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Parrots/small red spots near the eye of my conure


I have 2 blue crowned conures. The 5 yr old female has developed 2 small red lumps under the skin near her L eye. They almost looks like styes. This is in the white featherless area around the eyeball. One is below the eye near the corner of the eye closest to the beak. It is on the order of 2mm. The other lump is about half the size and is above the eye in the middle of the eyelid. I first noticed a slight reddening in the corner of her eye about 12 hours ago but no lump.  When I looked more closely I thought I had imagined it--it was very subtle. Now there are clearly 2 small lumps and mild localized redness. There is no discharge from the eye. The conjunctiva is clear. No generalized redness or swelling. She does not favor the eye or try to keep it closed. She does not appear photophobic. Her behavior (sassy) and personality are all normal. Her appetite is normal. She is drinking normally. No change in stool quantity/color/consistency or frequency. She perches, climbs and flies normally with no evidence of any neurologic issues.
The 2 birds just moved with us from the US to Thailand 18 days ago.  Cloacal swabs were done on arrival but I do not know what they tested for.  We were told they would contact us if any tests were positive.  Viral Isolation in chic embryo for Avian influenza was negative in both birds just before we left the US.
There are tiny ants where we are staying that get into the food dishes.  There are also a few mosquitos but the birds are inside.  They have not been exposed to any other birds or animals.  They do not come in contact with each other but will perch a few inches apart.  The other bird has no symptoms.
The occurrence of 2 styes simultaneously would be unlikely.  Could it be ant bites? They are eating food I brought from the US (mixed diet of Zupreem pellets, seeds, nuts) and some local fresh fruit which I peel. They are both drinking local water which we also drink. This bird has never had any health issues since we got her at 3 months of age. She weighs bout 160 grams.
Hope I've given you enough information!  Thank you for your help!

--You've not only given me enough info, but I'm sincerely impressed with the care your birds are getting.  You are genuine and devoted.  They are blessed!

I'm afraid it's highly unlikely to be ant bites.  The ants you're describing aren't known to be animal biters, but often referred to as 'sugar ants' (they're among thousands that are attracted to food remains; the notorious picnic invaders).

What you're describing though is possibly pox virus OR any number of mites (no, NONE of the over the counter remedies will ever work, but can be lethal, so don't).  I must point out though, mites are RARE in well cared for birds that are kept indoors.  

Since you've recently had a stressful move I'd have to lean toward it being an opportunistic viral outbreak - these things can be present in the bird's system for many years without ever knowing it and then when a big stressor occurs, there it is.   And given that both birds are companions they could share the same virus.

 There is no cure for any virus in any animal.  However, there are symptomatic treatments and this is what you need to explore.

Of course you also need to be absolutely sure of what this is and the only way to do that is with a scraping of the site and microscopic examination; possibly a culture, whatever the vet feels appropriate.

And yes, you must have a vet.  I know it'll be more difficult to find one there, but it's not impossible.  Believe me, I know first hand.   Don't let this go on or it could end up devastating you with the loss of one or both birds.   Always address issues quickly rather than repent in leisure, right?

 If they didn't mean the world to you, you wouldn't have brought them with you and gone through all you did.   I get that.

Until you get to the vet, use simple saline solution (like you'd clean contact lenses with) or just plain, well boiled and cooled water to rinse the areas regularly and hopefully avoid any complications of infection

I'm truly sorry, but without knowing exactly what we're dealing with, there's no way to 'cure' it.

 Good luck and God bless  


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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