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Coturnix - infected sinus?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by spookyevilone, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. spookyevilone

    spookyevilone Crazy Quail Lady

    Oct 5, 2008
    My Tibetan roo got relocated to the hospital tank a few days ago because he was mouthbreathing. He seemed to get better with the heat pad under him, but today I came home and the left side of his head was swollen hugely. I thought maybe it was a bonk injury, and couldn't figure out how he'd bonk on a screen top, but then I picked him up.

    His left..nostril?.. was missing. It had totally swollen shut. I got a q-tip and started swabbing it with warm water, and it quite literally exploded all over me like a huge zit. I got most of the pus out - it looks like it may be an abscess. The roof of his mouth was swollen, pressing up from the inside made pus come out the sinus and his eye.

    He's breathing hard - his crop is puffing up hugely and when he sleeps, his head tilts to the non-swollen side. I used a warm saltwater compress across the swollen side of his head, which drew out more pus. I'm going to try to get him to the vet tomorrow.

    Anyone have advice on anything more to do? And is it bad that, while it's bad, I'm glad it's some sort of abscess/infection and not a virus? [​IMG]


  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    I'm sorry... [​IMG] I've never seen that before. I hope he pulls through for you. [​IMG]
  3. spookyevilone

    spookyevilone Crazy Quail Lady

    Oct 5, 2008
    Thanks, Mrs. AK.

    He seems to be doing better tonight. His head is still swollen on the left side, but not as badly. I can see his eye now instead of a horrible gaping swollen tube around it. [​IMG] His head doesn't smell like infection anymore and we have him on antibiotic drops. The vet checked with a needle probe aspirator.. basically, a big syringe.. to see if there was more pus but the fluid was clear, so he just gave 'biotics. The vet said the infection is a problem he sees in chicks, where they eat too much too fast and some food gets shoved up through the sinus or through the roof of the beak and then goes rotten and infected. He said it usually kills the chick and that since I got this one as a barely fledged baby, he could have had it before I got him or he could have gone crazy with the eating when I brought him home and he wasn't competing with other chicks for food anymore.

    I've never heard of that happening, but he said it's mis-diagnosed because people see the chick gasping and think it's something else? IDK. I'm just glad he gave me the 'biotics. He was amused at treating a quail - usually he gets pet chickens. He joked that he spent 11 years getting an exotic bird veterinary specialty degree to wind up treating barnyard animals. But he said he likes it because the people with the chickens take better care of their pet chickens than a lot of his parrot fanciers with multithousand dollar birds.

    So, for anyone else who might get this problem:


    Unusual amount of sleeping
    Sleeping with head tilted to the back or to the side in an odd manner
    Open-mouth breathing
    Head tilting to one side and crop "ballooning" with each breath
    Swollen head with no obvious injury
    Nostril disappearing on beak due to swelling
    Head smells of infection
    Head and beak are hot to the touch
    Wiping the beak or pressing up through the roof of the beak causes pus
    - discharge from beak or eye socket


    Heat, higher humidity. Take to a vet for drainage and antibiotics - or - if you know how to drain an abscess, and can see liquid pus freely coming out when squeezed, continue to apply gentle pressure until as much pus as possible has drained out and fluids run clear. I applied a hot saltwater compress as well by mixing up a teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt with warm water and putting it on a folded paper towel and holding it over the side of the beak the pus was draining from. That helped leech out more pus without squeezing. Be careful not to cover the whole beak because they could aspirate the salt water and that'd be bad.

    Still don't know if he'll make it, but he's eating and drinking, not sleeping so much, and occasionally harassing his hospital ward mate. His buddy the button is less frantic. Yesterday, the poor button was going nuts, running back and forth and peeping. Today he's back hiding under the Tibetan and quiet, when the Tibetan isn't chasing the hen around the tank [​IMG]

    More updates as things progress. Stupid roo! [​IMG]

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