Is My Bird Vomiting or Regurgitating?
Though it may seem strange, regurgitation to a mate, person or toy is a normal part of bird reproductive and bonding behavior.
Regurgitation is the expulsion of the contents of the crop, a specialized part the esophagus. Regurgitation is usually a normal behavior. A bird that is regurgitating will make a head-bobbing and neck-stretching type of movement. Food will be brought up and deposited on the bird's toys or mate. Such controlled regurgitation usually does not result in staining of the feathers or the beak.
Vomiting, on the other hand, is the expulsion of the contents of the proventriculus, ventriculus (specialized parts of the stomach in birds), or intestine. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to differentiate between regurgitation and vomiting.
Vomiting usually includes a rapid flick of the head, which happens so fast it is often not seen by the owners. Tell-tale signs of vomiting in birds is the flicking of small pieces of ingested food around the cage. A very common complaint is that the feathers on the head are messy and stuck together. Food may become caked on the bird's head giving it a spiky, matted appearance.
Vomiting can occur along with regurgitation and is a serious clinical sign. If you suspect that this behavior is the result of illness and not behavioral causes, a veterinarian should examine your bird.
Encephalitozoonosis - Why Is My Rabbit’s Head Tilted?
Encephalitzoon cuniculi is a parasite most often associated with neurologic disease in pet rabbits. It can also have other manifestations including renal and ocular.
What are the signs?
The most common signs we see with affected rabbits include head tilt, rolling, and trouble walking (ataxia). The less common manifestations of the disease include a renal form of the disease where your rabbit may have an increase in thirst and/or incontinence, and an ocular form that is most commonly associated with cataracts.
How can my pet get it?
Most rabbits are infected from the urine of infected rabbits. This transmission can occur within six weeks of birth. It is also possible for an infected mother to infect her kits in utero.
It is important to know that E cuniculi is a zoonotic disease, meaning humans can be infected with this parasite. The people most commonly affected are immunocompromised. Be sure to wash your hands and clean around your rabbit well.
Intestinal Tract Problems in Kittens - What Pet Owners Can Do
As Veterinarians, we are more commonly presented with the cutest little kittens afflicted by diarrhea, though constipation can also be a significant problem. Most cat owners are more aware of when their young cat is having bouts of diarrhea because of the mess and smell. Constipation and severe constipation (obstipation) is not usually as obvious, but can be equally as problematic for kittens.
Because cats vary in when they go to the bathroom, determining if a cat is actually constipated can be challenging. Ideally most cats should go once per day, and though the color may vary with the diet, the consistency should be firm but soft.
Monitoring your kitten's bathroom activities, though perhaps the least enjoyable part of caring for your cat, is important to ensure that they are using the litter box regularly. Obstipation/constipation can lead to serious problems such as illness due to absorbing toxins from the colon, and even rectal prolapse.
What are the Causes?
Constipation may have many causes. As kittens transition from nursing to eating kitten food, they may become dehydrated or not have enough fiber in the diet. As young cats further develop, lack of exercise and gaining too much weight may be a contributing factor. Young cats also like chewing on everything and anything, which can contribute to constipation and may even progress to a blockage. So monitoring your kitten's behavior closely to make sure that he or she does not ingest foreign substances is also very important. There are several medical conditions including parasites that can play a role in the kitten becoming constipated.
What are the Signs?
Archived Pet Health Articles
- Dental Disease in Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, and Chinchillas
- Does Your Ferret Need a Dental Cleaning?
- Pet Dental Disease and Dental Homecare
Diseases, Viruses & Other Illnesses
- Adenoviruses in Reptiles
- Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) in Ferrets
- Encephalitozoon Cuniculi in Rabbits
- Fatty Liver Disease in Birds
- Feline Hyperthyroidism
- Lyme Disease in Dogs
- Tumors in Rats – Diagnosis (Part 1)
- Tumors in Rats – Treatment (Part 2)
- Tumors in Rats – Prevention (Part 3)
- Bringing Your Cat to the Veterinarian
- Guide to a Pet-Friendly Valentine's Day
- Managing Pet Care Costs
- Unwanted Egg Laying in Pet Birds - Causes & Prevention
Pet Health & Nutrition
- Gastrointestinal (GI) Stasis in Rabbits
- Pets and Seizures
- Reptile Nutrition for Herbivores
- Vomiting Cats
- Why Is My Turtle/Tortoise Slowing Down This Winter?
