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Urgent Birds Sick for Months, Can't Figure Out What It Is (Have Been To Vet)

Azellia

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Update on my one bird.

Took him to the emergency vet a few days ago-I wanted to make sure his leg lameness wasn't caused by a fracture or break.

Vet said he can't curl his toes, but he can move the leg, and he still has feeling in both the toes and leg. Doesn't appear to be in pain.

No fractures, no breaks. Nothing internal pressing on the nerves in that area. Interestingly, he has some bruising on the upper portion of one leg... but it's the leg that's still working. ??? His leg started off as having flaccid paralysis (the toes were stuck open and totally limp), but yesterday, his toes clenched up. Not sure if that's just the muscles naturally flexing into a more comfortable position, or a sign he's getting some movement back.

This could be a sprain that caused some nerve damage, in which case he may recover in a few days or weeks depending on the severity. Or it could be neurological, and there's no telling whether he'll regain movement or not. OR it could be infection... shortly after returning from the vet, he chewed one of his toenails clean off (took him back after this happened, he should be okay), and he's been improving all around since then. So was something up with that one particular toe?

The good news is that he's still able to get around pretty well despite his lame leg. A bit wobbly upon landing but stabilizes himself on perches very quickly. No falls so far.

Also in brighter news, got his leg band off, which was bothering him. And he started on Celebrex, has had two doses so far.

Overall, he's been doing better since he started the doxy for the pseudomonas infection. Wing tremors are steadily going away. Haven't seen any for a few days. He's more active and vocal. Eating good, drinking good, weight is stable. Vet said that besides the leg issue, he looks awesome.

So I suppose the plan of action for now is to just continue medicating and see where that takes us. Pseudomonas treatment will take 3 weeks total since it's a stubborn bacteria. Celebrex should start kicking in pretty soon. Hopefully we can finally kick the pseudomonas... and if little dude could at least regain some movement in his toes, that
would be good.
 
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Pixiebeak

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We did consider ASM for a while! But they've been through 5 rounds of Ivermectin and 5 of SCATT. I feel like that should realistically be enough to obliterate any mites. It's still a possibility, I just think it's a low likelihood now.

If the Flucanazole eases the rest of their sneezes and coughing then this is probably just pseudomonas. Otherwise, I don't know.
It is difficult to eliminate air sac mites for good , didn't they do well post treatment for that fir a while?

Yeast , sure , your birds Been on a lot of different meds.

Also AGY is a real possibility and that also might never be eliminated completely. Amphotericin B is the only treatment for that .

You need to go through communicable diseases, and AGY and read up , something is affecting your whole flock , while some of your individuals are able to manage it a little better they all have symptoms . I do not at all believe it is an environmental toxin or issue
 

Pixiebeak

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While it is not mentioned here as a symptom,my board certified in both avian medicine and zoo medicine frequently sees sneezing in budgies as a symptom of AGY, maybe because regurge Doesn't come out of mouth but irritates , I will ask her at some point. She has also mentioned the frustration in testing to confirm
.
 
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Azellia

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They're still on SCATT right now, this dose wears off in a few days. If their sneezing gets worse again once it wears off, it's something to look at again.

They did do better on anti-parastitics initially-but they were on a cocktail of other drugs at the same time when we first started them on Ivermectin/SCATT, including Baytril, which the pseudomonas is susceptible to. It's been less effective since they've been off the rest of that cocktail.

We did consider AGY & tested for it for my sickest bird. Test came back negative, but I know AGY can be tricky to diagnose. Their symptoms just don't match up very well with the typical AGY symptoms-they're are all respiratory and neurological, not really any persistant GI stuff. Not to say it's not a possibility-I can bring it up again to their vet.

I've been paranoid about asper from the beginning. I just don't know how we would test for asper for them. No vet will do a titer because they're too small, and their X-rays, blood work, cultures, etc. all consistently come back clear. I will say they seem to show more improvement on antibiotics than they do antifungals, though that doesn't mean a ton.

I'm going to be honest, after thinking about it at the vet, I'm a little curious about avian chlamydia again-their symptoms match up pretty well. They're doing well on doxy-sneezing already almost totally gone, and they still have a while to go on it for the pseudomonas. They've been on it a few times, but never long enough to clear AC. Chlamydia can occasionally cause neuro signs... including tremors and leg paralysis/paresis... as well as respiratory issues. Their urine has been coming back green lately despite X-rays and blood work showing normal liver/kidney health. If their symptoms don't totally cease once the pseudomonas treatment concludes, I was thinking about asking the vet if we should extend it a little longer.

Still, with AC I would expect at least something to look odd on the bloodwork or X-rays. It's odd that those just consistently show them as healthy.
 

Azellia

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Oh, interesting, I didn't know about AGY causing sneezing!
 

Pixiebeak

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I'm not finding sneezing listed , it could be I remember my conversation wrong with my vet , I will find st out some points and share .
On AC I think my Budgies ended up needing a Hugh dose and longer treatment time than the rest of my parrots ..

Well darn didn't easily find Budgies dose

 
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Azellia

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The fact the doxy alone is doing a really good job, and that they've had symptom reduction on Baytril in the past, does make me think potential AC.

They have a week and a half left on the doxy for pseudomonas; if their symptoms clear up with that + the Fluconazole for the yeast, then it could just be that, and my one bird has clinical ABV.

But pseudomonas is a rare infection in birds that aren't already immunocompromised in some way (ABV causes immunosuppression, but I don't know if all 4 birds have it). So wouldn't surprise me if it's just a secondary infection.

If symptoms persist after the pseudomonas treatment period is over, AC is high on my suspect list and it may be worth continuing treatment for at least another 3 weeks.

