A concerned reader has contacted me recently advising of his parrot vomiting a green substance.
He wasn’t sure if the parrot was ill or regurgitating.
After giving the advice of contacting a professional vet for diagnosis, I realized that this can be a typical parrot behavior and can be distressing for an owner if they don’t know what to look out for.
I thought it would be informative to answer the question, why is my parrot’s vomit green?
Green vomit in parrots can be a sign of phlegm being excreted from the body or regurgitating previously-eaten foods. If your parrot is being sick, always contact a professional vet for a formal diagnosis to ensure your parrot’s health. Do not ignore the symptom of vomiting.
A vomiting parrot can be confusing to us parrot owners as it could be the natural behavior of regurgitating.
Do not ignore the symptom of vomiting, as your parrot could be very unwell.
Always seek veterinary advice.
It is better to be safe than sorry, and your vet can advise if it is indeed vomiting or regurgitated food.
This article will look into the difference between vomiting and regurgitating in parrots, what may cause vomiting, if vomiting is behavioral and much more.
What causes my parrot to vomit?
The best thing to do is get your parrot a fast trip to the vet.
A professional vet can diagnose the issue, but in the meanwhile, here are some potential reasons why a bird may be vomiting.
Bacterial infection which can be caused by spoiled food or unfresh water
Parasites such as worms or hexamita
Poisoning and toxins such as plants, toys with lead or zinc
Intestinal or esophageal obstruction which means a blockage
Yeast infection commonly called Candida
Liver or kidney disease
Cancer in the GI system
What are the treatments for a vomiting parrot?
Treatment can only be offered by a professional vet.
Treatment will vary depending on what the diagnosis is.
However, the vet will likely try to make the parrot more comfortable by providing stomach medications that will lessen pain and soothe any raw stomach feelings.
If the vomiting was significant, the parrot might benefit from fluids.
If an infection is present, the parrot will likely receive antibiotics.
Depending on the parrot’s condition, the vet may choose to admit your bird for the night to watch for other symptoms.
Follow the vet’s recommendations.
Typically, food will be withheld for some time.
Medication may need to be given to make your parrot more comfortable.
Make sure to abide by the instructions for any medication.
If your parrot starts to vomit again, call the vet immediately.
Keep your parrot quiet and away from any noise and other birds.
Reduce all stressors to aid a smooth recovery.
Is my parrot vomiting or regurgitating?
Parrots commonly do something that looks like they are vomiting.
However, they are trying to regurgitate the contents of their mouth, esophagus, and gut.
It is like a cat coughing up a furball.
A regurgitating parrot will nod its head and stick out its neck until it brings up the unwanted contents.
If you have had a parrot for a while, you will likely have seen this behavior before.
Commonly, parrots will cough up or regurgitate whole pieces of food, including intact seeds.
A parrot often chooses to regurgitate for natural reasons.
This can be to do with courtship or parenting.
Sometimes, it may just be trying to become comfortable after a large meal.
Overall, it is a typical process for parrots, and unlike mammals, it is not painful.
Birds do not have diaphragms and likely do not experience the miserable contractions we humans face when sick and vomiting.
Parrot owners need to understand the difference between vomiting and regurgitation.
Regurgitation is the process as described above.
When regurgitation is over, the bird will likely drop the food and go about its ordinary business.
However, vomiting is not natural or comfortable for a parrot and could be a sign of some health condition.
The difference between the two lies in the appearance of the food and the behavior of the parrot
Regurgitated food will come up intact.
Vomited food is digested or almost-digested and will be ejected in some sort of liquid form.
The parrot will vigorously shake its head from side to side before it spits out the liquid.
The power of the vomiting may send the vomit to all parts of the cage.
Why does my parrot vomit or regurgitate?
Vomiting should not be a regular occurrence.
If your parrot is vomiting regularly, seek veterinary advice urgently.
Vomiting is a sign of a health issue and needs to be addressed quickly.
A parrot will regularly choose to regurgitate for natural reasons, some having to do with dating and parenting.
Sometimes the parrot may just be uncomfortable after a large meal.
Overall, it is a standard process for parrots.
Are parrots vomiting a behavioral issue?
Vomiting is not a behavioral issue; it is a health issue that will require a diagnosis from a vet.
Regurgitation is a natural behavior in parrots.
Parrots will do this to provide food for their young or other flock members if they cannot feed themselves or even as a sign of love.
It is a caring behavior.
It is like my next-door neighbor’s cat brings her a dead mouse as a sign of affection.
It seems odd to us humans as we associate sickness negatively, which it is for us.
Is my parrot unwell if they are vomiting?
Yes, vomiting is a sign of your parrot being unwell.
Your parrot will need veterinary advice as soon as possible and likely medication.
The critical information we are discussing today is knowing the difference between regurgitation and vomiting.
Do I need to get my parrot medical treatment if vomiting?
Yes, your parrot will need medical treatment from a vet if they are vomiting.
Vomiting is a severe symptom and can cause the following;
Ruffled or fluffed appearance
Watery green droppings
Blood in the stool that has a tar-like appearance
Tucking the head under the wing
Loss of appetite
Lack of feces in the droppings
Worse case, sudden death.
If you see any of these symptoms, get to a vet as soon as possible.
I hope this has given you some clarity between vomiting and regurgitation in our parrots.
If you are in any doubt about your parrot’s health, always consult with a vet who can give a formal diagnosis.
A diagnosis can be complicated in parrots, so be aware your parrot will need to be physically examined.
Your parrot would likely need a blood test.
The vet may take samples of feces or crop for culturing bacteria.
Depending on symptoms, some parrots may require an X-ray or endoscopy that will look at the parrot’s esophagus, stomach, and intestines
I hope this article was purely for information purposes; however, if your parrot is unwell, have confidence in your veterinary service, and they will endeavor to help your beloved feathered friend.