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Skinny bird after infection

Mintforest

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Hi all,

I’m worried about my conure being too underweight. Long story short he went through infection and 2 months of medications + beak deformation and overgrowth (most likely due to medications), all during his weaning age. Because of the beak deformation he wasnt able to eat pellets/nuts/seeds/anything hard, so he got used to a cooked grains + chop diet.

when I got him he was almost full grown but only 44g. Max he went to was around 52g when he was on formula, but now he’s stabilizing at 44-46g. I think he was underfed as a chick at the bird shop so he’s really tiny, the vet visits and medications took a toll too and he’s always been quite weak and skinny with keel bone sticking out.

I’m trying all kinds of weight gain food but he hates nuts/peanut butter in any form. Tried powdering, eating with him, doesnt work, he wont touch any food with the slightest bit of nuts mixed in.

what’s slightly comforting is that he is eating a small amount of pellets a day (about 1/4 teaspoon), and he loves all his healthy grains and chop (sweet potatoes, pumpkin, quinoa, carrots, cooked rice, broccoli etc). I do try to give him a range of grains/vegs/fruits to keep him interested, and he gets fed 4 times a day. Sometimes he would eat for an hour but sometimes only 20min, his crop doesnt get filled up and round often but most of the time I check his crop he’s taken at least some food in.

I am also powdering harrisons high potency pellets into his food but from the way he eats I dont think much goes in. He also gets milk thistle in his water and the weekly coconut oil in his chop.

besides for being skinny and sleeping often he is a happy bird. Any advice are very appreciated for his case. I’ve had parrots before but this is my first sick bird case and I just want to know how well his prognosis would be.

Here’s him in my dad’s garden:
3410F9FB-061C-4897-9AE4-000BCC3123D8.jpeg
 
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Zara

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:bump4: (for visibility)
 

webchirp

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Have you had an ABV test done? Also when he was ill, did the vet prescribe Celebrex? Because of low energy, I would get him on during feedings of emeraid. You’ll need to get it from the vet.
 

Monica

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If he's clipped, that could also be working against him.... exercise can be used not only to lose weight... but also to gain weight. Muscle weighs more than fat and can help to "fill out" a bird.

You can still teach him to flap his wings at least to get some form of exercise.

You could also try moistening the pellets and making that into a paste. See if he likes it that way?

Emeraid is supposed to be a great supplement as well. (as mentioned, comes from vet)
 

Mintforest

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If he's clipped, that could also be working against him.... exercise can be used not only to lose weight... but also to gain weight. Muscle weighs more than fat and can help to "fill out" a bird.

You can still teach him to flap his wings at least to get some form of exercise.

You could also try moistening the pellets and making that into a paste. See if he likes it that way?
yes he is clipped and badly done too when I got him. His wings are unbalanced so he’s reluctant to use them. I am really waiting on his first molt after which I’ll train him to fly again.

as for the pellets, yes tried it in every way I could think of... powdered, soaked, cooked, making bird biscuit with his fav fruits, feeding directly. He will only eat the coloured pellets but I am still trying with Harrisons and Zupreme. Zupreme seems too hard for him to crack considering his previous beak deformity.
 

Mintforest

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Have you had an ABV test done? Also when he was ill, did the vet prescribe Celebrex? Because of low energy, I would get him on during feedings of emeraid. You’ll need to get it from the vet.
Not had an ABV test yet...

his previous treatments were for the nasal infection, amoxicillin first for 2 weeks, and then suspected chlamydia psittacosis in his discharge hence doxycycline for 45 days. He was on antifungals too the whole time so I suspect that was the reason for his beak deformity. His health was also deteriorating during the use of the meds. I know that some treatments are necessary but it’s just painful seeing him getting worse day by day.

fortunately after the meds the vet cleared him and said that he doesn’t need further treatments or tests.

For the beak deformity, the vet couldn’t trim his beak because she didnt have the equipments in her office, the bird groomer recommended by the vet trimmed his beak somewhat and left him with a restraint injury (she’s probably more used to grooming larger birds and applied too much force in restraining). And to be fair she didnt solve the thickness issue which prevented him from eating hard food. Ends up I had to trim it down myself over multiple weeks.

long story short a simple blocked nose turned into all these and I feel so guilty for putting him through all the misery. I do question every step that I’ve taken with him, even though it was following strictly what the vet and groomer said. The past few months I would be googling non stop about parrot care and illness and it’s really stressing me out to wake up not knowing whether he’ll be better or worse, heavier or lighter. I take about 2-3 hours a day just on his feeding to prepare meals for him, introduce him to new food and make sure that he’s eating. Besides work I’m with him all the time. Even so I have a camera installed so that I can check on him when I’m at work and I would do that almost every 10min to make sure he’s alright. Right now he’s more active and happy and I’m really not keen to stress him (and myself) with more vet visits and tests. Plus I really don’t know how he’ll react to the tests and whether the tests would make him worse, like the meds and the grooming.

