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Cockatiel Chicks Dying

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Cannuck

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We have lost 2 of 3 cockatiel chicks from the same cluth over the past 4 days. I have no idea what the cause is. All seemed well, they were eating and gaining as normal and seemed very healthy.
The first to pass was the youngest baby. I had pulled them from the brooder for feeding and they were running all over whining for food as baby tiels are notorious for doing. The youngest started thrashing about so I picked it up and it's neck shot back and it was gone. I had suspected that possibly one of the bigger chicks had injured it and buried the baby with a heavy heart but high hopes for the other two.
The second youngest was next, not the following day but the day after that. I went to the brooder to give them their afternoon feeding and it had passed, it's neck also was in a strange position. I noticed that it's toungue was greyish (not sure if that means anything).
I don't see any symptoms of yeast with these babies and the remaining baby seems perfectly normal? The parents are not showing any sign of illness at all. Droppings are all normal, no vomitting ect...
I will be making an appt at the vet in the morning for the remaining baby. I want to have some bloodwork done to look for any sign of illness or disease. My priority right now is to save the remaining baby.
The other baby that I am just weaning is fine as well no sign of illness. I am wondering if it is just this clutch. The hen laid weird, and two of the eggs were DIS. I am hoping that perhaps they just didn't devolop right, or that it is something simple and easy to treat like yeast.

ANy input is appreciated, as well as things I can take to the vet, questions to ask ect...

Thank you!
 

birdlvr466

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Cannuck I have asked Susanne to come take a look at your thread, she has a lot of experience with raising babies.
 

Bokkapooh

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How old were the chicks?

It sounds like the first baby had either a heart attack or stroke. Perhaps you should take the bodies in for a necropsy. :(:hug8:
 

srtiels

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As Mercedes suggested, a necropsy would be the best best.

My first thoughts from the description, though it may NOT be the cause is polyoma or a viral infection. If polyoma is suspected an careful examination of the body can be done. Under the wing are some arteries near the wing pits. If they burst there would be bleeding ot bruising under the skin. Other areas for seeing this are the lower back, where the legs meet the feathers along the thigh, and if in pin feathers some of the pin feathers would bleed at the base. IF you have seen NONE of these on the chicks that passed then it is not polyoma.

A greyish tongie could be from loss of vlood from internal bleeding, or from lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. If the cause is lack of oxygen in the bloodstream some causes could be an inhaled contaminant that affected the air sacs and lungs.
Has there been a change in the room, or any new birds brought in or visitors that have had birds visit you?

ALL of the above is just speculations. If you have a body the best thing is th have the vet do a necropsy.
 

Cannuck

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I didn't save the bodies as at first I thought that the chick was injured by one of the larger :( I also am very tight on money and chose to book in the living chick for testing in hopes to prevent death with it. I am embarassed to say that I didn't even think of a necropsy :(

Susanne, I didn't see anything like that with the deceased chicks, the only thing out of the ordinary was the position of the necks (both looked bent out of shape as if they were broken) and the greyish toungue on the middle one.

Prior to loosing the first chick no new birds came in and no visitors with other birds attended. However that being said I am out and about quite a bit and come in contact with alot of people it is not impossible for me to have come in contact with something however unlikely.

I am hoping that the remaining chick can be saved. It seems to be doing well, feeding well, gaining weight, active and alert. I have never had a problem like this. I feel horrible about it. These are the first chicks that I have ever lost :(

I really hope that it is nothing major and can be treated fairly easy. I would hate for it to infect my entire flock!

I have put this baby under quarantine for the time being anyways.

This chick hatched January 31, the other two hatched on February 3 and 4.
 

srtiels

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OK...lets do a rule out.

Write down anything that has changed in the past week. Think of anything different that was done the day before the first chick died.

Are you stuill using the same bedding as used prior to death? Is the container/brooder the same or different.

What is the background of the parents? Are they definitely unrelated?

Any new cleaning or disinfectant materials used?

Does it look like they thrashed similar to night panics. That may explain the odd postion of the neck.

OK...in going back through your posts, did the deaths occur after you had fed them? if so, how full were the crops? if full did you notice when you put them back if another tiel climbed on the one just fed. With the blue tongue, it could have been aspirated if another bumped or jumped on it whith a full crop. Just thinking aloud agian. Hopefully others can suggest other scenarios.

Aside from the above I am clueless... :(
 

Cannuck

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OK...lets do a rule out.

Write down anything that has changed in the past week. Think of anything different that was done the day before the first chick died.

Are you stuill using the same bedding as used prior to death? Is the container/brooder the same or different.

What is the background of the parents? Are they definitely unrelated?

Any new cleaning or disinfectant materials used?

Does it look like they thrashed similar to night panics. That may explain the odd postion of the neck.

