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  • This forum is for advice about initial treatment given to your injured/sick bird until a qualified avian veterinarian is available.
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Wait for vet or take to ER? ASAP!!! (toucan)

Bambi

Moving in
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12/3/17
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6
Location
Sacramento, CA
Hey guys, thank you in advance for reading. The long and short of it: My bird is displaying some really concerning symptoms and I'm trying to decide whether I should wait until his regular vet opens on Monday or take him into an emergency vet.

Some things to note:
  • He is an aracari! Most places around me won't even see birds to begin with... thankfully I do have several bird clinics and am completely prepared to pay any necessary emergency fees if I need to get him in early, but every place I've called has asked me things like "is his crop swollen" (they don't have crops), "has he been eating his vegetables" (they really aren't supposed to according to my breeder), etc.
  • He went in for an appointment on Friday and will be getting dropping test results on Monday. This is one reason I'm considering waiting until Monday, since I'll have that information... I'm not sure how long it takes to get those results, and all of his symptoms are consistent with bacterial infections in parrots so it could be critically informative on any necessary treatment.
So, onto what's wrong:
I think this all started 1-2 weeks ago and took me that long to realize something was wrong. :( He's 10 months old, is currently molting, and I noticed two half-inch-square bald spots on him - I assumed it was just from molting as a baby, I've never had a molting bird before! He's also been less active and sleeping much more, which I assumed was from the winter sun. Then he started scratching a lot and just... generally acting weird / less playful, and I had a weird gut feeling so I took him in. I'm glad I did!
My vet (who is an avian specialist and has experience with aracari, thankfully!) said he does have a minor yeast infection, likely from trying to scavenge dropped fruit while I'm at work. I bought a steamer to clean his cage daily and hopefully get on top of this and she gave me some general antibiotics to administer in the meantime.

Unfortunately, as of tonight (Saturday now), he very suddenly started acting much worse. :( Aracari usually sleep in little balls with their tails folded over them, and prefer to sleep in a tent or blanket pile. He started sleeping puffed up on his perch, perfectly still. He actively ran away from my hands and panicked when I tried to pick him up or take him over to sit with me - he has never been remotely afraid of anyone in his life, let alone me (he lies on his back for me when he wants me to kiss his tummy.) He won't take any food, including his favorite treats, and his droppings look more watery than rhamphastid droppings usually do.

Granted this did happen an hour before his normal bedtime - he had been eating, acting, and pooping normally the whole rest of the day (minus being slightly standoffish like I took him in for in the first place) but NOTHING like this. He just hides in a corner and sleeps perfectly still, I might even call it standing puffed up with his eyes shut. No respiratory indicators (clicking, wheezing, tail bobbing, discharge), no indications of neurological symptoms other than unexplained fear, and no sleeping on the cage floor.

So.... what do you guys think? Should I risk taking him to someone who doesn't know about toucans in order to get him seen asap, or should I hold out until Monday and get him seen by his specialist?

Thank you in advance for trying to help my little Poe!
 

Bambi

Moving in
Joined
12/3/17
Messages
6
Location
Sacramento, CA
That's a very good point DQ, thank you. :( As of this morning he's miraculously better - almost like he knew I was thinking of taking him in, playing and eating like nothing's amiss - but I think I'm going to take him to Davis just in case.
 

iamwhoiam

Ripping up the road
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Sorry that your Aracari was not feeling well but good that he is doing better today. It's good that you are still going to take him to the vet. Hope all will be well with him.
What is his name?
 

Bambi

Moving in
Joined
12/3/17
Messages
6
Location
Sacramento, CA
Very unhappy toucan back from TWO vet appointments!

He apparently has very trace amounts of non-regular bacteria showing up in his droppings, so he was given another course of antibiotics; now he's got stuff covering yeast infection and this bacteria issue as well. Luckily for me I can just inject them into grapes and he's none the wiser...

I'm really concerned though, I've heard so many horror stories of a bird being lethargic / listless a few days "prior to death," like it pops up out of nowhere. :( He went to the ER on Sunday and his regular vet today (Monday); both found his body, eye, nose, mouth, skin, feet, and vent to be totally normal, aside from the few bald patches. His regular vet said he'd lost about 15 grams since the first time he was taken in, but he had been eating mostly pellets at that time and eats mostly fruit now so she said it didn't concern her. I'm worried it's in conjunction with all of these other symptoms though. :( I wish I knew of any tests in specific to give him, or anything in particular to look for other than "something wrong." I don't want to lose my baby.

Let's hope he gets better after the antibiotics run their course and all this worrying was for nothing! Thanks everyone for their input.

By the way iamwhoiam - his name is Poe Dameron! He's one hell of a pilot. ;)
 

Princessbella

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You never know with birds so it's a good thing that you took him in. I'm glad he is ok.
 

webchirp

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The only thing I've every heard being the one in rescue had too high of iron levels.
 

iamwhoiam

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Sending positive thoughts that Poe Dameron is 100% soon. Love his name.
 

enigma731

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If you want more tests, can they do bloodwork or send out cultures to identify the bacteria? For what it's worth, being lethargic is very nonspecific. While it CAN mean a bird is seriously ill, it certainly can also indicate minor things. It sounds like he has a lot of good signs going for him.
 
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