• 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
  • 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 Finch in bad shape, trying to decide what to do (Sad update post #5)

GreenThing

Walking the driveway
Joined
5/24/21
Messages
299
Location
South Florida
Real Name
Kat
About a month ago, I noticed very slight, here and then gone again signs of panting in one of my pair of society finches. I took them both to an avian vet, and based on the gradual onset of symptoms she treated both with Ivermectin (suspecting airsac mites) and said she would follow with broad-spectrum antibiotics if the little guy did not improve. After three/four days with no improvement, I called and was able to pick up Baytril. Gave it for eight days (it didn't last ten, I should have marked the bottle in increments) and little guy was still panting, but was very active and eating and the symptoms just didn't change. The only thing I noticed recently is that only one finch seemed to pass a huge morning dropping, the other had very slight droppings.

Yesterday the panting finch started to show signs of lethargy. :( Still able to fly, but puffed up with squinty eyes for most of the time. It is hard to tell with the puffed feathers, but there might be swelling one side of his throat. I called the vet right away, but the earliest I can get in is 10AM tomorrow. I bought a heating pad last night and woke up every two hours to switch it back on, but I don't think it was providing much warmth in their big cage. Little guy was still flying and eating, so I was afraid of adding the stress of pulling him out and putting him in a hospital cage alone.

I have three options (and we are short-staffed so I had to be at work until 9pm tonight)-- I can get a second warming pad and place it on top of the cage right where they perch at night, so they can snuggle right next to it, I can get him into the carrying cage with the warming pad, or I can take him to a non-avian 24 hour clinic that will set him up with oxygen and proper warmth until the vet appointment. I am dreading the stress of getting him into the carrying cage, but I know it will be easier in the morning (last time they were hungry and went right into the cage where they could see seed). What should I do? I am stopping for Pedialyte, as well.

My biggest mistake was not pushing for a gram stain on the first visit, and I'm really upset with myself. It could be fungal or protozoa (canker had similar symptoms, but there has been zero vomiting or seed in droppings). I feel like he told me early something was wrong, and I failed to get him the help he needed. It might be too late, now, but I am afraid of making another wrong choice.
 

Shezbug

ASK ME FOR PICTURES OF MY MACAW!
Super Moderator
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/28/18
Messages
17,650
Location
Vic, Australia
Real Name
Shez
Bump
 

camelotshadow

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
11/9/11
Messages
21,310
Location
S California
Real Name
Christine
Wishing the best. It's not easy to get to see a vet these days esp on short notice or emergency situations.

Hoping that you made it to the vet today who was treating them & they figure it out.

Ultimately we have to ask the vet for advice & take it from there on the treatment plan.

Without knowing the need for oxygen myself & probably not even the emergency vet who was not experienced with birds could tell. Perhaps a night at home with its companions or least in the home would be better than a stressful night in a vet office only to be moved to another vet in the morning. Its just hard to say unless they showed signs of breathing problems.

Thinking of your little guy & hope he will be OK.
 

finchly

Cruising the avenue
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
5/16/14
Messages
12,548
Location
SW Florida
Real Name
Finchly
About a month ago, I noticed very slight, here and then gone again signs of panting in one of my pair of society finches. I took them both to an avian vet, and based on the gradual onset of symptoms she treated both with Ivermectin (suspecting airsac mites) and said she would follow with broad-spectrum antibiotics if the little guy did not improve. After three/four days with no improvement, I called and was able to pick up Baytril. Gave it for eight days (it didn't last ten, I should have marked the bottle in increments) and little guy was still panting, but was very active and eating and the symptoms just didn't change. The only thing I noticed recently is that only one finch seemed to pass a huge morning dropping, the other had very slight droppings.

Yesterday the panting finch started to show signs of lethargy. :( Still able to fly, but puffed up with squinty eyes for most of the time. It is hard to tell with the puffed feathers, but there might be swelling one side of his throat. I called the vet right away, but the earliest I can get in is 10AM tomorrow. I bought a heating pad last night and woke up every two hours to switch it back on, but I don't think it was providing much warmth in their big cage. Little guy was still flying and eating, so I was afraid of adding the stress of pulling him out and putting him in a hospital cage alone.

I have three options (and we are short-staffed so I had to be at work until 9pm tonight)-- I can get a second warming pad and place it on top of the cage right where they perch at night, so they can snuggle right next to it, I can get him into the carrying cage with the warming pad, or I can take him to a non-avian 24 hour clinic that will set him up with oxygen and proper warmth until the vet appointment. I am dreading the stress of getting him into the carrying cage, but I know it will be easier in the morning (last time they were hungry and went right into the cage where they could see seed). What should I do? I am stopping for Pedialyte, as well.

My biggest mistake was not pushing for a gram stain on the first visit, and I'm really upset with myself. It could be fungal or protozoa (canker had similar symptoms, but there has been zero vomiting or seed in droppings). I feel like he told me early something was wrong, and I failed to get him the help he needed. It might be too late, now, but I am afraid of making another wrong choice.
Update?
 

GreenThing

Walking the driveway
Joined
5/24/21
Messages
299
Location
South Florida
Real Name
Kat
Sad update, just a warning.