OK...in going back through your posts, did the deaths occur after you had fed them? if so, how full were the crops? if full did you notice when you put them back if another tiel climbed on the one just fed. With the blue tongue, it could have been aspirated if another bumped or jumped on it whith a full crop. Just thinking aloud agian. Hopefully others can suggest other scenarios.

Aside from the above I am clueless... :(

No changes prior. The bedding has been changed though it is the same (hard wood shavings). Same brand of formula, though after the death of the second chick I tossed the bag and opened a new one (should have been fine but just in case). I am still using the same brooder with fresh bedding.

The first chick had an empty crop. I was just putting formula in the syringe when I noticed it thrashing about. I picked it up but it was to late.

The second chick passed in the brooder, there was still some food in it's crop but it was not full. This is the chick whose toungue was greyish.

The parents should be unrelated, the father was bred here in Ontario. The hen came from out west. A totally different province so the likelihood that they are related is very slim.

It look similiar to night panics with the chick who I witnessed the attack. Wings flapping wildly, head flinging from side to side, eyes wide and glossy! Then the head flipped back and the chick went limp.
 

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Im so sorry, I hope the remaining chick does well. :hug8:
 

srtiels

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Was there anything in the back of the throat. The only time I have had something similar happen is when I used Carefresh bedding. The chick tripped, scooped up a piece of careferesh, and it blocked the auirway, and before I realized what happened it was too late, and it died with the head slung at a wierd angle and blue-tongue from lack of oxygen.

Check your bedding. Smell it to make sure it has no odor at all. If you have a black light shine it on the bedding, if it has unseen fungus or mold that will flourese (not sure of the spelling) a bright white.
 

Cannuck

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Was there anything in the back of the throat. The only time I have had something similar happen is when I used Carefresh bedding. The chick tripped, scooped up a piece of careferesh, and it blocked the auirway, and before I realized what happened it was too late, and it died with the head slung at a wierd angle and blue-tongue from lack of oxygen.

Check your bedding. Smell it to make sure it has no odor at all. If you have a black light shine it on the bedding, if it has unseen fungus or mold that will flourese (not sure of the spelling) a bright white.

I honestly didn't look to the back of the throat so that is a possibility. I don't smell anything and will have to try and locate a black light. I never thought of a mould or anything like that! Even though I changed the bedding it all comes from the same bag! I think I will do as I did with the formula toss this bag of bedding and open another! Just in case!
 

Cannuck

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The other chick that I have been raising, different brooder but same bedding and formula is showing no difficulties whatsoever though. He is older though too and just moved to my weaning cage.
 

Riley's mom

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On the chicks that died, did you happen to notice if their abdomens were destended at all? Susanne, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Deformed esophagus?
 

Cannuck

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On the chicks that died, did you happen to notice if their abdomens were destended at all? Susanne, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Deformed esophagus?
Thinking back, the second chick did appear a bit bloated, would that be how a distended abdomen would look?
 

srtiels

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OK...tiel babies, until they are fully feathered have large oversized abdomens.

The esphagus is not down in the abdomen, but the gizzard is. (1st pix) And if a blockage ther and past it into the intesines it would appear hard and ropy looking under the skin.

But, still they would not have died as you had descibed.
 

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Cannuck

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No, it didn't look anything like that. The feet were also clenched, closed up tight like a ball and legs straight back (kind of like a rubber chicken toy). I'm not sure if that is important.

THis is definately helping me to look at things and make notes on what to tell the vet!
 

Riley's mom

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Sorry, did not make myself clear. Why I was asking is because we had a few tiel babies die from polyoma and the destended abdomen (more than usual) was one of the ways it was detected. The esophagus was a whole different issue. We have had that happen before also ( deforemed esophagus ). Sorry, I did not mean for those to be linked together like that.
 

Bokkapooh

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Susanne, I didn't see anything like that with the deceased chicks, the only thing out of the ordinary was the position of the necks (both looked bent out of shape as if they were broken) and the greyish toungue on the middle one..

I dont know why the tongue would be that color. But the necks being bent is obvious sign of death. Bird will lay their next down comfortably, or to their back. Also As a bird dies, it'll curls its toes. Thisnt most cases, but what your describe sounds like the death look :(
 
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srtiels

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Cindy,...yes with polyoma there is the soft, pale distended abdomen. Prior to that they start to vomit and get slow crop or crop stasis. With polyoma, depending on the species they will have a small siezure prior to death and flip on their backs.

Many many years ago I was a handfeeder for a lady with lovebirds that had polyoma. What a nightmare. I was handfeeding close to 100 babies, and was very creative in treatment and actually pulled 75% of them thru it. my vet begged me to just put them all down, and couldn't beleive they actually survived. And after 2 months after weaned he declared them fine.
 

srtiels

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Danielle, Many times the feet clenched could also be a sign of pain, especially if the chest muscles felt hard and tight, and the bird had an upright stance. Renal/kidney problems and failure is very painful, and could die as you described.

Without a necropsy all we can do is speculate :(
 
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