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Old 03-18-2017, 01:44 PM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP December 9, 2016), and Alice; Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

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Hey guys! Time for another update. They aren't as settled in as I'd like, but I think this is mainly due to the size of their quarantine cage. I think they're also bored, but even though they were somewhat interested in the toys when I first brought them home, they haven't really been using them anymore. I'm wondering if I should also maybe change the location of their cage to somewhere more secluded.

Anyways, they haven't been eating very much (I know they've experienced a lot of change recently, but I like to see new birds pigging out), so earlier I decided to put some various dry foods on a plate for them, then put it on the bottom of the cage. I know they're ground foragers and have a strong urge to scratch around like chickens in search of food, so I thought, what the heck. Anyways, as soon as I put the plate in, they were very curious. In less than a minute, Tiki hopped to the bottom of the cage, with Ria close behind. They've been eating for over 15 minutes, so I'd say my plan was a success . Hopefully with their instincts being satisfied, they'll start trying different foods.

I was definitely worried about Ria, since she seemed to be eating even less than Tiki. She's probably eaten less than a teaspoon since Friday evening, and she'd been ill for almost two months, so I want to make sure she's getting enough fat and nutrients to help her recover. As you know, she still seems to be sick, so it's definitely important to get her to eat.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:35 PM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP December 9, 2016), and Alice; Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Oh my gosh, I'm freaking out, now. Ugh, I'm having a hard time waiting until tomorrow's vet appointment. I have a bad feeling they may have aspergillosis. We've got frequent drinking (in my opinion), Ria's voice is significantly deeper than Tiki's, she's hardly spoken, a significant amount of urine, green urates (for a couple of days), she seems to be clumsy, and gagging. They'd been kept with a variety of different species, and I read kākāriki are very susceptible to disease. Furthermore, they were fed an inferior mix of dry food, consisting of animal-grade cracked corn and peanuts, both of which are known to carry deadly amounts of aspergillus. She was on antibiotics for 45 days, which is an extremely long time to treat an upper respiratory infection (perhaps indicating a fungal infection, rather than bacterial). Her nares were apparently quite red and swollen, too. This could also indicate psittacosis, especially given the eye infection.

Hmm, she was on doxycycline for 45 days. Fudge bunner! Apparently, doxycycline is given for 45 days to treat psittacosis! Oh my gosh, you'd think the people at the Humane Society could've told me she was being treated for psittacosis! In birds, doxycycline isn't usually used for anything but treating psittacosis! What else could they have been treating her for!? They said they couldn't give me their medical records due to doctor patient confidentiality or something stupid! They're under my care, so I need to know their medical history to properly care for them. Despite my super-sanitary, bordering on the paranoid, surgical scrubs of my hands and arms, have I possibly introduced it to my aviary? I didn't change my clothes after being near them! Fudge. Fudge! Aspergillosis and psittacosis are on my list of most feared diseases. Most of my budgies are immune compromised due to terrible genetics. Man, I'm freaking out! Please, the kākāriki can have psittacosis, just not my poor budgies! I care about and love the kākāriki, but my gosh, it would be an absolute tragedy if I've accidentally introduced psittacosis to my aviary!

My gosh, we're having every test known to man done on them! I want crop swabs, blood work, fecal floats, gram staining, tests for parasites, bacterial cultures–the works! My gosh, I knew this day would eventually come, I just didn't know it would happen so soon

Please, let it be aspergillosis! I've already witnessed dozens of my beloved fish die as a result of the incurable, unbelievably contagious, dreaded piscine tuberculosis! I watched for years as they suffered strange symptoms, forcing me to euthanize them one by one. I absolutely adored them, but there was nothing I could do as these highly intelligent, emotional beings died. I think I'm going to cry now.

Last edited by Teddscau; 03-19-2017 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:40 AM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

I am sorry you and your flock are under such stress. The humane society morally owes you FULL disclosure, not sure what the laws are in your province. Might you approach a supervisor, or perhaps your vet can intervene? Without a recent and preferably complete medical history of your adopted birds, it will be difficult to target treatment.

Asper is treatable, but timely intervention is crucial. Unless you have full confidence in your current vet, might wish to consider a second opinion?

Please let us know how the vet visit went when you are able.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:07 PM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP December 9, 2016), and Alice; Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Oh, thank goodness! We just got back from Dr. Morris. When we asked him about their medical records and told him that the people at the Humane Society wouldn't let us have them, he looked totally confused. When he came back with the records, he looked kind of ticked off and said what they'd told us about privacy and stuff was, "A bunch of bull." This is the closest you'll ever get to seeing Dr. Morris angry. He told us that there was absolutely nothing stopping the Humane Society from giving us their medical records, and that they were pretty much obligated to hand them over to us when we asked for them. Honestly he's the nicest, happiest, most compassionate guy you'll ever meet (he gives us a bunch of discounts whenever we come in, and he actually foot the bill himself once, paying a lab in PEI out of his own pocket for some test results). The fact that he was upset(ish) when we told him we weren't allowed to see their medical records and it was some sort of confidential thing between vets...