so sorry for the rant... it’s really the first time I said these to anyone besides my husband. But I just want him to live happy and stress free even if he doesn’t live for super long.
 

webchirp

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Many hugs. I completely understand your stress. I think I’m a bit used to stress in the peeps after many years of taking care of the less than healthy peeps. But I really do recommend getting the abv test done. Just a nail clip. If you can get even half an ml twice per day, that should help energy wise. Amada is very droopy now if she doesn’t get morning and afternoon critical care.
 

saroj12

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Emeraid is 13% fat and I wasn’t able to give it to my Quaker due to liver problems. fyi
 

Monica

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Have you tried Roudybush or TOP's pellets by any chance? They are on the softer side. Alternatively, just feed smaller pellets... within reason, the same formula for large birds is the same for small birds... and I've fed canary/finch pellets to budgies just to get them eating pellets! Once they were okay with that, moved to appropriate sized pellets! Then again, my mitred conure and ARN get cockatiel sized pellets... ARN's are kind of bigger, bone wise, than cockatiels (otherwise, practically same size! :laugh: ), but the mitred is much bigger! He's missing half of his lower beak though so it's easier for him to eat smaller pellets.


Otherwise, just keep trying what you're doing!


Obviously, you have done amazing with him and absolutely the best to your abilities!


I also trim my mitred conures beak.... had the vet do it once.... didn't get nearly as much done and we (conure and I) were more stressed than if we had just done it at home!



I can easily understand the stress part of things... going through a lot right now myself... hard to summarize everything without leaving anything out... and not wanting to deal with it anymore. Don't make it a priority if he's acting and looking fine! But, it wouldn't hurt to at least look into it and ask the vets local to you. They might not want to do the test anyway and you would have to push to get it done. It looks like there are two good options for testing for the disease which uses either freshly plucked feathers or a bit of blood.
 

Mintforest

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Emeraid is 13% fat and I wasn’t able to give it to my Quaker due to liver problems. fyi
Hmmm... I would need to ask the vet for this because we suspect he does have liver issues as a side effect of the antifungals. I have been giving him milk thistle as a liver supplement on a regular basis.

Have you tried Roudybush or TOP's pellets by any chance? They are on the softer side. Alternatively, just feed smaller pellets... within reason, the same formula for large birds is the same for small birds... and I've fed canary/finch pellets to budgies just to get them eating pellets! Once they were okay with that, moved to appropriate sized pellets! Then again, my mitred conure and ARN get cockatiel sized pellets... ARN's are kind of bigger, bone wise, than cockatiels (otherwise, practically same size! :laugh: ), but the mitred is much bigger! He's missing half of his lower beak though so it's easier for him to eat smaller pellets.
Yes! He only eats the canary finch pellets which the bird shop started him on. Harrisons high nutrition which I’m adding is quit
 

Mintforest

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I also trim my mitred conures beak.... had the vet do it once.... didn't get nearly as much done and we (conure and I) were more stressed than if we had just done it at home!
Yes it’s so much less stressful to the birb if we do it ourselves... Kiwi knows that once my nail trimmer comes out he has to be trimmed and he gets soooo angry it’s so cute. He would jump and run to the furthest end of the sofa. But once I pretend to ignore him he’ll run right back and snuggle against me.
 

Mintforest

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Thanks for all the reassurances everyone!

Many hugs. I completely understand your stress. I think I’m a bit used to stress in the peeps after many years of taking care of the less than healthy peeps. But I really do recommend getting the abv test done. Just a nail clip. If you can get even half an ml twice per day, that should help energy wise. Amada is very droopy now if she doesn’t get morning and afternoon critical care.
I’ll plan a vet visit once he is stronger. His appetite is still good, just picky. It hasnt been too long since his last restraint injury hence I think at the moment taking bloods or feathers might still be an ordeal. But def yes in the near future.
 

saroj12

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My vet does my Quaker’s scissor beak trim under reversible anesthesia, costs $200 ish but no stress. I love it
 

Mintforest

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My vet does my Quaker’s scissor beak trim under reversible anesthesia, costs $200 ish but no stress. I love it
I would pay the money if my vet would do it, but it’s hard to find avian vets here and my vet is in a teaching institution where there’s not a lot of operating equipment so she couldnt do the trim.
 

saroj12

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I would pay the money if my vet would do it, but it’s hard to find avian vets here and my vet is in a teaching institution where there’s not a lot of operating equipment so she couldnt do the trim.
Two shots, an oxygen chamber and a dremel required.
 
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