This gorgeous 23 year old eclectus parrot presented to AREPH as her owners had concerns when she was quiet, inappetent, weak and her crop felt big. The crop is the first part of a bird's digestive system and is used for storage of food while on the go, interestingly not all birds have a crop.
Several tests were done to determine the cause of her illness, it was found that she had an imbalance of bacteria and yeast in the crop as well as a build up of old food. There are many reasons for this build up, however due to several factors, further testing to pinpoint the definitive cause was not feasible.
Our vets treated her with supportive care including antibiotics and an antifungal treatment. We also changed her diet to pineapple and papaya puree as these fruits contain specific enzymes that have anti-inflammatory effects targeted at the gastrointestinal system. She was fed this puree several times a day in conjunction with her medications, crop massage and a nutritionally balanced diet. Within a couple of days her crop had started to empty by itself and she began to eat and pass food and liquid. She was discharged back into her owners care who will continue to monitor and care for her.
It is important to monitor your bird’s appetite and droppings, if you are concerned it is always better to be safe than sorry and call your local avian vet.
Written by Sarah Thorton - Final Year Veterinary Student, The University of Sydney.