed between 6-8 pm

Finally, if you keep seeing tail flicking or wing snapping - it means something is still 'wrong' and though you may not see other symptoms - it's best to have her checked before you do. By the time you see other signs it could be very complicated (costly)

You are doing so good though - I'm quite happy to continue working with you. Just keep in touch ok?

OH and please give a rating so I can take this off the 'open' board. We can still continue like this though

S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9384
Experience: Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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