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I am caring for a rook fledgling, who is occasionally sneezing? Is this normal or do I need to be concerned?

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  • I am caring for a rook fledgling, who is occasionally sneezing? Is this normal or do I need to be concerned?

Young corvids, rooks included, do often suffer of internal parasites. Sneezing, and in advanced cases also laboured breathing, coughing and gaping, can be an indication for a lung or gape worm infection. Affected birds show often an increased saliva production, which leads to frequent swallowing and the urge to clean the beak. The feathers around the beak may become soiled and wet. Droppings are often smelly and are likely to look abnormal too. The best would be to consult urgently a corvid friendly avian veterinary surgeon or an experienced rehabber, who would organise a faecal float test to examine the droppings for parasites, including worm eggs. Treatment can be given prophylactically and blindly, but should ideally be based on the specific test results.