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 Help Please! Another very sick bird.

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MissJR



Posts : 13
Join date : 2011-11-03

PostSubject: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:17 pm

Hello, everyone:

So, I finally thought we were out of the woods. All the birds in the park flock were eating again and looking healthy.

But then today, a problem arose while I was feeding the flock.

Noise from a garbage truck scared the birds and they took flight, all except for one bird standing alone. I approached her and she did not move. I got closer, still no movement. She seemed to be waiting for me to give her food, but I was out. I was actually waiting for my mom to come back with more food when I noticed the bird.

Something was definitely up with the bird because she was moving her head and neck strangely. Not that usual little bobbing motion that they do, but like she was stretching her neck out and pulling it back, again and again. I thought she might be attempting to balance herself.

She eventually approached me and even climbed onto my shoes. She was very tame even when I moved a bit. She may be blind? I'm just guessing because her sight does not seem good at all.

When the food arrived she did seem to want to eat, but unfortunately, I didn't really let her. I scooped her up the minute she started because I was afraid once she'd eaten more she wouldn't be tame enough to catch. In hindsight, this was a mistake because now that she's at my house, she won't eat at all. I feel so bad. She won't take water, either.

In addition to the weird head movement, she's itching like crazy ( I think ) because she keeps nipping at herself and especially at her feet. She also appears to be rubbing her head or beak on the ground. I can't even explain it, it's such a weird thing that she's doing. Both her head and her body list slightly to one side when she stands. She's also closing her eyes a whole lot.She's also closing her eyes a whole lot.

She can fly a few feet (she's taken a spin around my kitchen already), but not more.

I have some metronidazole on hand from treating the flock this year, but I haven't given her any because:

1. I wasn't sure it was appropriate for this.

2. She isn't eating/drinking.


Anyone know what is wrong and what to do?



Thanks

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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:12 pm

So sorry to hear about this new patient... from your description it seems like she's having seizures, and the cause could be Salmonella, PMV or even worms, if they've affected the brain.
Before I go any further let me tell you that none of the above affects humans or other pets at all, only birds can catch them.

Birds with PMV are extremely sensitive to light, and start having fits when they're startled or stressed.
PMV is a viral infection, and there's no cure for it -- the disease must be allowed to run its course of about 6 weeks, and the emphasis should be on getting enough food and water, vitamins and calcium, into the bird, to keep her strong and help the immune system fight the disease.
Birds with PMV often have droppings that look like bits of broken spaghetti in a pool of liquid.
Most birds that die of PMV actually die of starvation, as the fits make them miss the food, and they're just not able to pick up the seeds, scattering them instead. They need help to eat. Thawed frozen peas and sweetcorn are perfect to feed them, as they have most of the nutrients they need, and hold quite a bit of water too.

Those with Salmonella don't respond to stimuli, they either have fits or not, independently of what's happening. They usually have severe diarrhoea. They also have a characteristic sickly sweet smell, like the smell of death, about them. If it's this, a broad spectrum antibiotic like Baytril will cure it.

The itching is almost certainly due to external parasites like mites. Pet shops carry a range of products you can use, but it has to be for birds -- or, even better, for pigeons.

This is my Sammy (PMV survivor). Have a look at the way she moves and overbalances, and tell me if this is what your patient is doing:



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MissJR



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Join date : 2011-11-03

PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:14 pm

Hello again, Theresa!

Thank you for posting the video.

Sorry to say, that behavior does look very similar to what this bird is doing, though this bird is not as extreme. She was rubbing her head along the ground a lot like that, only with her beak down, not upside down as the bird in the video does. I couldn't tell if she was trying to eat, trying to stratch her feet with her beak, or what.

She absolutely refuses water so far. I have tried dipping the tip of her beak in.

I have some video and pictures. Not sure if I can post them but I could email them.

The main thing she is doing is closing her eyes and just standing there with eyes closed and head down. Not sleeping with her head under her wing.

I will do whatever I can to help her, but I am very worried about my own pet bird getting infected. I am keeping them in separate rooms and doing a lot of hand washing, but the apt. is pretty small.


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MissJR



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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:16 pm

PS, I should also say that she has a prominent keel, so I'm worried about starvation issues.


I wish I had let her eat more before I took her in.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:19 am

Thanks for the update, Julie!

Don't worry about not having let her eat more before you took her in, as then you might not have been able to catch her, and anyway she may be too poorly to be able to process seeds, or even to pick them up without scattering them all.

Would you be able to give her warm water with a little sugar and a tiny pinch of salt using a syringe?

Try the thawed frozen peas, served warm... but first make sure she's warm enough, that's vitally important! She needs to eat something, and apart from the stress of a new environment she may not be able to eat by herself at all. The peas also hold a fair amount of water, so that would keep her from becoming dehydrated.

