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Cockatiel's poop smells terrible

Emma O'Donnell

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Emma O'Donnell
Hi guys, I was hoping for some advice on what this may be. My cockatiel's poop has smelled absolutely foul for around 4 months now. I did take him to the vet around 2 months ago, I waited for so long because he wasn't showing any signs of illness, the smell was just too terrible for me to take any longer. He was completely healthy during his physical exam, all they found was some bacteria in his gram stain. He took one week of antibiotics and his poop stopped smelling for a few days, but as soon as he stopped the antibiotics his poop started smelling horrible again. I haven't taken him to the vet again yet because I only have enough money for one more visit, but it smells so horrible it's stinking up my bedroom and i'm miserable. Otherwise he is fine, he is active, energetic, playful, he sings, eats and drinks a normal amount, his weight is healthy. His diet is a mix of zupreem pellets and universal blend seeds. Does anyone know what might be causing this? His poop smells sour and foul, it's so disgusting. I'm truly dumbfounded as to what would cause this other than some sort of chronic infection, but wouldn't he be showing other symptoms if it's an infection? If anyone has tips for how to make this smell go away or any idea as to what is causing it please share them!
 

Emma O'Donnell

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Also I have two budgies who live in the same room, different cage, and they are healthy. Playful, active, their poop smells fine.
 

tka

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This is not normal.

I would go back to the vet and ask them to test the faeces again. I suspect that the course of antibiotics last time wasn't enough to kill all the bacteria, so as soon as the antibiotics were stopped the bacteria re-established themselves. You may need either a different antibiotic that the bacteria are more sensitive to, or a longer course of antibiotics.
 

Hankmacaw

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It may not be a bacteria at all. Foul smelling poop can indicate either a bacterial or a fungal infection.. Antibiotics do not kill fungus. You must use an anti fungal, if it is a fungus infection.
 

Jesse_EG

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Hi guys, I was hoping for some advice on what this may be. My cockatiel's poop has smelled absolutely foul for around 4 months now. I did take him to the vet around 2 months ago, I waited for so long because he wasn't showing any signs of illness, the smell was just too terrible for me to take any longer. He was completely healthy during his physical exam, all they found was some bacteria in his gram stain. He took one week of antibiotics and his poop stopped smelling for a few days, but as soon as he stopped the antibiotics his poop started smelling horrible again. I haven't taken him to the vet again yet because I only have enough money for one more visit, but it smells so horrible it's stinking up my bedroom and i'm miserable. Otherwise he is fine, he is active, energetic, playful, he sings, eats and drinks a normal amount, his weight is healthy. His diet is a mix of zupreem pellets and universal blend seeds. Does anyone know what might be causing this? His poop smells sour and foul, it's so disgusting. I'm truly dumbfounded as to what would cause this other than some sort of chronic infection, but wouldn't he be showing other symptoms if it's an infection? If anyone has tips for how to make this smell go away or any idea as to what is causing it please share them!
Hi @Emma O’Donnell , were you able to figure out what was causing the foul odor? I am dealing with almost the exact same case here with my African Grey who by all accounts is healthy. We’ve been to two different vets who’ve both run a number of test that are all negative, and yet the poops still smell.
 

Xoetix

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Hi @Emma O’Donnell , were you able to figure out what was causing the foul odor? I am dealing with almost the exact same case here with my African Grey who by all accounts is healthy. We’ve been to two different vets who’ve both run a number of test that are all negative, and yet the poops still smell.
This thread is from June 2020, and the original poster hasn’t logged in since Jan 2021.

The vets you’ve gone to - are they avian specialists?
 

Shezbug

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Hi @Emma O’Donnell , were you able to figure out what was causing the foul odor? I am dealing with almost the exact same case here with my African Grey who by all accounts is healthy. We’ve been to two different vets who’ve both run a number of test that are all negative, and yet the poops still smell.
Avian vets? Is it the poop from the whole day that smells or just the morning bomb? I am assuming when you say it smells you mean when it is still fresh and not after it has been left to sit - is this the case?
 