- Why Knowing Your Cat's 'Normal' Behavior Is Important
- What Is Canine Influenza (Dog Flu)?
We're Discontinuing Our Online Pharmacy
Please note that effective November 27, 2017, we will no longer be utilizing the online pet pharmacy, Vets First Choice.
Our doctors and staff feel that the best means to service our clients and patients is to directly supply medications from our pharmacy. Using this in-house method will ensure that each pet receives the proper care with their prescribed medication, dosage and instructions, which is guaranteed by the manufacturer.
We have made every effort to keep prices competitive and to allow you to take advantage of manufacturer rebates for additional cost savings when available. If there is something your pet needs that we do not carry in-house, we can prepare a written script for you to pick up and use at the pharmacy of your choice.
If you were ordering Hills prescription diets online, we would be happy to order your pet's food directly from Hills for an in-clinic delivery. The cut off time each week is Tuesday by 12:00 pm for a Thursday delivery into the hospital.
We look forward to offering local shopping convenience and peace of mind with your pet's health as our number one priority. Please feel free to call us at (773) 596-1807 if you have questions.
Now Offering Feline Medical Boarding
Animal Hospital of Chicago is expanding their feline boarding offerings to include medical boarding! We are happy to accommodate cats for boarding that require on-going medical care for chronic diseases/illnesses*. This includes daily administration of subcutaneous fluid therapy and insulin injections if necessary.
Have a cat that needs daily medication? Not to worry! We also offer boarding services for cats that need daily oral medication administration. Our technicians and vets routinely check on our boarding cats and are able to address any medical issues should they arise giving you the peace of mind that your furry friend is safe.
It is our utmost priority to make sure your cat's stay with us is as stress-free as possible. Please visit our Cat Boarding page to learn more about all of our services. If you are ready to book your cat's next vacation, please call us today at (773) 878-8002.
*additional charges apply
Animal House of Chicago is an AAFP Cat Friendly Practice!
It's official — Animal House of Chicago has been approved by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) as a Cat Friendly Practice – Silver Status!
We recently underwent some major renovations in an effort to achieve this high standard of feline friendliness, including adding brand new cat condos and play area for boarding, as well as exclusive feline waiting area and exam rooms. Learn more about our feline boarding services here.
Animal House of Chicago's Dedicated Team
The staff at Animal House of Chicago operates as a team. We take pride in our staff's veterinary training, knowledge and capabilities, and we want you to have the same confidence as we have. The members of our staff frequently attends or hosts seminars about new medicine and technology; they never want to stop learning. Our veterinary team has been specifically trained in handling all exotic pets with an emphasis on birds. Each individual client and pet has special needs, and our staff will do its best to meet each and every one of those needs.
Tracy de la Navarre — Hospital Manager
Tracy de la Navarre has also always loved animals, especially birds. She received her BS degree from Northern Illinois University where she studied Biology and Behavior specializing in birds. She worked for several years for the USDA Quarantine Station for exotic animals as well as managed a Noah's Arc Pet Store specializing in birds. Tracy worked as head veterinary technician at Niles Animal Hospital & Bird Medical Center as well as at Misener-Holley Animal Hospital and Exotic Creatures Care Clinic.
Erica Buchanan — Receptionist
Born and raised in Arizona, Erica has spent a great amount of time around a variety of animals – including horses, dogs, cats, lizards, and fish. Marine life quickly became her passion and she is continuing to pursue her dream of studying behavioral ecology of marine mammals. She graduated with dual degrees from Marquette University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations.