They were tested for AC in the past (and were negative), but that test was a fecal swab which is notoriously unreliable for diagnosing this condition. And it's possible the previous short doxy doses they were on + the occasional Baytril doses have helped control it to an extent and keep it chronic.
 

Pixiebeak

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Ok,my memory failed me , my veterinarian has not seen associated sneezing with gastric yeast as a primary symptom. Has seen with secondary or concurrent infection
 

Pixiebeak

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Azellia

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You know what? I wonder what type of fungi/yeast they have. Some types of fungi/yeast can apparently cause CNS symptoms-I know cryptococcus can, at least. I'm assuming they likely have candidiasis, since that's the most common, but...

Vet did run another culture. Curious to see what the results of that is. If it's cryptococcus, I wonder if that could be the cause of the sudden leg lameness in my one bird. Probably unlikely, but given the timing, just a thought.
 

Azellia

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Just about at the end of the 3 week pseudomonas treatment. Doxy is working great, but I'm still hearing some sneezing. This could be because of the yeast. Or I am still suspicious of AC. But also... bird's SCATT just wore off and sneezing increased around that time. Come on! If this is air sac mites, how many more treatments do I have to do? :( This is so discouraging. It's been 5 months of non-stop anti-parastitics. Been switching between Ivermectin and Moxidectin. Are there any other drugs for ASMs I can try? I'm worried that the bugs (if this is even what this is) might become resistant at this rate, and then we're really screwed. I also spray AIL around the bird room several times a week. The new vet I talked to doesn't think it could be ASMs because of how long (and how aggressively) we've treated it for, but then why do the anti-parastitics help?

I'm also worried about my sickest bird. He's still having poop issues, and now that he only has use of one leg, it's harder for him to clean himself. His vent keeps getting dirty. I'm cleaning it to the best of my ability, but some of the poop is really stuck on there. I can't soak him in warm water because it makes him extremely stressed, and he isn't able to move around afterward because of damp wings. Spray bottles and warm cotton swabs, no luck either. I don't want to tug on the poop too hard because some of his skin moves with it, and I don't want to hurt him. I'm scared his vent is going to get totally pasted over.

And an update on his leg, I suppose. His toes on the one foot are still curled. He seems okay with putting a little weight on the ankle/knuckles. I have seen him move the leg, and he seems to be able to flex the toes the tiniest bit. I guess only time will tell if he regains use of it, but since he still has feeling in it and is moving it a bit, I'm optimistic. It really bothers him, though; he keeps biting at it throughout the day. I suppose as long as he doesn't bite it off, this is fine, might help it get some more blood flow. But I feel bad for him.

He has been more active and chirpy since we started the Fluconazole, though. Which is a silver lining.
 

Pixiebeak

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So frustrating!!!
Stay strong
 

Azellia

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Sneezing and lethargy up today. I'm holding off on giving another dose of anti-parasitic because I want to make sure it's not a fluke first + I'd like to talk to my vet again beforehand. Maybe switching back to Ivermectin for a bit would be a good idea to prevent drug resistance. I'm also a little scared of overuse... both Ivermectin and Moxidectin are technically toxins I believe & 5 months on them is, well, a lot. :unsure1:

Sneezing has gone down since morning at least, so that's something. Best case scenario, this is just a flare up of the yeast, as it has been causing an uptick in respiratory symptoms itself. We're 7 days into treatment for it, though, so IDK.

As for a piece of good news, sickest baby can most definitely move his whole leg. Was flexing toes again earlier. He seems to be keeping weight off it for a reason... maybe it is just a bad sprain w/ slight nerve damage?
 
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Azellia

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A small update. Still waiting on the results of that culture. Maybe tomorrow? It's been over a week, wonder what's growing on that thing.

Sneezing is down. Hooray! One more day left on the Fluconazole, but it's looking like we might have to extend that a little longer. GI issues + crop clearing almost gone, but still happening more than I'd like.

Sickest bird is putting a little more weight on his bad foot. Still keeps the toes clenched for the most part, though. He's been singing and dancing to his favorite ladder a lot today which makes me happy. :)
 

Azellia

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Got the culture results back... no yeast/fungus found on it, interestingly, despite the gram stain indicating a pretty large yeast overgrowth. But there WAS some klebsiella. I've been trying to find some info on this bacteria, but there doesn't seem to be a lot online.
 

Azellia

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This vet seems pretty convinced they don't have Avian Chlamydia. But I doubt pseudomonas or klebsiella would be the main sources of their symptoms. And they're all doing really well on doxy... I don't know what to do.
 

Azellia

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Yeast treatment and pseudomonas treatment both done, by the way. No pseudomonas on the culture, so looks like that's gone. Gram stains show dramatically decreased yeast... vet said there's still some remaining, but it's inactive. Putting them on Cipro (is that the right spelling?) for the klebsiella. I've been continuing the doxy since other vet said it wouldn't hurt to try and rule out AC... they're about 30 days in ATM.
 

Azellia

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I do think we're dealing with AC as the main infection here. 36/45 days on Doxy and they're looking really good now. Sneezing almost non-existent, except for with one bird.

The issue is these darn secondary infections... I feel like we get rid of one and a new one immediately takes it's place. My one bird is still a little sneezy so must have something resistant to Doxy and Flucanazole... hoping the Cipro will help. If not will probably have to get another culture specifically for him.

For sickest bird: he's looking a lot better. Chirping & playing more every day. Bad foot is slowly making progress! He's able to move the leg pretty normally now. Toes have uncurled a little bit the last few days and he's putting more weight on the foot as a whole.
 
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