1. Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here
  2. This forum is for advice about initial treatment given to your injured/sick bird until a qualified avian veterinarian is available.
    THIS IS NOT MEANT TO REPLACE VET CARE

Urgent Ivan is very sick and vets don't know what's wrong! He needs our help!

Discussion in 'Bird Emergency Highway 911' started by twrigles05, 9/29/17.

  1. twrigles05

    twrigles05 Moving in

    Joined:
    9/29/17
    Messages:
    7
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum. I used to hang out at anafricangrey.ca forums but can no longer find the site, so I'm deciding to reach out here.

    For the past ten months my 8 year old Congo is very ill, and he is asking for help. He is visibly showing signs of where he's hurting, and I've taken him to 3 different avian vets on 8 different occasions and NONE of them can confirm what is wrong with him so he is not getting specific treatment to help.

    I'm desperate and hoping someone here may have ideas based on the symptoms I'm about to share.

    Background: I adopted Ivan from a breeder when he was 4 months old. We had a great first 4 years together (no health issues). When Ivan was 4 years old, I had to send himto a local parrot sanctuary so I could go to college. He was at the sanctuary for 4 years while I was in college. I visited him each week at the sanctuary and maintained a strong relationship. Ten months ago (January 2017), I noticed he plucked his entire legs and vent area. This signaled to me that something was very wrong. He is not a plucker or neurotic in any way. I immediately took him to the vet and had him move in with me at home.

    Old Personality: Prior his illness, Ivan is very playful and well socialized. He can handle different environments and changes. Loves people and attention. He flew around a lot, and would love to get into things he wasn't supposed to. He is smart and does 10 different tricks.

    Personality Now: He is still social but a lot more quiet. He walks around the floor now and doesn't fly anymore. He is very docile as if hes in pain all the time.

    Symptoms:
    • He drinks 32 oz (approx twice his body weight practically) in water every day
    • He plucks his vent (see attached pics)
    • He plucks his crop/neck area
    • His crop is always bulging
    • His poop is clear water liquid. It is NOT normal.
    • Excessive Polyuria/Polydipsia
    • Appetite is normal
    • NO weight change
    • Personality change (very quiet now, doesn't fly)
    • He seems Itchy

    Like I said, the vets are stumped. We've done blood work, crop swabs, fecal cultures, checked for parasites, x-rays.

    His blood results are good.

    When I first took him from Zazus, he had a minor bacterial and yeast infection, so we cleared him of that. Here are some of the medicines we've tried with no improvement:

    1) celebrex & gabapentin (antihistamine)
    2) doxycycline (antibiotic)
    3) vibramycin (antibiotic)
    4) Metronidazole (antiparasite)
    5) anti-fungals
    6) anti-parasitics

    The vets all seem to think it is most likely PDD that he got from the sanctuary, but I want to ask you guys if any of his symptoms sound similar to any you've ever seen?


    Ivan has odd plucking patterns so I think he's asking for help. He's communicating to me that he is in pain and he needs my help! I don't know what could be wrong with him. Any ideas? Is there a way for me to attach pics to this thread? I can't figure out how.

    Thank you thank you! Any ideas or help would be very appreciated.

    Kindly,
    Tiffany
     
  2. Danita

    Danita Ripping up the road Super Administrator Chief Beak Avenue Veteran

    Joined:
    10/16/09
    Messages:
    33,189
    Location:
    Canada
    Real Name:
    Danita
    If he has PDD, that is very sad, maybe @jmfleish ? She knows about that disease, same as @Hankmacaw
    :(
     
  3. Laylatoo

    Laylatoo Sprinting down the street I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you?

    Joined:
    3/28/17
    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Northern California
    I posted this to you on another forum but thought I’d add it here too.

    Poor Ivan. I’m not much help but I am also dealing with a mystery illness with my girl Layla. She acts itchy and frantically plucks pin feathers only. Her bloodwork and cultures are always perfect. They tested her for bornavirus and that came back negative. She improved a bunch in the last month and only occasionally plucks pin feathers now. She also went from playful and lively to quiet and lethargic. She lost a ton of weight because she had zero appetite while her feathers were bothering her. She now has her appetite back and plays more. The vet said our next step would be X-rays with sedation. I’d recommend you proceed with X-rays and a borna virus test if you haven’t yet and maybe also test for heavy metal toxicity??? I know how heartbreaking it is to not have answers and I wish you the best of luck figuring this out!

    You could also try a fleece collar if Ivan tolerate it. Won’t solve the underlying problem of course but would give his feathers a break from his beak.
     
    Alien J, twrigles05 and Tiel Feathers like this.
  4. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you? I Can't Stop Posting!

    Joined:
    9/15/14
    Messages:
    9,295
    Location:
    Truckee,CA
    Real Name:
    Deanna
    I'm so sorry your sweet little Ivan is not doing well. I have no experience in this at all, but I know others will chime in who do. I hope you can figure out what is wrong with Ivan soon, and can get a helpful treatment plan in place.
    :sadhug2:
     
    Eloy and Alien J like this.
  5. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Santa Coco ROCKS the SOCKS

    Joined:
    10/18/09
    Messages:
    7,419
    Location:
    Arizona
    Real Name:
    Mary Lynn Skinner
    It is possible that he has PDD, but that would not be my first choice. It sounds more like he has a parasite (Giardia) or Avian Gastric yeast. Diabetes is also a possibility with the excess drinking and polyuria.

