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Urgent Coughing Canary now can't sing

Discussion in 'Bird Emergency Highway 911' started by orla, 7/17/18.

  1. orla

    orla Moving in

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    Hi I have this little guy about a month. I adopted him and a female from an advert. People seemed nice although I don't think they were giving them much care. I could tell as soon as home the female wasn't well. She was coughing and wheezing. The male seemed OK.

    Called my local vet who sent me to a bird specialist locally. He looked at the birds, said it was upper respiratory and gave me a sachet to put in water. After a week she seemed to improve. But then rapidly deteriorated again.

    Brought both to a vet who has a bird expert. They treated with anti biotics by nebulizer and also ivermectin for mites. The female died. I picked the male up and he was now coughing. I asked the vet what to do she advised buy a nebulizer and saline. I have been doing this every day since but he is still coughing.

    I got some more sachet anti biotic from the bird expert locally and he has been drinking that. But still coughing and today not a peep. He's not even trying to sing. There have been other days where he didn't sing and seemed to be trying but was very hoarse. He's also not as active today.

    He appears to improve and then disimprove constantly. This has gone on for a month now so I don't understand how to get him well. Surely if he was very sick he would have died? But if he's not getting better then he's not OK either. Can anyone advise what I should do next or if there's something I am doing wrong? I'm at my wits end as he doesn't cough often but when he does he nearly falls over, poor thing.
     
  2. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Did your vets perform any tests on him - like a swab slide or a swab and culture. If the bird is not responding to the anti-biotic it may be the wrong antibiotic for the bacteria present or it may not be a bacteria at all and is a fungus infection. That is why it is important to run at least the minimal tests, so the correct medications can be prescribed.

    Keeping your bird in higher humidity may help with his respiratory distress.

    Tell your vet that the meds aren't working and that you would like him to do a gram stain and a culture and sensitivity.

    About gram stains; Parrot Gram Stain
    Bacterial Culture and Sensitivity
    [​IMG]

    "The laboratory will take the sample and attempt to grow, isolate and specifically identify any disease-causing organisms (bacteria or fungi)."
    Bacteria play an important role in many diseases found in birds. Special sterile swabs are used to carefully collect samples from the digestive tract, reproductive tract, respiratory system, eyes, nose, ears, skin, sores and other tissues. The laboratory will take the sample and attempt to grow, isolate and specifically identify any disease-causing organisms (bacteria or fungi). The next step is to test these disease-causing agents (pathogens) and determine which antibiotics (antibacterial only) will work against the organism and those that have no affect or are resistant. This test takes several days but its results allow the veterinarian to treat with greater specificity.
    Sick Pet Birds - Testing and Diagnostics | VCA Animal Hospital
     
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  3. orla

    orla Moving in

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    Thank you.

    The vet wouldn't handle him as she said the stress could kill him. He's not very tame and won't let anyone touch him. I don't think the vet I went to was very good. When the female died I asked her to determine what had killed her. She said she had a look inside the birds mouth and could see something at the back of her throat that was tiny and white but couldn't determine what it was. She then offered to do an autopsy but it would be expensive so I decided not to.

    Going by what you're saying that would have been a perfect opportunity to take swabs given that the female was dead and they have the same symptoms. This vet was recommended as a bird vet BTW.

    It seems if he has been treated for upper respiratory 3 times now and hasn't responded then it must be fungal. I will go back to the bird expert and see if he has meds for that.
    Is it possible to take swabs without handling the bird? Probably a stupid question but maybe there is an alternative method...

    Thank you again for your reply
     
  4. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    She saw a white something in the throat? That is the common sign of either a streptococcus or fungal infection. There is no harm in giving both an anti fungal and antibiotic. My birds have had both at once many times.

    Even a tiny bird can be handled gently. That's why I like the macaws - there is enough bird to get ahold of.
     
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  5. orla

    orla Moving in

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    Thank you. I will get the anti fungal meds. And continue with the nebulizer too. I assumed they would handle him at the vets, as I wanted him to have a complete once over, but I dont think they were very comfortable with birds. There is another vet I can try if the next step doesn't work. Thank you for your advice it has been very helpful :)
     
  6. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    If you tell us the area where you live, the members here on the forum may be able to find a well recommended veterinarian near you.
     
  7. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Cruising the avenue Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    I hope he will be okay, and I’m so sorry for the loss of your female!
    :sadhug2:
     
  8. orla

    orla Moving in

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    I'm in Dublin, Ireland. I know there is a lady in Bray that is supposed to be good. Any other suggestions appreciated. The local guy is Bird Jungle they are very helpful.
     
  9. orla

    orla Moving in

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    Thank you. It was sad and they didn't even give me back her body. I wanted to bury her in the garden. I did all I could for her though so I'm happy it was my best.
    Luckily he hasn't missed her too much. We were worried at first he would die of shock.

    I'd like to have a cocketiel some day. Looks like you have a few! I spend a solid hour a day on instagram giggling at their behaviours :p
     
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  10. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    It is common for vets to be reluctant to handle the little guys, who can die from stress.

    I’m sorry you lost your baby. Definitely look for another vet. Also look for Dr. Rob Marshall online, he’s written a lot about canary illness and treatment
     
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  11. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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  12. Icey

    Icey Rollerblading along the road

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    So sorry to hear of your loss and I pray your male will overcome whatever he has; whether it's respiratory or fungal.
    @Hankmacaw you are so knowledgeable and always give great advice as well as explaining things to us all.
    I always learn something new when I read a thread you commented on, and I'm sure others will find this information you gave very helpful too. :)
     
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  13. orla

    orla Moving in

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    Thank you everyone for your support and advice and for being so welcoming! I felt a bit in over my head when I found myself with a sick bird straight away without any time to get into the swing of things first and it doesn't help that they can't be handled.

    On a more positive note Gem is a lot brighter today. He has been flying around and making demands and chatting with me... no singing yet but hopefully he will. He's also eating more today and has only coughed once.
    I'm wondering now if the meds had him feeling icky and low in energy. I just finished them yesterday and replaced the medicated water with vitamin drop water. I've read that meds are very heavy on a birds system so maybe he is on the mend and I should give him a few days before deciding whether or not to give him more.

    We've been here before of course as he has improved after upper respiratory anti biotic and then the coughing flares up again, so not out of the woods yet. It's just great to see him being more his feisty self again!
     
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  14. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Keep that medicine going until the Dr. has told you to stop. Yes, many antibiotics will depress a bird (especially Baytril) but they have to have them.
     
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  15. orla

    orla Moving in

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    He said 4-5 days and I did 5 so OK in that dep.
     
  16. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Keep an eye on him - that seems like a very short course of antibiotics. I usually like to give them a day or two longer than prescribed - too short of courses of antibiotics is one of the reasons we have so many drug resistant bacteria now.

    I'm glad he's acting and feeling better. Keep it up.
     
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  17. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    So sorry to hear about the loss of your canary and hope that all will be well with the male. It's good that Gem is starting to feel better and hope that he will be 100% soon.
     
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