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Cockatiel regurgitating multiple times (sad update #37)

Shadark

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Sergio Baamonde
Hello everyone, first of all, english is not my first language so sorry for any mistakes. We're living in Spain, so please bear that in mind when suggesting courses of action. Appreciated!

Our little Frodo has been with us for a few weeks, he's almost 4 months old, we got him from an apparently reputable registered local shop/breeder because a few months ago we got a baby cockatiel from another shop (10 days old) and he ended up flying towards the rainbow bridge a few months later, avian vet suggested PDD but we declined to do a necropsy. Obviously, after this event, we thoroughly cleaned all the rooms, perches, cages, etc.

Frodo was a chonky bird when we got him but he went from 100g to 90g yesterday, it was a very slow decline and we issued that concern with the avian vet a few days after getting him (since he had already lost a little bit of weight) but she said he looked fine, just prescripted us some antifungical for possible Coccidia.

However, we found him today in his cage looking like he had wet his head, strange because he doesn't have a water bowl when he goes to sleep. Also he looked a bit tired and weird. Fortunately, we have a nanny cam with him and we could check the recordings, I'm linking to the youtube videos in order:


We initially thought it could've been blood because it looked dark but that was probably the night vision mode of the cam, we couldn't find any bloody liquids on the newspapers sheets on the bottom of the cage, only some stains with a bit of a brown-y tint.

Preoccupied, we called our avian vet (they have an emergency line) and she prescribed some medications: an antifungical (Mycostatin, for Candida I think), an antiemetic (Primperan, active principle metoclopramide) and suggested an antibiotic (Septrin, contains Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole). We tried to gave him but he's not used to syringes and caused quite a ruckus and I think he ended up even more tired.

Our previous cockatiel had to go through a stage where he was very weak and tired and we wanted to avoid that, so we called the vet again after a few hours. Since we told her he wasn't eating or drinking and he seemed fluffed up/tired/perched, she suggested that we try to feed him some fresh fruits and, if he's not eating them, saline solution with a bit of sugar, just some mililiters. We tried to feed him this with a syringe but he ended up drinking on his own a few sips.

Since then, he's been alternating between "tired mode" where he just sleeps perched, a bit less fluffed than before, and his almost normal self where he tries to get out of the cage, walks all over my keyboard and tries to nibble everything (except his pellets). His stools apparently are fine but he's regurgitated 2 times since the morning. Hopefully he hasn't regurgitated his meds but we're still worried that he could be missing some nutrition or hydration. He's also sometimes tapping his beak all over some surfaces, just for some seconds, but we think it's a bit out of the typical for him.

We're gonna call again the vet now and see what she can tell us. With our previous cockatiel he ended up getting hospitalized but he died the next day, so we want to avoid postponing health treatment as far as we're able to, so we've mentioned earlier that if possible and necessary we would like to get Frodo hospitalized in case it's the best option for him.

Will try to get you updated and hopefully some of you can shed some light about the possible causes of all of this. The only thread that seemed fairly similar to what's happening is this one: Vomiting clear liquid and a sticky head (sad update #43) but obviously we want to fight to avoid getting a similar end to that thread :(

Thanks to all, and for all the work and advice you give, best wishes
 

Zara

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I´m very sorry this is happening.
I don´t know what is wrong with your bird, but that is vomiting and not regurgitating.
 

Shadark

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I´m very sorry this is happening.
I don´t know what is wrong with your bird, but that is vomiting and not regurgitating.
Yes, we thought that it could've been regurgitating since we didn't see him doing the usual head turning movement when vomiting, but the vet also told us that's vomit.

We just spoke with her, she seemed happy when we told her that he did some sips of the saline solution on his own and that he nibbled the orange. She also suggested preparing some formula (we still have some from our previous cockatiel) and trying to get him to eat a bit more during today. She told us that the medication won't take effect for a while so it's too early to make any kind of judgement, but she told us to stay calm because he seemed to be progressing good.

Will still keep you updated and hopefully all of this will end in a bad scare for all of us.
 

Shadark

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Update: this little fella really likes to bite and even disassemble some of my keyboard keys whenever I'm gaming so I resorted to put some napkins over the keyboard, that doesn't deter him and he tries to bite the shining LEDs on the keyboard anyways.

This little bit of context is necessary cause after a long time of being half asleep and mostly doing nothing, he tried to play with the keyboard again, so we put some cut pieces of apple and berries near the keys that he was trying to bite (that obviously were the keys that I was pressing) and he ended up eating quite some!

He's back again to being asleep in his perch, we haven't managed to make him drink some saline solution for a while, we'll keep trying (we don't want to force him with a syringe cause it makes him to be very stressed) and maybe we'll call again the vet (bless her heart) if he doesn't drink anything before he goes to sleep in case she can give us some more suggestions.

Hopefully we don't think he's going to leave us this night (a concern that we had with our previous cockatiel, he ended up leaving us after getting hospitalized, but it was a longer and steadier decline) so we'll give him some time to rest and hopefully the meds will begin showing some progress tomorrow!
 

sunnysmom

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I hope he'll be okay. Did the vet run any tests on him? A gram stain or anything like that?
 

Shadark

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The vet wasn't able to check on him because of schedule conflicts, we had an appointment with another closer vet (it's specialized in "exotics" and has some knowledge with birds, but not so much as the other vet) for thursday. Luckily the avian vet told us she had some free time today in case there was some kind of emergency.

