• 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

Road to health with a Sick Parakeet

Status
Not open for further replies.

ceawind

Moving in
Joined
2/13/10
Messages
9
Hello everyone,

I would really appreciate any feedback you have on helping me bring my parakeet back to better health. I am currently working with an Avian vet, but any other feedback or advice would be helpful.

Snowy is a 5 year old parakeet. Over the last few months she has had on and off bouts with sinusitius. The vets we have worked with have advised us to transition her to Harrisions (which we have tried, but not really been successful with), and well as provided treatment. They think the root cause is likely vitamin a deficiency, which seems likely due to her diet.

She is currently going through the worst bout I have seen her with. It started last week when we noticed a small amount of nasal discharge. She was given antibiotics, which she had a very bad reaction too (vomiting, and lack of appetite resulted). This led to her not eating for a day, and we needed to hospitalize her for the weekend to make sure she had adequate nutrition to get her through as her droppings were very empty.

We brought her home Monday night, with not much hope for a successful recovery. She was tired, not really alert, and seemed very stressed from the experience. She has stayed perched through this ordeal. We had some bloodwork done, and she has higher bile levels (200?), so this will be a long term challenge.

Yesterday, she appeared to make some good progress. She was eating on her own, taking her medication well, and her droppings were moving more towards normal. Later yesterday evening, she started sneezing, and this morning, she is having some respiratory distress s her tail is bobbing harder than it should be, and she is still sneezing.

We have been keeping the temperature up in her cage (average temperature is between 83-87, and also keeping a humidifier going in the room. She is climbing, jumping and moving through her cage (with periods of rest) . She also seems to be a bit irritated that she is not with the other birds - though they are near her and also seem to be keeping watch by her.

She is eating this morning, and with the exception of the tail bobbing and sneezing, acting pretty normally. She is squacking a bit - her chirps do not sound like they had in the past. Not sure if this is due to the feedings she undertook or the sinusitis.

Any suggestions on transitioning her to a better diet, and how to keep her comfortable during this time would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

Thugluvgrl187

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/16/09
Messages
20,478
Location
Sunny Fl
Real Name
Miriam
I am sorry you and your baby are going through this. I don't know much about this but I am sending healing thoughts your way.:hug8:
 

suncoast

Cruising the avenue
Celebirdy of the Month
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/16/09
Messages
13,464
Location
Naples Florida
Real Name
Ginger
Sorry your baby is sick. Where are you located? Did you see an avian vet? Could she have an impacted seed in or up her nare? What exams did the vet perform.

I would set her up in a hospital cage with everything down low so she doesn't have to spend the energy getting around.

The two most important things are keeping her hydrated and warm. If she starts to fail and you need to get her to the vet you can smear a tiny bit of corn syrup on her beak to get her blood sugar up.

What antibiotic did she get?

I would keep her seperated just to make sure that what she has is not contagious.

There are many people here who can help you through this.

Ginger
 

ceawind

Moving in
Joined
2/13/10
Messages
9
Hello -

Thank you for the quick responses.

Snowy has been under the care of an avian vet over the weekend while hospitalized. I am not certain of the exact exams performed, but they did do some bloodwork.

She is drinking well, and is currently eating (we have the hulls to prove it). What concerns me most now is the tail bobbing, sneezing and a bit of wheezing (which is new) - and of course, the transition to some new types of food, but that is secondary until she has some strength back.

She is on baytril, twice a day at .02ml. We also have a call into our avian vet this morning with the additional details. We have a thermometer in her cage - it was around 87 degrees last night, this morning, we've lowered it to 80 to see if it will help with the bobbing - she is still bobbing her tail, but not quite as much as before.
 

birdlvr466

Hit the Road
Joined
10/15/09
Messages
16,655
Real Name
Pat
It does take a couple days for the baytril to start working but it is important to keep her warm as you are. Supportive care is critical right now. If she isnt eating on her own, I would be handfeeding her formula to keep her strength up. Keep her in a quiet area, she needs to rest.
 

srtiels

Ripping up the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Avian Angel
Joined
11/23/09
Messages
1,000,000
Location
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Real Name
Susanne
Hi, Many years ago I had a similair problem with some cockatiels. After hunbdreds of $$ spent with the vets and numerous topical and oral treatments nothing was resolved. I researched some alternative treatments and started giving all my tiels several Hibiscus flowers daily. Surprisingly the sinus and respiratory problems cleared up with 7-10 days, with no reoccurances.

You can check at a health food store. They may have dried Hibscus petals which can be used if you are in an area that none are growing or a Hibscus tea to use for the drinking water several times a week.
 

