Did You Know That Cockatiels and All Other Birds Vomit?

As unpleasant as vomiting may be, it is a fact of life. My pet cockatiel got sick to his stomach last week.

On Saturday August 23rd, 2008, my 4 and a half year old pet cockatiel, Beenie, was ordinarily regurgitating a treat to his friend, Baby who always rejects poor Beenie’s offerings of food or preening (grooming of feathers). Regurgitation of food to another bird or human is a sign of affection. But Beenie’s regurgitation was getting out of the normal realm. He began spitting out pieces of Nutriberries in different directions.. There was a strong force behind this action that got out of control. My poor little cockatiel was not only spitting out seeds. He was throwing up clear liquid as well. It went all over his poor little face and matted his beautiful feathers.

My poor little bird could not stop gagging and throwing up clear liquid. But his little body was trying to rid itself of something. I felt terrified that he might have a piece of some kind of material lodged in his throat. I had to remember to remain calm, so I would not upset my poor Beenie. (Birds are very sensitive and emotional which enables them to read your mood). I had to think about what I could do to help my little friend.

I tried to keep my fear to myself and looked up this problem on the Google Search Engine. I typed in the words, “cockatiel vomiting choking,” and came up with a few helpful hints. But I could not find enough information on the subject. So I remained calm and thought about what I could do to help my cockatiel stop vomiting.

I decided to take him and Baby into the bathroom and give them a spray mist bath. Maybe this could help Beenie. He got his feathers all nice and clean and seemed a little better, but then he started to vomit clear liquid again. After I brought them back into the bedroom, Beenie began to shiver, his eyes were half shut and he went onto the bottom of his cage. I could tell he was getting weaker. I turned up the heat in the bedroom to dry out his feathers faster. “My poor little baby bird looks so terrible”, I thought. “I need to help him”.

A few hours went by and Beenie was not improving. I needed to take swift action, so he wouldn’t parish. I made a mixture of Chamomile tea, Pro Bac (good bacteria for your birds stomach), 3 drops of homeopathic anxiety relief, a quarter of a capsule of Bird-Biotic and a few shavings off of my Calmicid antacid supplement with calming herbs for the stomach. None of the ingredients looked harmful to birds in the Calmacid which is Calcium Carbonate, Chamomile flower, Fennel seed and Ginger root. I put all of the ingredients into a quarter of a cup of water and mixed this until well blended. I got out my tiny syringe that I used for my pet birds in the past, rinsed it out and filled it with some of the mixture. I picked up Beenie and wrapped him in a clean, dry towel which he despised. I held his tiny head still and gave him a drop at a time into his beak. He managed to swallow about 2 good beak fulls of the mixture.

A few hours went by and Beenie hardly did any gagging. He slept at the bottom of the cage for a while, and then he moved to the top on his perch. He still didn’t look good, but at least he was resting.

About six hours had gone by and Beenie suddenly perked up. He ran to the top of the cage to see Baby. He was starting to feel much better! I was so happy, and he looked happy, too. I took him and Baby into the bathroom and gave them another spay mist bath. Beenie just loved this and so did Baby. Spray mist baths are allot of fun for the birds. Make sure to always put nice warm water in the spray mist bottle. Spray it onto your arm or hand to see if it feels like the correct temperature to spray onto your birds. (Never punish your birds with a spray mist bottle. Only use positive reinforcement for your pet parrots). I took the birds back into the bedroom and turned up the heat for awhile. They shook the water off of themselves and preened their feathers dry.

The next day Beenie was all better, but I was still worried. I called an Avian specialist in my area and made an appointment to see him with Beenie. We went there yesterday afternoon, and the avian veterinarian said Beenie looked really good and that the tests should come fine. He also said that it’s normal for birds to get upset to their stomachs and vomit now and then. But if there is too much vomiting, that can be a sign of serious illness. And you must bring your pet bird to the Avian veterinarian as soon as possible.

Beenie is doing great today. But we are both very tired and worn out after going to the Veterinary Hospital which is another story. Thankfully the test results turned out normal.

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