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Possible Aspiration Pneumonia?

SamanthaAV

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So I am familiar with hand raising parrots, I have handfed many birds but this is only my second clutch of Parrotlets without a mentor.

I was anticipating to remove them from the nestbox at about 2 weeks of age as I have always done in the past but my baby, their mother past away suddenly, god rest her soul. We are currently awaiting necropsy results from the vet but because of her sudden loss I had to take over when two of the babies were only 5 days old. The same day she past away a new baby had hatched and I have never before taken care of babies so young.

I have noticed some symptoms of aspiration in two of the birds, the youngest and the second youngest. The youngest one, now 5 days old was incredibly difficult to feed from the start and remains difficult. On it's first day it showed no feeding response what so ever. I had to gently force it to eat. Now it has a feeding response but it stops to gasp during feedings even though I'm not trying to feed it too quickly and the syringe stays at the edge of its beak. I noticed that it has a light clicking sound in it's chest.

The second youngest I have also seen gasping but not just during feedings. It has a great feeding response but it does seem to open it's beak for air all throughout the day. I checked to see if it also has the clicking sound and it does.

The oldest has not shown any signs of aspiration, it has an amazing feeding response and does not gasp for air at any time during the day but I checked and this one also had the clicking sound.

So I began to wonder, if it's aspiration pmnemonia or is it just a normal parrotlet noise? And perhaps there is something else wrong with the younger two. So I went to listen to the chest of my adult male parrotlet. I confirmed with my husband, the same noise but far less frequent. It seemed to be coming from his nostrils and not his chest however.

So my question is I guess... What is the clicking noise? And what's wrong with my 2 younger babies?

I have already contacted my avian vet and told them my concerns of possible pnemonia and made an appointment. Unfortunately the appointment is uncomfortably far away and they couldn't offer me much advice over the phone. So please if any fellow breeders or parrotlet owners could help me determine what's going on it would mean so much.

Also I am running on little to no sleep so maybe I'm just paranoid.. Please offer your opinions! Thank you.
 

Garet

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I'm not a breeder, but it really sounds like you need to get daddy and babies to an emergency vet asap. Mom just passed away, and now the babies are sick and dad is making the same strange noises as his babies are? He's likely the strongest and healthiest of the family, laying eggs takes a huge toll on momma and weakens her immune system. Babies are also less sturdy and don't have strong immune systems yet.

It sounds like they have something bad.
 
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SamanthaAV

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I'm not a breeder, but it really sounds like you need to get daddy and babies to an emergency vet asap.
I know, I'm considering taking them in as emergency tomorrow morning. But my husband is thinking that the noise is just how parrotlets sound when they breathe. But this is my first time holding up a parrotlet's chest to my ear so I really can't say what normal is.
 

Garet

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I know, I'm considering taking them in as emergency tomorrow morning. But my husband is thinking that the noise is just how parrotlets sound when they breathe. But this is my first time holding up a parrotlet's chest to my ear so I really can't say what normal is.
Clicking when breathing is not good. For any bird. It's a sign of a respiratory infection, air sac mites or asper. They need to get to an er tonight. :/ It sounds like one of the babies is really poor.
 
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SamanthaAV

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Clicking when breathing is not good. For any bird. It's a sign of a respiratory infection.
What I don't understand is how they would all have it. How would the daddy have gotten sick too? He's in a separate enclosure, he hasn't seen the babies since I started to care for them, and he couldn't have been spreading the infection because he never came into contact with the youngest baby.
 

Garet

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What I don't understand is how they would all have it. How would the daddy have gotten sick too? He's in a separate enclosure, he hasn't seen the babies since I started to care for them, and he couldn't have been spreading the infection because he never came into contact with the youngest baby.
  1. The mother had to have been with both daddy and babies at some point.
  2. Some diseases and mould/fungi can be spread through the air.
  3. They can also hitch a ride on your skin.
  4. Poop.
 
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Hawk12237

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Parroted do make a clicking noise. They are known for that.
That said, I am not sure what your hearing as I can't see it hear your bird. Aspiration can make them struggle quite a bit from discomfort, and wheez , but it would be best to share a video.
But always, when not sure, a vet will clarify anything that you have questions on.
 

SamanthaAV

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  1. The mother had to have been with both daddy and babies at some point.
  2. Some diseases and mould/fungi can be spread through the air.
  3. They can also hitch a ride on your skin.
  4. Poop.
Maybe that's what it is then, a respiratory infection. I'm not sure if that's better or worse that pmnemonia but it looks like I'll have to take them in to emergency.
 

SamanthaAV

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Parroted do make a clicking noise. They are known for that.
That said, I am not sure what your hearing as I can't see it hear your bird. Aspiration can make them struggle quite a bit from discomfort, and wheez , but it would be best to share a video.
But always, when not sure, a vet will clarify anything that you have questions on.
How do I post a video here?
 

rocky'smom

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YouTube or FB
 

Beasley

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Please do take them into the ER vets, I know it’s expensive and that the cost is going to be astronomical. I’ve lost a bird waiting two days, October is too far away. I can tell you don’t want to lose them, please get them seen ASAP and please keep us posted. I hope they’re all okay.
 

