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Ill cockatiel - advice needed

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by navasima, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. navasima

    navasima Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    New Mexico
    This is an odd situation. This is a young cockatiel in a feed store. I am in a position to guide her treatment - to an extent. This bird will not be taken to a vet. No, not even a fecal.

    Environment: clean cage, fresh food and water, fed cockatiel seed - no other birds in the vicinity showing signs of illness.

    Symptoms: eyes closed, heavy breathing - though not audible respiratory distress; stool appears normal

    She's been there for a couple of weeks - this was noticed 2 days ago.

    I pulled her roommate - who is asymptomatic - and recommended that she be isolated, low light and warm.

    My intention is to check her tomorrow for symptoms of being egg bound and to try and convince DH that she could stay with us for a bit. (Wish me luck with the latter.) If I do palpate anything, I'll try the bath and any manual assistance possible from me.

    How can I distinguish between viral and bacterial infection? Would a broad spectrum antibiotic do any harm? Any suggestions would be really appreciated! Thanks!

  2. crystalchik

    crystalchik Songster

    Jan 15, 2008
    Central Florida
    Wow thats tough. Before you treat her with anything, see if you can check her over really, really well. Examine every part of her...

    Eyes: clear? cloudy? drainage? crusty? sealed shut or just keeping them closed? puffy?
    Nairs: clear? swollen? reddened? drainage? matter? does it smell? (I know, its gross, but very important)
    Beak: chipped? discolored? bad breath? any matter in or around? listen REALLY closely for squeeking, wheezing, gurgling...
    Tounge: pink? grey? does it have a whitish coating over it?
    Feathers: quality? are they barred (the actual feather, not color) or chipped? mites?
    Body: thin? any lessions under feathering? anything swollen?
    Vent: any staining? what color? does it stink (I know, again...gross), your're right look for signs of egg binding

    Ask: What kind of seed? Is she eating all of her seed or is she throwing some out? Is she still eating? Has she been laying? How old is she? What is the climate like in the store...is it cold or drafty at all? Did she just come to you and she was sick or was she there for a while and became ill? How long has she been ill?

    Sorry, lots of questions. But if you can answer these that will get us much closer to your solution.
    Good luck to you! It is difficult to treat these kind of birds on your own sometimes, but not impossible!
  3. navasima

    navasima Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    New Mexico
    Thanks for responding!

    She's still keeping one eye closed. No discharge from eyes or nostrils. Thin, but also young.... seems to be eating and pooping WNL.

    The feed store owner asked if I would bring her home to get her better. I may embark on that. [​IMG]

    I haven't had a chance to go and check her more carefully,just peeked in and saw she's more active and OS is now open, but will tomorrow. My thumb is still healing from our first encounter. [​IMG]

    I'll post with more info as soon as I have some.

    Thanks for being here and offering your experience!!
  4. Animalian

    Animalian Songster

    Jun 18, 2011
    My cockatiel was like that last year, looked fine, just quiet kept closing his eyes like he was stoned or something, then started squeaking in september a few minutes every night, then one night he struggled to breathe for two hours till he finally fell asleep (no vets were open, I think he passed out!) turned out he had psittacoses, a common infection in parrots.

    He has been treated with antibiotics for two months, developed a secondary yeast infection in his crop one month in, JUST got off antibiotics yesterday and still on anti yeast meds. The yeast infection makes him vomit every time he eats so he is so tiny and so thin at the moment you can even see the tendons in his feet.

    My point is
    1. I wouldn't just give antibiotics without being sure, because of the possible secondary infections they can cause.
    2. he may cost quite a bit to fix (i've spent $300 on mine already, appointments, testing, drugs, but he's my baby)
    3. he may take a lot of time to fix, not just the 2 months of antibiotics in water, but now taking the time to give the nightly dose of anti yeast meds, forced feeding to help him gain weight and 3x a day disinfecting of his bowls
    4. he may not be willing to fight, the vets are amazed my bird is still going, looks the way he does, has dropped so much wight and is still perky, grooming himself, eating (even though he throws it up), doing tricks, attacking the stethescope etc

    I wouldn't be letting him go through this if he had given up. As long as he fights I will help him all I can. Good luck with the feed store bird!

    This is him yesterday. He looks like a normal healthy bird if you cover his head! I try to clean his head but when I wipe it he stresses and vomits again. Had to cut off his crest it was so encrusted.


    I have also heard of one eye being swollen or closed being a sinus infection, but again, I'd be worried about the antibiotics
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011

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