Rescued Quail chick - severly malnourished

Discussion in 'Quail' started by TeePants, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. TeePants

    TeePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    I posted about this guy in the diseases/cures/emergencies section but didn't get any responses so I am hoping for some insight here - we took in a coturnix quail chick this past Sunday who was very ill. We had no idea how poor his condition was until we picked him up - the ad just said he had been found running loose, and the person who had him didn't know much about poultry.

    He's been to the vet and they said from what they could tell he was starving (probably due to running lose, and then the diet of birdseed he'd been fed a week prior to us getting him) and there was possibly some kind of bacterial infection. He's on trimethoprim sulfa. They couldn't tell me how old he was but based on what the person who found him told me, I'm guessing around 4 weeks actually now that I am looking around at pictures of other people's birds, maybe it's younger? Not sure, I've only had chickens and ducks before so quail is a new frontier for me!

    We've got him on gamebird starter crumbles and he's eating pretty well, but he still can't stand up and is very weak. The vet wanted us to give him Harrison's parrot feed also but it only has 14% protein and I am worried that will exacerbate his issues? We have also offered boiled/scrambled egg when he seems to lose interest in his feed.

    I know it's kind of silly we're going this far to save the little guy, but my daughter really likes him and I feel bad for him - it was human error that got him this sick, after all.

    Have any of you ever had a chick get this bad and end up recovering? How long did it take before they were up and about on their own?

    Oh, also, I keep saying he but we have no idea what it is. He/she has alot of spotting on his/her breast so I understand that in some color varieties this would indicate that it's probably female? Including some photos!

    http://i.imgur.com/ATyNt2H.jpg Me holding it in normal light. Sorry no pic of it's breast, it's still kind of skin and bones and also doesn't like being picked up because that usually means its medicine time.

    http://i.imgur.com/tUEKnqv.jpg under the heat lamp. I keep trying to go without it, but he starts shivering and won't eat so I guess he still needs it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try meal worms. Live are best but they can be bought in a freeze-dried form. Boiled egg is good, but be sure to hard boil-very hard boiled. All egg should be well cooked. Water soluble vitamins may help.
     
  3. TeePants

    TeePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay! We have freeze dried meal worms. The vet took my sav a chick and said it was pointless, should I go buy some more? [​IMG]

    ETA also, thanks for the reply. I got some flack from the in laws for saving a "dinner bird" and it was just kind of a downer. I personally don't think it's silly obviously or I wouldn't be doing it? To each his own of course, I don't have anything against someone who would have just culled it.

    As for the matter of days - then I guess we still haven't solved the problem. He was at the vet Tues/Wed night, he's been on medication since then but he hasn't improved. Still can't walk, still not peeping. Now one of his wing joints are swollen. Not sure what to do about this latest development.

    ETA 2 It seems a gross, liquidy gruel of egg and game bird feed is going over better than his regular food.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  4. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't think the vet knows much about quail, suggesting you to give it parrot feed. What an idi..
    Anyway, as far as I can tell, you are doing all the right things. Let him keep the heat lamp, just make sure he doesn't get too hot. The heat will help him fight off any infection and it will help him not having to spend his precious energy keeping himself warm.
    If he likes his feed gross, let him have it gross. Just make sure to make a fresh mix every few hours, egg spoils quickly and egg under a heat lamp, mixed with all the stuff in the game bird feed is probably an excellent breeding ground for bacteria.
    And trying to save an animal might seem silly to many, unless this animal has great economical value, or at least a very obvious emotional value, like a pet you've had for a long time. But as long as there is a chance an animal will get better, or at least be able to live without suffering, no one should be blamed for trying to help it. A life is a life, no matter what value it might represent.
     
  5. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vets are people and unless this vet is an avian vet he probably knows very little about birds; many vets don't.
     
  6. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  7. cassjade6064

    cassjade6064 Out Of The Brooder

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    Good on you for caring it's rare these days to find people like you. I have found quails are pretty strong little guys just keep doing what you're doing and I find boiled egg just the yolk mixed with hot water til light and fluffy sometimes they like their feed mixed with hot water too each bird likes different things just experiment as long as it's not poisonous it can't hurt some people even suggested to me cat biscuits crushed up as its high in protein I never tried it but maybe you could look into it. Best of luck hope it all works out.
     
  8. TeePants

    TeePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for the responses and advice! It definitely makes me feel less crazy and a little more hopeful about the situation.

    Some more updates - had a fecal done, it came out negative, so that's good, although we still don't know what is causing the joint swelling. It looks like his/her hocks are swollen too and have some scaly skin on them, as does his/her breast. Not sure if these are bedsore-type injuries or if they are a symptom of whatever underlying issue has got this guy down.

    The vet s/he is currently seeing (she is an avian vet, but I think she doesn't see poultry often since we're in a big city) said she thought it might be muscular atrophy from being lame for the better part of two weeks, and reccomended a pain/anti inflammatory if s/he isn't moving around by Monday.

    I contacted a second vet for another opinion and she said she thought it could also be a vitamin or calcium deficiency, and reccomended continuing with the boiled eggs/gamebird mix as well as supplementing with calcium carbonate or finely ground eggshell (I thought my food proccessor could handle eggshell, but it can't, so I'll have to get the other stuff tommorrow).

    I also tried one of those poultry slings I see people using when birds are down, and s/he procceeded to angrily karate kick his/her way out of it. I will try again tommorrow and see if I can come up with something better (I was using pantyhose with leg holes cut in it, alligator clipped to each side of his brooder).

    I have been trying to just give him a small amount of the egg/game bird mix at a time, and keep the rest in the fridge (I add hot water to bring it back up to closer to room temp before giving it to him), because I was also worried about it spoiling.

    In spite of everything, s/he is still eating like a champ and kicks the crud out of me every time we go play "quail bidet" (exactly as fun as it sounds - I even had to go get some lotion because s/he was getting pretty raw) so I don't think s/he is down for the count yet!
     
  9. TeePants

    TeePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update- the scaly skin seems to be everywhere but it's face, and it still can't walk although it's made some attempts to stand and can scoot around. The swollen joints now seem to have some kind of fluid build up. The wing it most frequently used to get around, however, remains unaffected.

    A bit worried about Marek's. No diarrhea or posturing so far, though. The scaly skin could be from not grooming and the fluid buildup could be from muscle and tendon atrophy. It's still hanging in there, was eating great yesterday and is still nibbling at its food today.
     
  10. TeePants

    TeePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New symptom - stinky, flaky skin. And I mean SMELLY. Its feathers are dull and crusty. The vet it's been seeing isn't in today, and the only other avian vet I could find reccomended a 3rd vet who can't see us till tommorrow and charges $75 for an exam, which is more than any of the other places we've spoken to... I don't know how much more of this I can honestly afford.
     

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