    @Laylatoo is right you should go ahead with the xrays and heavy metal toxicity tests. I don't think I would do the ABV tests yet.

    If he is in constant pain, that is debilitating in it's own right. Ask your vet to put him on Celebrex and Gabapentin. Celebrex is the only medication, that I am aware of for PDD anyway. Celebrex is an NSAID that is commonly used for arthritis pain and Gabapentin is a neural pain killer that would stop any nerve pain (internal pain). My girl is on both and has been for several years for extreme arthritic pain. Once you get the pain under control his symptoms may come through more clearly.

    Do not allow him to lose too much weight. Start hand feeding him before he becomes weakened and starts digesting his own liver. You can grind up pellets (Harrison's is best) with fruit (I prefer papaya, Vit. A, but it is somewhat of a laxative) pumpkin (it's fine to use the kind right out of the can that is water and pumpkin only). Use tofu in the hand feeding mixture - it is high protein. And get some Prozyme ( Amazon.com : Lambert Kay Prozyme Powder, 85g : Pet Supplies ). Prozyme predigests the protein and helps the bird adsorb nutrients. Also give Alex probiotics every day for a week or so. This has all been approved by my vet and has been important in keeping my Jasper alive for 17 years.

    Alex sounds very ill to me and supportive care is very important to him.

    Can you give us a list of the tests that the vets have performed. Get copies of all of test results and keep them - they are yours.
     
    rockybird, MiniMacaw, Eloy and 4 others like this.
  6. Laylatoo

    Laylatoo Sprinting down the street I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you?

    Joined:
    3/28/17
    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Northern California
    Reading more on heavy metal toxicity. That would be very high on my list to rule out for Ivan since he has the polyuria and polydipsia. I’m curious to know if your vets have been certified Avian vets and what tests they have done this far also. How was his CBC/panels. Any organ involvement showing up there?
     
  7. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Santa Coco ROCKS the SOCKS

    Joined:
    10/18/09
    Messages:
    7,419
    Location:
    Arizona
    Real Name:
    Mary Lynn Skinner
    I see that you have already had xrays done. Get them read by an expert. Parasites don't always show up on one examination.

    It would probably be wise to do a protein electrophoresis. Avian Plasma Proteins The electrophoresis is very helpful in diagnosis.
     
    Macawnutz and Tiel Feathers like this.
  8. jmfleish

    jmfleish Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Premium Vendor Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

    Joined:
    10/19/09
    Messages:
    12,254
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Real Name:
    Jen
    It really does not sound like PDD. Birds with PDD tend to have neurological issues and lose weight. Diabetes might be an issue and I really think of heavy metal poisoning whenever I hear itchiness and plucking. I wouldn't bother with a bornavirus test either because I don't think they are helpful considering the fact that the test could be a false positive or a false negative and even if it comes back positive it really means nothing as it doesn't mean your bird will ever develop PDD...so it's essentially useless. X-rays can tell you something and aren't bad to do but you may also want to consider a CT scan which will tell you more. Also, giardia or gastric yeast might also be ones to check for. I'm sorry you are going through this.
     
  9. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Santa Coco ROCKS the SOCKS

    Joined:
    10/18/09
    Messages:
    7,419
    Location:
    Arizona
    Real Name:
    Mary Lynn Skinner
  10. twrigles05

    twrigles05 Moving in

    Joined:
    9/29/17
    Messages:
    7
    @jmfleish and @Hankmacaw

    Thank you so much for the response. I have a copy of all the blood tests. I attached a copy of his most recent blood tests to this post. I am happy to hear you don't think it's PDD but now I am also upset that Ivan may have gone 10 months without treatment of an unknown and potentially treatable illness.

    If he has PDD then this is like my worst case nightmare that I could never have imagined would ever happen to my baby Ivan.

    PDD:
    Ivan tested positive for Avian borno Virus two years ago. There is no direct link between ABV and PDD yet though. Recent research shows that up to 60% may have ABV, but never show any signs of PDD. So just because he tested positive for ABV doesn't mean he has PDD to me. Also, there are positive cases of PDD at the parrot sanctuary that Ivan came from as well.

    The vet did xrays in February and Ivan did not show any inflammation in his Proventriculous which caused the vet to not think it was PDD at first. However as time went on and Ivan didn't show any improvement with his excessive thirst and watery poops, the vet has now changed her mind and thinks he has PDD.

    Giardia:
    I also suspected Giardia. The vets tested for Giardia twice and both came back negative, however the tests were not conclusive since Giardia only sheds intermittently and may not have been present in the samples tested. I ordered the vet to give me meds for Giardia anyway (metronidazole) and it improved his itchiness and vent plucking over a two month period. He was on the meds for 2.5 months. Since the metronidazole improved him slightly, I think he did have giardia but I think it is gone now since his itchiness is gone. Now his main symptoms are excessive thirst and his poop is still pure water (polyuria/polydipsia), his crop is bulgey/swollen and plucked, and he is lethargic. He still plucks his vent but not nearly as much anymore. I have uploaded pics.