The prominent keel indicates she's starving, dangerously so. That often happens when they have a bad case of worms, and if tha't the case, worms may also be responsible for her seizures. Injectable Ivermectin is the best thing for that, but you can't get access to a vet or a rehabber who can do that, can you? I remember last time you couldn't. I don't know if Charis managed to get you a contact closer to home,but I'll update her on this situation anyway.

Another possible cause of seizures is poisoning, and we can't rule it out, but somehow I don't think it's that. You are very right taking precautions in relation to your pet bird, because if it's either Salmonella or PMV, those two are infectious to other birds.
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MissJR



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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:35 pm

Very brief update:

The patient is improving--eating (peas and some seeds) and drinking on her own with a bit of assistance, good body temp. Also more lively and seizures have decreased. Will post more soon.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:38 pm

THAT'S WONDERFUL!!!!! Happy Dance
Thank you so much for this update! I was really fearful for her condition, as she was so poorly and refusing to eat and drink! You've made my day!!!
Way To Go
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MissJR



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Join date : 2011-11-03

PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:59 pm

Hi, Theresa!

Yes, I was so worried as well. My apologies for not updating more frequently, I am totally swamped right now.

So far our patient continues to improve even without any kind of medication and with a lot of prayer.

We passed a dreadful night on Tuesday (the first night she was here). I barely got any sleep and I feared seriously that she would not make it until the morning. She was so weak and looked miserable, would not eat or drink, etc. Also, I couldn't seem to get her warm enough. But finally after resorting to several means she got good and warm. Still could not get her to drink or eat and she was very weak. Tried force-feeding her a few peas, only got about 3 into her and had to give up because she was totally exhausted. She seemed to get worse after that. I was desperate by then and I prayed to the Lord that she would drink. After that she drank and drank (water with some sugar and just a tiny bit of salt), couldn't get her to eat really until the next evening.

So the report for today is that she is eating pretty well ( I still think she should be eating a bit more than she is, but she is eating regularly) on her own and taking water about half of the times I offer it. I think that's good because I offer it very often and she seems to need just a little help with drinking still.

No more diarrhea, thank goodness. Most of the stools look very normal, a few look a bit odd, but not like diarrhea, I don't think.

Her balance is also improving each day, and so is her energy. She's still quite underweight, though.

All in all, very good news!
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MissJR



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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:22 am

Oh, also should mention that her sensitivity to light, which was acute in the beginning, is pretty much gone! She hardly ever closes her eyes when the lights are on now. In the beginning she shut them almost all the time even when I used very, very low lighting.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:43 pm

Those are all very good signs! Great job
Thank you for being so caring towards her, making sure she gets some drink and some food. The way she's improving, she sounds like a strong pigeon, temporarily debilitated.
Warmth was really very important, and I'm so happy you've found a way to provide it, because this way she's not wasting precious energy just to keep warm enough -- energy she doesn't have right now. The other thing about birds who are cold is that they cannot process food, and it just stays in their crop going sour, or they may vomit.

It's very good that her poops are much better. What is it about them that makes you say they look a bit odd? Is it the colour, consistency, amount of liquid? That could help diagnose what's wrong, so a description would be good, and a photo even better, if possible.

I found it very moving that you prayed for her wellbeing. May all your prayers be answered!
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MissJR



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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:20 am

Hi Theresa,

It is a big relief for me to see her doing as well as she is.

No big changes today, but she is eating a bit more heartily, which makes me happy.

Thank you for your kind words. She is just such a dear little thing.

About the stools...hmm. The color seems normal to me and so does the amount of liquid. I guess the shape/consistency is the thing. A few of them seem...hmm, it's hard to explain. You know how icing looks when you've squeezed it out of a round pastry tip? (Weird analogy, I know, but I couldn't think of anything better.) Or even toothpaste? Perfectly round and in a pile? That's kind of how they look, and I don't know if that's normal or not.

I can't seem to find where I set down my camera, but when I do I will get some photos.
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MissJR



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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:52 am

Test.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Help Please! Another very sick bird.   Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:01 pm

MissJR wrote:
About the stools...hmm. The color seems normal to me and so does the amount of liquid. I guess the shape/consistency is the thing. A few of them seem...hmm, it's hard to explain. You know how icing looks when you've squeezed it out of a round pastry tip? (Weird analogy, I know, but I couldn't think of anything better.) Or even toothpaste? Perfectly round and in a pile? That's kind of how they look, and I don't know if that's normal or not.

That sounds OK. Usually we see neat round things, but they are actually more like a ball of string on close inspection... It sounds like that's what she's producing!
crazy
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