Ask Lafeber


April 19, 2019

Canary health problem


This requires a bit of a background story so apologies for the length of my message in advance. My parents had a canary home which got attacked by a falcon and lost its wing. I took him to the vet where he stayed for a week to recover and then decided to take him home with me. This was 3-4 months ago.

When I first moved his cage in my flat I kind of realized that he was making weird sounds while sleeping (clicking, wheezing, cough-like sounds). I can’t tell if this got worse with time but it does sound that something is wrong. I took him to a couple of specialists a few times and he was treated for worms, fungal/respiratory infection but nothing more than that. I believe that the issue is that he looks and behaves perfectly fine during the day hence the vets can’t really tell if there’s something wrong. I was also told that due to the size of the bird, it would be dangerous for any further examination. I would love to take him to another vet to check but I live in Cyprus and there’s only a couple of them hence my last resort is the internet. I have some videos I could share if you would like to have a look. Hopefully you can help! I would be forever grateful!


Hi Nikolas,

If he is only doing this at night, it could just be normal behavior. Birds often have sounds they make while sleeping. A lot of parrots will grind their beaks, for example. If this was an illness, he would do this all the time and not just while sleeping, and he probably would not still be alive. It could be that he has a ruptured or damaged air sac related to the attack. There is nothing that can be done about this and it’s something he can live with. It sounds like he has been treated for possible causes. So at this point, as long as he is eating well and acting normally for him, he should be fine. I would heed the advice of the Vets if they feel like running more tests would be detrimental.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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