    Diabetes:
    I also suspected Diabetes and the vet insists it is not diabetes. She says that it would show in his blood tests via uric acid levels. His kidney (uric acid) levels are in her opinion normal which she says means it can't be diabetes.

    List of tests performed:
    • Avian Borno Virus Test (positive)
    • Xrays (no proventriculous inflammation)
    • Giardia Test
    • Skin Mites test
    • Blood Tests (full panel)
    • Fecal Culture Tests
    • Crop Swab Tests

    Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you soon.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 9/29/17
    Tiel Feathers likes this.
  11. Tyrion

    Tyrion Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you?

    Joined:
    1/22/15
    Messages:
    4,515
    Location:
    Oh Canada
    Real Name:
    Annette Thompson
    So sorry to hear you and Ivan are going through this ..heavy metal testing would be my next guess ...did anything show up on the xray ...what have you been doing for the plucking ...how long has he been back with you ...what is his diet like ... what type of caging is he in now ..how different is it from what he was in at the sanctuary ...what is his day like now that he is home with you how does it differ from his day at the sanctuary ... best of luck to you again so sorry you are going through this sending hugs for the both of you:hug8:
     
    Last edited: 9/29/17
  12. twrigles05

    twrigles05 Moving in

    Joined:
    9/29/17
    Messages:
    7
    Yes the vet he has been seeing the most recently (the past 5 visits) is an avian certified vet. He has been living with me for the past 10 months and is not around metal aside from his cage. He does not really bite his cage so I don't think it would be heavy metal. Wouldn't this have come up in his blood tests as well? How would he have heavy metal? His water supply comes from the filtered sink water that I also drink.
     
  13. Laylatoo

    Laylatoo Sprinting down the street I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you?

    Joined:
    3/28/17
    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Northern California
    If he was in contact with zinc or lead at the sanctuary then it could still be an issue I believe. Zinc can be found in toys and chains and all sorts of other things. I believe there is an actual test for for heavy metal toxicity. My vet also said amylase is usually elevated on the CBC with HMT. You are doing a great job trying to get to the bottom of Ivan’s illness. I hope you get answers soon to make him feel better.
     
  14. Macawnutz

    Macawnutz Seriously Nutz! Super Administrator AA Advertising Exec Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

    Joined:
    10/21/11
    Messages:
    23,466
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Real Name:
    Sarah
    I'm at work with poor service but will write detail later.

    Asper titer, my amazon had/has some of these same symptoms. My vet says he has seen it often with asper. Reading about asper I thought he was crazy but my bird was positive for asper.
     
  15. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Santa Coco ROCKS the SOCKS

    Joined:
    10/18/09
    Messages:
    7,419
    Location:
    Arizona
    Real Name:
    Mary Lynn Skinner
    My vet says that Asper presents in 100s of different ways. My Hank had a very low titer value, but had Asper colonies on his liver and testes. It spread to other organs including his lungs and airsacs later, but it took a long time to diagnose Asper because of how it presented in Hank. It was chronic, as opposed to acute Asper.

    His swollen crop is worrisome - unless he just ate an elephant, it is very swollen. Did the vet have anything to say about that extreme swelling? There seems to be very little redness, indicating irritation, but it could very well be irritated on the inside. How about a laparoscopy and histology on a tissue sample?
     
  16. Alien J

    Alien J Jogging around the block I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you?

    Joined:
    6/4/17
    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Riverside California (from Elyria, OH)
    Real Name:
    Janet Rush Van Eyck
    No advice from this newbie bird slave just wanted to let you know that TD and I are sending all good thoughts out to you. Speedy diagnosis and recovery to your Ivan.
     
    twrigles05, Eloy and Hankmacaw like this.
  17. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

    Joined:
    4/16/12
    Messages:
    13,803
    Location:
    Parrotdise
    Sorry that Ivan is ill. Sending positive thoughts his way. As for heavy metal toxicity there are specific blood tests to check for lead and zinc levels.
     
    twrigles05 and Eloy like this.
  18. Clueless

    Clueless Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you? I Can't Stop Posting!

    Joined:
    11/3/12
    Messages:
    13,142
    Ditto .......and prayers up for your little feathered dude.
     
    Familyof12, twrigles05 and Eloy like this.
  19. enigma731

    enigma731 Walking the driveway

    Joined:
    8/23/13
    Messages:
    189
    Has he had barium imaging or just regular xrays? My understanding is that proventricular inflammation cannot really be detected on a regular xray and needs a barium series to be seen.
     
    Crazy4parrots and twrigles05 like this.
  20. StarrySkies

    StarrySkies Walking the driveway

    Joined:
    5/5/17
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Washington
    Real Name:
    Elle
    @Macawnutz

    I'm so sorry for what he's going through. Sending prayers for Ivan!
     
    Familyof12 and twrigles05 like this.

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)