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How much hope is there for birds with heart disease?

AGS

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Also @Hankmacaw how did you give Jasper the garlic? Dr. Driggers mentioned it but he said to put it on his food, and I’m not sure Widget would touch that. Also it seems like it may be hard to measure out raw garlic for such a small bird. He didn’t mention dosage but the call kept cutting out so I’ll have to ask when he calls for the bloodwork.
 

Hankmacaw

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I tried the garlic on the food (fresh), but it was a real pain. I bought garlic extract and gave it to her by syringe. He didn't give me a dosage either, but it is not critical. I gave Jasper .3 cc so I would think less than .1 cc would do your guy fine.

This much will last you a long, long time.
 

AGS

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Just ordered it, thank you. He is really small (80 grams) so I think he might need about .02-.05 based on the amount that you gave Jasper.

Do you know of anywhere to order syringes from? He takes .08 ml of the medication so it’s only a tiny amount. I can keep picking them up from the vet if necessary though, but at least at Dr. Lambs office they would only give 1 syringe for 3 weeks worth of medication.
 

Shezbug

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I can buy syringes from my vet clinic or chemist here in Aus but I have also seen them online, I think a few of the US members here use amazon to buy them from. A fair few places stock them so I am guessing a google search will find you a few options till ML is back online and can tell you where she got hers from.
 

taxidermynerd

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With my vet's office, if I needed more syringes I just rang them up and they'd set some aside for me to pick up.
 

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Hankmacaw

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AGS

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Thank you! I found the bigger ones on Amazon but I’d just be scared to measure it wrong since he takes such a small amount.
 

AGS

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I’m wondering now if maybe the reason Widget has been losing more feathers on his head is from lack of blood flow. I remember someone mentioned something about lower blood flow affecting feather growth. But he has always had a very small bald spot above his nostrils, and every year it gets more and more bald. Now he also has a bald spot on the back of his head and the top. He’s never had that many feathers there so even losing a couple makes a bald area.

Once in a while he falls off his perch as well. It always happens in the morning when his cage is covered so it could just be because it’s dark and he’s trying to climb around but I’m not sure. He does wake up early even if I don’t uncover it right away.
 

Hankmacaw

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If he is falling off of his perch early in the morning - often, he may be having small seizures. Hank and Jasper both had them shortly before they died. They were caused by low blood sugar and feeding them something immediately. You can even take .1 ml of Karo syrup and feed it to him.
 

AGS

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It’s definitely not often (I can probably count on one hand how many times it’s happened this year) but maybe it’s related to the giardia? He does get super hungry in the mornings when it’s time to treat him again.

Also @Hankmacaw Should I give that amount of garlic once a day or twice?
 

Hankmacaw

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I gave it to her twice a day. The effects of garlic are somewhat short term and it give a little boost.
 

AGS

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I talked to Dr. Driggers since they received the records from the other vet and he does still want to do the CT scan and blood pressure. I’m just hesitant to have him sedated when he’s so weak. I know it’s already potentially deadly even on a relatively healthy bird. So we are going to start the Benazepril for now and if he’s doing better then we’ll bring him in to have that done. I just have personal experience with losing a bird to sedation so it terrifies me, and I know it’s not the first time it’s happened either.

One thing he mentioned was that he can’t actually see the atherosclerosis on the x-rays because he can only confirm it if he actually sees mineralization. On the x-rays the arteries that you can see are a grey-ish color but not bright white. He said it could just be either something else or motion blur since they didn’t sedate him for the x-rays. But he does think it’s some sort of heart/heart related issues just due to the cyanosis.

He said it might actually be some sort of primary heart issue rather than atherosclerosis, or both. Which would explain why the isoxsuprine helped a bit but not much. The thing that confused me is he said the Benazepril could potentially be deadly if he has a heart condition rather than atherosclerosis. But as far as I’ve researched it seems like it is used to treat all sorts of heart problems (birth defects, CHF, etc.). But he said the isoxsuprine could also have the same issue and obviously that hasn’t happened so far.

Just seems to be risky either way. Doing nothing would mean he will die. He’s already doing worse again after only being on the medication for a month. Sedating him for the CT scan could kill him. And trying the medications without doing those tests could kill him. So we are starting on a very low dose of the medication to start. I definitely want to have those tests done but I’d rather him not be so weak when he has it done.
 

AGS

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Well I’m an idiot. I started him on the benazepril last Saturday and he hasn't had any side effects. But he wasn’t really doing better and I thought increasing the dose might help since he was started on just .02ml. But I talked to Dr. Driggers and turns out I was never supposed to discontinue the old medication. They were supposed to be taken together. And now we have to wait another 1-2 weeks for the isoxsuprine to fully work (that’s how long it took last time anyway).

He’s definitely gotten worse again though. He’s back to eating a ton of food again. Today he seems to be doing slightly better but it’s hard to say.
 

Hankmacaw

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Just hang in there and keep giving the medications as directed.
 

AGS

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I will. I gave him some carrots today and he was so happy that he was whistling.

I emailed the vet about increasing the medicine and the front desk staff said he’s at the appropriate dose. I’m not sure if that’s true because Dr. Driggers said we started him on a low dose which to me sounds like a higher dose is possible. Instead they told me I can euthanize him. But I’m not doing that as long as he’s happy, and I asked them to double check about the medicine just in case.
 

Kassiani

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I have read your whole thread and just want to say how sorry I am to learn your sweet bird is so sick. I have no experience to share or advice to offer, but you are being a wonderful advocate for your boy! Sending healing thoughts and prayers.
 

Kassiani

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Let us know if your vet increases the dosage and whether it helps your dear Widget.
 
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