Prior to working at the Animal House of Chicago, Erica was an intern at the Shedd Aquarium. She worked in the marine mammals department, practicing husbandry behavior with beluga whales, California sea lions, and pacific white-sided dolphins. Her furry friends back in AZ consist of two German shorthaired pointers named Pistol Pete and Packer (Go Pack, Go!)
Lucia Freas — Receptionist
Growing up in Texas near a wide variety of animals – whether it was dogs, cats, horses, small mammals, or the frequent roadside turtle relocations – Lucia has always had a great love for animals. As an Air Force veteran taking a turn from learning languages, she now deeply enjoys meeting new and old animal friends every day. Soon, Lucia will be adopting her first reptile, a bearded dragon, after having fallen in love with them at AHOC. She also shares an apartment with her fiancé, tabby cat, and a five-gallon fish tank.
Susie O'Toole-Corbett — Marketing Director, Veterinary Technician
Susie is all about the "Wooja"(the LOVE)! For over 22 years she has taken pride in making sure all animals are not only receiving quality care, but are made to feel as comfortable as possible while in her care. Susie graduated from University of Dayton with a BA degree in Interior Design, but soon realized her calling was to work with animals. She has worked with Dr. Byron and Tracy for over 20 years and along with them is an Animal House of Chicago original team member. Susie wears many hats including Marketing Director, Veterinary Technician, Boarding Coordinator and Receptionist.
When she isn't working, she's spending time with her family or singing. Susie's "animal family" consists of a Yorkie-Poo, a Chi-Weenie, a cat, finches, a Blue & Gold Macaw, and her Amazon Parrot of 22 years.
Linda Rosenthal — Veterinary Technician
Linda has never met an animal she didn't like! She has been working as a veterinary technician since 2006 after earning her BA degree in Theater from Middlebury College and spending several years on the National Horse Show Circuit. Linda particularly enjoys turtles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. She is the proud mother of many wonderful critters, including a Cavalier, cats, Guinea Pigs, a gerbil, turtles, snakes and birds.
Paige Davies — Veterinary Technician
Paige has loved animals all her life. Before becoming a veterinary technician, she worked at a pet store for three years. She is also currently volunteering at the Shedd Aquarium and plans to do many volunteer programs for wildlife in other countries such as the Bolivian Animal Sanctuary. She has a large family of pets including two Belgian sheepdogs, a kitten, three rats, a bearded dragon, and an eyelash crested gecko.
Sara Hohmeier — Veterinary Technician
Sara has loved animals her entire life and began her career working with them at a family-owned pet store. She earned her certification as a Veterinary Assistant in 2009, and is currently working toward her Veterinary Technician degree. Although Sara loves working with all the animals, she is especially fond of working with rabbits and reptiles. Her pets include 4 dogs, a Blue Tongue Skink, a Map Turtle a Water Dragon, Fire Bellied Toads and Polypterus Fish.
Michelle Barnett — Veterinary Technician
After earning an Associate Degree in Elementary Education, it was very clear that all Michelle wanted to do was work with animals. Growing up in a home known as the "Wild Animal Kingdom" (thanks to Michelle), it is no surprise that she ended up where she is today.
Michelle currently shares an apartment with six cats, a bearded dragon (complete with her own dubia roach colony) and a lovely bunch of fish.
Grant Kugman — Veterinary Technician
Grant has always had a passion for helping animals and people. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Traditional Animation from Columbia College Veterinary Institute in Tinley Park, Grant decided he wanted to follow his passion and love for animals and become a Veterinary Technician. He graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Sciences in Veterinary Technology in May of 2016.
Grant has worked with numerous species of animals, including marine mammals at The Shedd Aquarium. He has a great appreciation for working with rabbits and other small mammals as well. He especially loves working with reptiles, dogs and cats. He enjoys dentistry and microscopy and hopes to one day work with his favorite animal, the platypus. Grant has a black Labrador Retriever named Charlie and two Eastern Box Turtles, Kaa and Barney.