Perhaps a night at home with its companions or least in the home would be better than a stressful night in a vet office only to be moved to another vet in the morning. Its just hard to say unless they showed signs of breathing problems.

Thinking of your little guy & hope he will be OK.
Yes, that's what I decided, too. He was hopping about eating dinner that night, so I asked my sister if she'd be willing to sleep at my parents and shut the AC off so the whole apartment was at 80 degrees all night. He made it to the vet, doing his best impression of perfect health the way so many little amazing creatures do, and she gave me doxycycline (since Baytril was broad spectrum it was possible it had just suppressed symptoms). We did a gram stain--inconclusive-- and she said she thought congenital issues (maybe liver) or a virus were most likely. She chose not to do a physical exam, and I actually appreciate that she errs on that side, she is very gentle.

She told me to keep him in the carrying cage for the ten days of antibiotics so he wouldn't exert himself. I hated to keep him apart from his cage mate, so I build a stand with boxes so they could still perch right against each other, and that seemed to make them both happy.

My car hydroplaned on the highway this morning on the way to work. It's probably the closest I've come to a fatal crash-- I crossed four lanes at least twice, and can barely remember what happened. I keep flashing back to the sight of the median wall coming closer and closer and trying to keep hold of the wheel. I made it to the side of the road without hurting anyone or flipping over, which is ... miraculous. I was supposed to take lunch and go home to give him his medicine (they go to bed later than the budgies), but I asked my sister if she would do it, because I was nervous about getting back on the highway in the rain.

My mom called a little later to say that Cricket had died. She asked me not to drive, and put him in the freezer for me. I want to verify it wasn't psittacosis, improbable as that may be, because the vet raised the possibility. I am struggling a lot with not being able to be there and see him myself. He was still eating last night and never showed signs of pain, so I hope he didn't suffer. Part of me is relieved-- if it was a congenital issue or something that couldn't heal, I'm glad he isn't struggling. I feel awful that I had them apart, but I'm glad they were close and could have some contact.

I've seen so many animals die-- people used to leave little dead animals on my desk to use the skulls or parts for educational purposes-- but I didn't anticipate how much I'd feel for a little life that was my own responsibility. @finchly I will message you about his sibling. My mom and my sister stopped to keep him/her company today, and they said he ate and cheered up when they talked him.
 
Last edited:

camelotshadow

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
11/9/11
Messages
21,310
Location
S California
Real Name
Christine
:sadhug2: :sorrow:
Sorry, but you did all you could do for little Cricket & glad you were not injured in that terrible car accident.
I don't think a necropsy can be done on a frozen bird but I hope you get an answers & your other bird is OK.
 

Tiel Feathers

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/15/14
Messages
19,340
Location
Quincy,CA
Real Name
Deanna
I’m so very sorry for your loss, and you were very lucky that the car accident wasn’t worse. What a traumatic time for you, hang in there.
:sadhug2:
 

expressmailtome

Ripping up the road
Administrator
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/15/10
Messages
46,604
Real Name
Matthew
I am sorry for your loss.
 

finchly

Cruising the avenue
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
5/16/14
Messages
12,548
Location
SW Florida
Real Name
Finchly
Bird should be in fridge, not freezer.

He hasn't been exposed to psittacosis (unless after you picked him up) but it sure would be helpful to know what happened. I didn't even let any people in, except you. But I always get a necropsy if it's possible because I can't stand not knowing. Sadly, they're often inconclusive.

Sounds like your mom and sister are as kind hearted as you! :heart: (My mom would have said 'it's just a bird')
 

GreenThing

Walking the driveway
Joined
5/24/21
Messages
299
Location
South Florida
Real Name
Kat
Bird should be in fridge, not freezer.

He hasn't been exposed to psittacosis (unless after you picked him up) but it sure would be helpful to know what happened. I didn't even let any people in, except you. But I always get a necropsy if it's possible because I can't stand not knowing. Sadly, they're often inconclusive.

Sounds like your mom and sister are as kind hearted as you! :heart: (My mom would have said 'it's just a bird')
Yep, that was my mistake-- I had remembered someone at a wildlife hospital keeping a hawk for necropsy in the freezer, but at that point you could only find an impacted object or other obvious issue.

I was surprised she mentioned psittacosis at all, and assumed it was asymptomatically carried more often than I'd thought, but now I've read a bit more. Cross-contamination from my budgies is possible (I haven't had the budgies tested yet, they appear to be healthy, but their vet day is coming)-- I was as careful as I could be, but I know that doesn't amount to much when compared to clinical standards. I did use the same small hand vacuum in both areas. :( I actually switched to a broom and dustpan because my mom raised the possibility it could spread particles of dried droppings. Otherwise I don't know anyone else with birds and don't work around wildlife anymore.

Will call vet and get her advisement on necropsy, if she thinks she won't be able to learn anything based on timing/damage to tissues I will just bury the little fellow in peace.

I am very lucky to have a loving family :xflove: --my parents had a canary for maybe a few weeks as a favor to a neighbor, but otherwise they are dog people. They have been completely charmed by the birds, though. I am so grateful for your kindness, too-- thank you for taking Twig. Do let me know if their droppings don't go back to normal!

I am still tearing up every time I walk past their little nook, but I'm happy they were in my life for a little while.
 
Top