Attachments

Prince Toasty Buns

Jogging around the block
Joined
10/29/09
Messages
718
Tons of questions to ask Ceawind, in order to properly offer some possibly helpful info. but just not enough time to ask enough of them.

IDEA: I am going to openly suggest to everyone on the Board here that we get together (asap) with Jill's permission and create a Sticky Questionaire that each person can fill out (by checking the boxes) so some of us can best offer some beneficial assistance when a member or their bird is in need. This info. can be used either to just simply answer curiosity questions or give opinions & experiences with a specific problem/illness or to double-check their avian vets, etc. (remember avian vets & regular vets are not infallible and have accidentally given incorrect doses etc.) etc. ... Also many times avian vets just do not have the practical birdkeeping experience that can also benefit our birds. By having all of us (who are interested), as a concensus, checking their advice mutiple times, we not only can hopefully catch a mistake (sometimes mistakes can kill) but we all can also learn at the same time.

We are already offering tips, advice, comments on doses, therapy, temps, etc. etc. etc. (in addition to asking many numerous questions of all kinds), so why not get it all organized in one simple questionaire so none of us needs to spend valuable time asking repetitive questions or do a whole lot of unnecessary reading over & over again in order to try our best to help in the most beneficial ways?

Of course we are not avian vets and would not use this info. to tell a member to go against the advice of their avian vet(s). We would just be suggesting & double-checking from our first-hand experiences. I really feel this would be a helpful tool to everyone here.

Ceawind, to comment on what Susanne advised: Make sure the hibiscus leaves and/or flowers (if you decide to go pick some) come from bushes that have not been sprayed with pesticides.

To comment on what Birdlvr466 said: I believe the Baytril starts working fairly quickly and reaches maximum plasma concentration in approx. two hrs. with some species.

What other species of birds are the playmates of your little budgie? Can you contact the avian vet(s) you used to get a copy of their paperwork, tests, results, diagnoses, etc.?

I think 87 degrees might be a little high in your case (what did the vet say) but the best way to most accurately determine the most comfy temp. for your little one is to closely observe the bird to make sure it seems comfortable. Usually signs of too high or too low a temp. can be easily determined just by watching your bird's posture and wing positioning, etc. ... How are you heating the area/cage or are you keeping the whole house or room at that temp.?
 
Last edited:

srtiels

Ripping up the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Avian Angel
Joined
11/23/09
Messages
1,000,000
Location
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Real Name
Susanne
EXCELLENT SUGGESTION!!!

Years ago when I was on the Holistic Bird list I designed up the questionaire that they had used to have new posters read thru and fill out.

In checking the Holistic Bird site it must be down or something but I did manage to find this page. We can tailor smething similar: (hope the link works) HolisticBird and HolisticBirds

I had found it when I was trying to find the info I had long ago posted as to my use with Hibiscus.
 

ceawind

Moving in
Joined
2/13/10
Messages
9
Snowy's companions are two other parakeets. During Snowy's hospitalization, one of the other two (Chloe) did not look quite as healthy either. She was spending time hunched, puffed with a little bobbing of her tail as well (but not consistently).
We took her in as well for review on Monday. The Vet found that she was having some moulting, with a large new tail feather coming in that could be causing some discomfort. Chloe has improved since Snowy returned, so it may have been a little stress for her as well.
Snowy has been on antibiotics since last thursday. She started on a stronger one (it started with a T... I don't have the bottle with me). But after her reaction the vet transitioned her to Baytril. She hasn't regurgitated any food she's taken in, and yesterday, she was eating close to her normal amount of seed. She looked fairly normal, but we still provided the heat (through a ceramic heat lamp, plus a raised room temperature. The cage has been kept at about 82 degrees - it was at 87 this morning when I first checked her. The vet recommended between 80-85.
This morning, Snowy did go to her food bowl, though she hasn't eated very much today. She is taking her medicine fine. I started to notice the sneezing/wheezing last night (she did sneeze a bit of a fine clear mist just after her medicine) and the wheezing seems to have gotten worse this morning. The tail bobbing did seem to improve after the temperature went down in her cage, but the wheezing was still there.
I will contact the vet to get further information as to the test, etc. Your help is much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

srtiels

Ripping up the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Avian Angel
Joined
11/23/09
Messages
1,000,000
Location
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Real Name
Susanne
(she did sneeze a bit of a fine clear mist just after her medicine) and the wheezing seems to have gotten worse this morning
------------------------------------------------

Did she have difficulty swallowing? Is it possible that she aspirated (got some meds down the wrong way?)
 

suncoast

Cruising the avenue
Celebirdy of the Month
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/16/09
Messages
13,464
Location
Naples Florida
Real Name
Ginger
Could you have accidently aspirated her giving her the meds? I don't like the weezing and tail bobbing at all.