Garet

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I really hope you take them in. I'm not trying to be mean here, but you're breeding these birds, be it out of love for the species or for money. Either way, they're in your care now. You chose to breed their parents, they're only here because you wanted them. It's not fair to let them slowly die.

These little guys aren't going to last thirteen days if two are already having issues breathing. You're very likely to lose the two youngest babies, if not all three of them, maybe even the dad.
 

SamanthaAV

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I really hope you take them in. I'm not trying to be mean here, but you're breeding these birds, be it out of love for the species or for money. Either way, they're in your care now. You chose to breed their parents, they're only here because you wanted them. It's not fair to let them slowly die.

These little guys aren't going to last thirteen days if two are already having issues breathing. You're very likely to lose the two youngest babies, if not all three of them, maybe even the dad.
I am currently at the avian hospital, I feel kind of bad keeping the staff past hours but I'm sure they understand. Still no word what the issue is yet. I love these babies with all my heart and want them to be healthy. I brought their daddy as well.
 

Garet

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I am currently at the avian hospital, I feel kind of bad keeping the staff past hours but I'm sure they understand. Still no word what the issue is yet. I love these babies with all my heart and want them to be healthy. I brought their daddy as well.
That's great! I'm sure the staff understand and are willing to help. They're there because they love animals, after all, and a lot of vets work in shifts, with someone on nights to take care of emergencies. I really hope they can help you and your little ones out!
 

SamanthaAV

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Update: I just arrived home. The vet is pretty far from my house but we made it work with a portable generator for the brooder. Aspiration Pneumonia wasn't completely ruled out but looks highly unlikely considering the chest x-rays were clear and all of the birds are breathing normally. The vet didn't think it was likely they have a respiratory infection either since the older ones are acting perfectly healthy otherwise but we are doing antibiotics just in case to see what happens. If it's not a respiratory infection the vet believes that it could very well be genetic. It's possible that there dad has a malformed naval which he passed on to all three babies. It wouldn't be surprising since in his first ever clutch one of the babies had a visible beak malformation. I had thought it was just because first clutches don't always turn out so well and maybe he wasn't getting enough nutrients because the parents didn't know what they were doing yet but it's clear now that there dad has bad genes and will not be bred again. As for the littlest one and his lethargy, we have come to the conclusion that it's possible it was from the egg growing too cold. When there mother past away I was not fully prepared and expecting to pull them, I had my brooder ready but it was a few hours before I was able to tweek the temperature to what it needed to be. She believes if that is the cause of his slow start it could very well mean that the other fertile eggs, if they hatch, will have the same sickness. It's possible they will improve with tlc, or they may always be special needs birds. They are going to call me tomorrow to make an appointment for a full assessment of the x-rays. Thank you, everyone for your support.
 

Hawk12237

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You did great. And your welcome! Glad you got the vet sorted out. Birds can deteriorate quite rapidly if issues are left unattended too long.
I'm going through an issue with my bird, I'm fortunate I got her to vet asap and is improving.
She'll be my special needs bird, which I don't mind at all, it's far better than losing a bird which no body likes going through.
Happy that you identified the issue and can prepare now for it. It's a learning experience and knowledge that will grow with you and your birds. Enjoy the journey, it's worth it and they are worth it.
 

SamanthaAV

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You did great. And your welcome! Glad you got the vet sorted out. Birds can deteriorate quite rapidly if issues are left unattended too long.
I'm going through an issue with my bird, I'm fortunate I got her to vet asap and is improving.
She'll be my special needs bird, which I don't mind at all, it's far better than losing a bird which no body likes going through.
Happy that you identified the issue and can prepare now for it. It's a learning experience and knowledge that will grow with you and your birds. Enjoy the journey, it's worth it and they are worth it.
Thank you, I hope your bird gets better as well. I feel so relieved that we are finally on the right track. It's still scary that we have more to over come but having an idea of what is wrong makes me feel more confident that we can over come it.
 

Hawk12237

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Thank you as well!
Yea my Zon had a stroke/seizure and also developed an onset of a yeast infection to go along with it.
It is a scary thing not knowing, but once you know and nail it down, it's easier to help your bird deal with it. It's never a fun thing to go through.
But knowing gives you the confidence to get through it and help your birds get through it.
It is a learning experience and one that makes your senses much stronger when it comes to birds.
Glad to have you on the forum! I love it, the people on this forum (AA), are excellent, they stood by me and gave love when needed most as well as expert insight from their own experiences.
 
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Garet

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Oh thank heck it might not be anything too bad. Glad to be wrong here!
:hug8:
If poppa had been passing down deformed beaks, you may want to consider retiring him from breeding.
 
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