Well, today Frodo woke up much less lively, was softly chirping the whole time, falling asleep and so on, and I didn't manage to make him eat anything, he also didn't want to drink any water (even less his medicine) so my SO and I decided to take the vet's offer and go there just to err in the side of caution.

The vet ran some tests: apparently there was a bit of yeast infection on his feces and that could've caused the initial vomiting. She also did an X-Ray and found in his lungs that he had a respiratory infection (if I recall correctly), the lungs had to look dark/black but only the lower part looked like that, the rest of the lungs were more clear/white. She suggested that this could've caused his low energy and lack of appetite, and obviously this wasn't helping his recovery.

Long story short, he got hospitalized and the vet said he was going to put him on UV rays, controlled heat, a nebulizer (that I'm guessing it's for aerial delivery of medicine) and with a IV (IIRC), so he should be fine in a few days, hopefully! (Edit: I think she also mentioned doing a crop flush). I'm guessing the respiratory infection should improve in a few days, with that he may recover his appetite and energy and if the yeast infection also gets treated he'll be back to be a normal and healthy bird in no time, hopefully.

Thanks to everyone who reads this updates! Even if we don't get a lot of traction, it helps us to have some kind of place to "vent" or share all these updates in case someone can contribute.
 
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Tiel Feathers

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I hope he makes a quick recovery!
 

Zara

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Fingers crossed for a steady recovery. Glad you got to the vet!
 

sunnysmom

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I hope he feels better soon.
 

Shadark

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Hopeful update: I've called the vet today same hour as yesterday (so aprox. 48h after getting admitted) and apparently Frodo is recovering well! The vet told us he may be able to come back home tomorrow or after tomorrow. Fingers crossed! Thanks for all your support :angel2:
 

Shezbug

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Great update!
 

Shadark

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Happy update: little Frodo is back home! Vet told us he did much better, didn't lose a single gram of weight during his time there, was eating and playing a lot and also very cuddly <3 We got some more medicines (mild painkillers, keep the antifungical and the antiemetic, a gastric protector) and we had to buy a nebulizator (she already provided us the medicine) to keep caring for him for a few more days! After a week or so, another revison and hopefully he'll be 100% healthy by then!

It's a bit blurry but here's little Frodo already back home, we couldn't be more happier to have him back (and hopefully he's also more happy than ever!) :angel2: IMG_20210918_155531.jpg
 

Zara

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Fantastic update! I´m so happy for you both that Frodo is home and getting better :)
 

Tiel Feathers

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He’s absolutely precious! :swoon: I’m so glad he’s back home and doing well!
 

Shadark

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Semi-happy update: Yesterday Frodo seemed to do just fine (just didn't eat A LOT the day he came back so he was down a few grams), but today we found that he had vomited again (min. 2 times during the night), he was also sleepy, fluffed up and with nausea (almost 1 hour with sudden head shakes), he didn't had anything for breakfast but he drank a bit of water. We were concerned again so we called the vet.

She told us that maybe it could be because of the pellet's brand: during his hospitalization he had Versele-Laga (Nutribird) pellets and he was eating them perfectly fine, but here at home we have Zupreem (both the colored and the uncolored versions). She said that she heard that maybe some batch could be contaminated, or just that that precise brand didn't sit well with Frodo. In any case, she sounded a bit concerned and tried to think some solution but we told her that we weren't taking any chances, so we took the trip to the vet (1h30m each trip + tolls). During the trip Frodo seemed to wake up a bit (we had woken him up a bit earlier today to give him all the meds), he was still asleep but not fluffed and when we were arriving he was chirping with his "I'm hungry" chirp, so we took that as a good sign. He also didn't have more nausea or vomits.

The vet did some analysis of his poop and told us that his bacterial infection was almost gone! Good news at last. Still, he got hospitalized again just in case, hopefully during this stay he'll recover some weight and energy and we'll see about changing the food brand. Really hoping this is the last time we have to do a vet visit cause we could use a break for some weeks/months, we're happy that he's going to be fine and that this isn't some difficult disease, but being concerned almost every day of the week is leaving us a bit tired.


In any case, thanks for reading and if you have any comments or suggestions feel free to leave them!
 
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Zara

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Maybe you could try using the Nutribird pellets when he comes home and see if it helps? He does well on them at the vet. So it is possible.

Hope he´ll be ok
 

Shadark

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Maybe you could try using the Nutribird pellets when he comes home and see if it helps? He does well on them at the vet. So it is possible.

Hope he´ll be ok
Yeah, that's our current plan. I guess if something goes wrong again at home with the "vet's pellets" then it's something here or during the trip that doesn't do well for him. But I guess that it could be something like that the vet would've told us earlier (we asked her about hygiene, possible contamination, etc...)
 

sunnysmom

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I hope he is back to normal soon. I would maybe ask the vet about giving him probiotics too.
 

Tiel Feathers

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I hope he’ll be okay! Double check that everything in his environment and in your home is safe for birds. No fumes, dangerous toys, etc.
 

Shadark

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Small update: Vet said that this time he's having more difficulties responding to the treatment and vomited again, she will try other alternatives. Maybe it wasn't the pellets after all?
 
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