Ginger
 

ceawind

Moving in
Joined
2/13/10
Messages
9
I don't think she aspirated - but it is so difficult to tell because of the very small amount given (.02ml).
 

ceawind

Moving in
Joined
2/13/10
Messages
9
Update from Mr. Ceawind, husband at home with Snowy:

Snowy is still acting pretty sick, unfortunately. I've wrapped her cage in a blanket, and with the heat lamp (plus humidifier), she's around 82 degrees right now.

I'm trying not to bother her too much, I think she's still stressed out from the lavage feeding all weekend at the vet's place, and the additonal handling we have to give her morning and night for the Baytril can't be helping. She's never been handled much, and isn't liking the idea too much right now when she's sick.

I just looked in, and she's in a corner of her cage, still panting and tail still twitching. It doesn't look like so far she's eaten more than 5 or 6 seeds today.

(Our vet gave us a supplement for her water which adds minerals and iodine, and another supplement [called Boost I think] which we coat her seed with. Harrison's pellets would be a better solution, but we can't try and transition her while she's sick.)

To recap, Snowy regurgitated the first antibiotic we tried to give her for sinusitis (coupled with Vitamin A deficiency). Vet switched over to Baytril, and we had to hospitalize her over the weekend for lavage feeding when she wouldn't touch food on her own. We brought her home Monday night, and parked her cage right next to our other one (which has 2 other parakeets).

The vet did a blood test Monday afternoon (before they let us go), and said she has compromised liver function, where a normal bile level would be 35-115 (I think those numbers are accurate), Snowy is up to 200. Since parakeets are so small, they can't do a liver biopsy to see exactly what we're dealing with.

So, we have her home and have been watching her closely. Yesterday she seemed to be in better shape than today, where she's having more trouble with breathing and not eating as much. I wonder if the Baytril is loosening up some mucus, and this is what's happening as she's trying to cough/sneeze it up? That's what happens to me when I get bronchitis.

We are in contact with our vet once-twice a day, and their advice is seems to be "wait and see". We're doing everything we know how to, but any advice would be welcome.

Thanks.
 

suncoast

Cruising the avenue
Celebirdy of the Month
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/16/09
Messages
13,464
Location
Naples Florida
Real Name
Ginger
I don't like this at all, I think she might need to go back to your vet's ASAP. Hopefully they didn't aspirate her when they gavage fed her. May I ask what state your in?

Ginger
 

ceawind

Moving in
Joined
2/13/10
Messages
9
I don't like this at all, I think she might need to go back to your vet's ASAP. Hopefully they didn't aspirate her when they gavage fed her. May I ask what state your in?

Ginger

We're in Portland, Maine, and we're using the Animal Hospital of South Gorham for bird vet needs.

The trouble is, the last time we talked to our vet, she didn't think there was much more that could be done for Snowy - that the only thing left, if her condition worsens, would be euthanasia. :(

We really don't want to do that (needless to say), but I don't want Snowy to suffer, either. The vet said she's had birds with bile-200 come back from the brink before, but the main med she'd use to attack this issue has a 75% chance or so of being regurgitated, and with Snowy's health so compromised, she didn't want to risk it right now. She said that if Snowy can get through the next couple of weeks on the Baytril, that would open up more treatment options.

(The vet said that if Snowy was a bigger bird, lots more options open up immediately, including a liver biopsy to see how bad things are, or if we're dealing with a tumor. But when you're little and only weigh 40 grams or so, most of the tests & treatment aren't scaled down to that size.)

Thanks,
Mr. Ceawind
 

suncoast

Cruising the avenue
Celebirdy of the Month
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/16/09
Messages
13,464
Location
Naples Florida
Real Name
Ginger
I understand. She is a tiny little thing. I don't even know what you would do if she has fluid in her lungs. I think your right that the proper course would be to keep her quiet, hydrated and warm and see if she can pull out of it. Keeping her in my prayers.

Ginger
 

srtiels

Ripping up the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Avian Angel
Joined
11/23/09
Messages
1,000,000
Location
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Real Name
Susanne
If the vet suspects liver problems the vet should have given you lactulose to put in the drinking water. I have found this greatly helps. Also having a full spectrum light above her.