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I've only had one case of smelly poop in Penny it was also bubbles. She had yeast overgrowth and treated and resolved in her. Other symptoms for her during this were passive regurgitate as in eat some lean over and let regurgitate fall out. And reluctant to eat hard food.

Seems like so many posts on smelly poop lately....even tho this was an older thread. Also wonder what the organism is if it doesn't culture well?? Wonder if special cultures are needed?

I had 2 different kidney infections ( yay right? Ugh from all the stones) anyway they didn't culture in standard cultures ....took me getting really sick and special cultures done. I wish I understood and was told more of the cultures techniques required. But it had to be done as a special request and sent to a certain lab.

So I wonder if there are specialized cultures that veterinarian are able to request if standard cultures come up negative?
 

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Ok found some information on specialized cultures (people)... has to be prolonged on blood agar mix under co2 for anaerobic fastidious (only grows under very specific conditions outside of the body) organism. They also did a DNA analysis of my urine for the bacteria organism was expensive. Now will look if thise kinds of tests available in the Avian world of medicine.
 

Pixiebeak

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Ok I only found some journals reports on the use of DNA detection of fecal pathogens but in the chicken industry as that's big money available for research. Hopefully thst continues and trickles more into pet Avian medicine. Maybe has and I just didn't find.

But an older thread on smelly poop here. A member mentioned giradea
So true that does make smelly poop. And its an organism not a bacteria. My veterinarian had mentioned she was seeing more if this in her practice
@Jesse_EG
 

Jesse_EG

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This thread is from June 2020, and the original poster hasn’t logged in since Jan 2021.

The vets you’ve gone to - are they avian specialists?
Hello, yes they are avian specialists. Been to 2 here in TN, and spoken with 2 others (one in CA and one in FL). We did multiple fecal gram stains, gram parasite floats, cultures for aerobic, anaerobic, parasites and more. Nothing out of the ordinary, no gram negative bacteria, no yeast, no giardia or other parasites present. The frustrating thing about forums is that people will present their bird’s symptoms but they don’t follow up with treatment plans/results.

We did two 10-day rounds of baytril which got rid of the smell while he was on it. This was in conjunction with supplementing red palm oil onto his pellets because he did have signs of vit A deficieny. The morning poops are the smelly ones right now.The treatment plan going forward is to do daily “probiotic” and 1ml/100ml apple cider vinegar in water for the next 2 weeks to acidify his gut and get the flora back into line.

Background: this all started for us after being hit directly by hurricane ian in FL which led to 21 days in hotels before relocating to TN.
 

Jesse_EG

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Hello, yes they are both avian specialists. Been to 2 here in TN (Nashville and Knoxville) and spoke with 1 other (in CA). We did multiple fecal gram stains, gram parasite floats, cultures for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, salmonella, and clostridia. Nothing out of the ordinary, no gram negative bacteria, no yeast, no giardia and no parasites present.

The first vet did say he had more gram positive rods present than dots in the gram stain so she gave us 150 mg of baytril diluted in a water bottle to be given as his only water source for 10 days as she said she would like the presentation of the gram positive gut flora to be 2:1 and it was 4:1.

The baytril worked and the smell went away but then it came back a day after we stopped. The same vet then said to do baytril again for 10 days and the exact same thing happened. After that we decided to get a second opinion and the vet in knoxville said that was an interesting approach and said nothing about the 4 gram stains he did in the office being weird or out of the ordinary. He did two fresh gram stains and also did his morning poop that we brought in and his second poop of the morning that we also brought in.

The morning poops are the smelly ones right now.The treatment plan going forward is to do daily probiotic and 1ml/100ml apple cider vinegar in water for the next 2 weeks to acidify his gut and get the flora back into line.

Background: this all started for us after being hit directly by hurricane ian in FL which led to 21 days in hotels before relocating to TN.
 

Shezbug

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Is it just the morning poops that smell? If so I believe that is probably because they hold poops overnight so the poop in the morning has had more time to fester and build up bacteria.
 
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