Another thing you might ask the vet is an injection of a Multi-viamin that does contain Vitamin A in it. The body converts Beta carotene into useable Vit A in the liver. If liver function is impaired then this will compromise the bodies use of Vit A. Vit A is needed for good respiratory health. A safe supplement is Beta-carotene (pix below) found at a health food store. A little lightly sprinkled daily on any food she will eat.

Brewers Yeast is good for Stress, and can be sprinkled on any foods she will eat daily. Both are natural supplements thus the risk of overdosing is minimal.

Below is some info I've saved on my computer about lactulose, and liver support.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lactulose (Cephulac)​
Lactulose acts as an osmosis "R" wordant to the absorption of potential toxins from the GI tract. Used as a treatment with liver disease to decrease the load of metabolites that must be processed through the liver. What this does is reduce toxic potential of the blood ammonia due to liver dysfunction.
It also acts as an appetite stimulant.
It acidifies the intestinal contents.
It is also be effective in establishing a gastrointestinal environment that favors the growth of intestinal flora. This eliminates the need for lactobacillus supplementing. Can be used daily for weeks. If diarrhea is noted reduce the dosage.
---------------------------------------------------
Under normal circumstances a bird mfg. and synthesizes vitamin C in the body. When it is sick the body’s ability to do this is hindered, thus supplementing is needed. This is *especially* so when you have suspected hepatic (liver) problems or damage. Vitamin C is a great supplement when sick and to aid the body when there are liver problems. A liver is regenerative, but it needs to be given the *tools* to help heal itself

Some of the tools are: vitamin C (while sick), lactulose, natural exposure to sunlight or full spectrum lighting close to the caging, and a changing of caging ... such as a flight cage that encourages more movement and exercise, or even flight time daily. When there are liver problems and the function of the liver is hindered this also can effect vitamin A which is formed in the liver from beta‑carotene, thus many times this supplement (beta-carotene) is needed, and also an increase of the water soluble nutrients to the body. Brewers Yeast is an excellent source for these.

Milk thistle can be given for liver problems. Dandelion can also be given to detoxify and act as a stimulant to the liver. 1 drop of each (in extract form) to each 1/2 ounce of lactulose can be mixed up and the bird given a drop 2 times a day. These 2 herbal extracts can also be added to the drinking water at a ratio of 1 drop to 3 ounces of water, and changed 2 times a day.

I've found that everything has a *cause and effect* to other body functions in our feathered friends. To help them many times we have to get to the root of the problem, such as *why* your bird does have a suspected liver problem. Also how does this effect the other organs, and go from there. Many times giving the body the needed supplements and nutritional support (tools) can do more healing than any medication.

Susanne
-----------------------------------------------

 

Attachments

ceawind

Moving in
Joined
2/13/10
Messages
9
I understand. She is a tiny little thing. I don't even know what you would do if she has fluid in her lungs. I think your right that the proper course would be to keep her quiet, hydrated and warm and see if she can pull out of it. Keeping her in my prayers.

Ginger
Thank you for your kind words, and your prayers.

Mrs. Ceawind came home to check on Snowy, and we're happy to report she's doing a bit better. Still breathing harder than I'd like, but the tail twitchiness has subsided a bit, and she isn't puffing as much when she breathes.

We just changed her papers to monitor her output. Right now her droppings are partially-normal looking, with one exception: there is a lime-green "aura" surrounding each one on the paper, which Mrs. Ceawind tells me is a sure-sign of liver/bile trouble.

Still, she is eating a bit to be able to have anything in her droppings, so that's a good sign.

Thanks.
 

srtiels

Ripping up the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Avian Angel
Joined
11/23/09
Messages
1,000,000
Location
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Real Name
Susanne
I don't even know what you would do if she has fluid in her lungs.
------------------------------------
I've learned that supplemental beta carotene is essential when there are respiratory problems.
 

Prince Toasty Buns

Jogging around the block
Joined
10/29/09
Messages
718
I don't like this at all, I think she might need to go back to your vet's ASAP. Hopefully they didn't aspirate her when they gavage fed her. May I ask what state your in?

Ginger
I agree with Ginger on this. Hopefully no one aspirated her when giving food or meds.

If this vet you are using is a well experienced avian vet with a very competent vet-tech. staff (hopefully she has the biggest part of her practice devoted to birds only, no or hardly any other animals) then I also would suggest you take her back there for them to gavage feed and keep hydrated, warm and comfy - hopefully they will not fleece your pocketbook to do so.

Otherwise, if she were my bird, I would seek a second opinion from another avian vet (well experienced). I personally would not consider euthanasia unless she is suffering badly with no chance of getting better while in the most qualified & experienced hands you can find in your area. Best of luck to you & your lil one.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top