Anyways, I told him that we knew absolutely nothing, except that Ria was given doxycycline for 45 days for some sort of respiratory infection, and that I was really worried it was psittacosis. Immediately, he told me it wasn't anywhere as serious as that, and that she had sinusitis. He'd read the medical report and assured me that it was sinusitis, which is unusual. Anyways, apparently sinusitis is fairly common in humans and other mammals, but that it's quite unusual in birds. Apparently, in mammals, you have a lot of mucous and discharge, but in birds, they get this huge build up of clay-like pus which is quite painful.

He confirmed that she was still suffering from it, and prescribed some antibiotics to administer for at least 2–3 weeks. He told us it was extremely unlikely that she had psittacosis, and told us not to worry (but to still quarantine).

He also finds it very unlikely that she's suffering from aspergillosis, and that she should be completely better after her sinusitis clears up. He spent several minutes checking out her eyes, and he said that the bruise on the left side of her beak is probably from crashing into something, which is what likely what caused her sinusitis. That, plus vitamin A deficiency and/or low humidity caused the mucous membrane in her nose to dry out, allowing an infection to form from what should have only been a relatively minor injury.

During their physical examinations, he noted their muscles were quite small and weak, and was a bit concerned about their weight. We told him about the conditions they were kept in at the Humane Society and concluded that they should gain back their strength and fatten up under my care. I think he was disturbed with the description I gave as to their care at the Humane Society.

While I was there, I mentioned their leg bands didn't seem proper or safe and asked him to remove them. He had me hold them while he used forceps to gently pull them apart. He said those definitely weren't proper leg bands, and that they were just some sort of temporary green strips of metal with a number stamped on them (he found the bands really strange). He agreed that they weren't safe. Honestly, those bands were weird. Here's what they looked like, but theirs were thinner (and without the bolt going through it, because this picture is obviously an o-clamp for motorcycles): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chrome-Univ.../dp/B001TJ0HOA

Dr. Morris is very knowledgable and would let me know if he wasn't comfortable coming up with a diagnosis. I trust his findings and his opinion, so I'm super relieved. I honestly thought I'd have to have them euthanized, but it turns out there's just a clump of pus hanging out in her sinuses. Difficult to treat, but not contagious.

The kākāriki were pretty good for us while we handled them, although they did nip a bit (they spent most of the time just laying still in our hands and not putting up much of a fuss). They didn't seem scared or traumatized at all, and forgive me for manhandling them. I'm so glad they forgave me so quickly. Honestly, they seem to understand that I didn't mean them any harm and that I wasn't trying to be disrespectful. When I put them back in their carrier, there actually went right over to the side to see me, and they weren't shaking or hyperventilating at all. They were calm and wandered around, preened, and were trying to peek out of the carrier.

Honestly, these guys are amazingly calm and curious. They are a bit skittish, but they weren't at all nervous and actually seemed really curious while we were at the vet. Tiki got quite bored at one point and thought about chewing his way out of the carrier. Honestly, when I have to grab them to put them in the cage or carrier, they're a bit upset because no parrot wants to be in a hand, but they're very calm when I put them in the cage or carrier. Heck, I've had to grab them three times now, and they didn't break the skin once. Well, Ria gave me a nasty bite while I held her while Dr. Morris was removing her leg band, but considering we'd been handling her for well over 5 minutes, that's amazing. They honestly don't seem to hold grudges.

Oh, I forgot to mention something. He printed out their medical records and gave them to us, commenting that he'd give them to us even if the Humane Society wouldn't, and that it was important that we knew their medical histories *wink* *wink*

Last edited by Teddscau; 03-20-2017 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:06 PM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

I'm sorry but your humane society sounds like it is being completely mismanaged. You shouldn't have been able to come home with animals still being treated for illnesses for a variety of reasons, and not getting past records is beyond insane.

These poor birds are so lucky to have you...I'm so sorry its such an extreme case you are dealing with! As a fellow rescuer I'm honestly in shock that your hs is like this
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:07 PM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Best wishes for you all <3
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:30 PM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP December 9, 2016), and Alice; Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Thanks, DerTier . Don't worry, it's not my local Humane Society. It's actually a far better equipped, much larger Humane Society in a major city more than two hours from here. Man, doesn't that just make things better? Sarcasm alert!

I agree, it's really stupid. Apparently, she was "all better". Well, if she's all better, why did I immediately noticed her left eye was swollen when I put them in the quarantine cage? Honestly, it's like these people don't have eyes. Anyways, she's going to be taking antibiotics for a while yet, and she spat out the first dose we gave. It's going to be a long month.

Honestly, it's such a relief that it's "just sinusitis". I understand it's a miserable thing to have, but I think we can all agree that it's preferable to having psittacosis or aspergillosis. Man, no wonder she's so shy and quiet! Can you imagine having so much pus in your sinuses the it's making your eye stick out? But, I was so happy when he told us that's what it was. I honestly thought we'd have to consider euthanasia. I never give up on an animal, but it would just be too dangerous to have a bird with psittacosis.

I'm going to work hard on getting them to eat from my hand so I can eventually start training and letting them out to fly. They're adorable, sweet little things who have received completely inadequate care up to now, and I want to give them the best life possible. In Ontario, having a companion parrot is like having, I don't know, a deer as a companion animal. Like, it's just such a foreign concept to most people. Like, when I talk to someone about my birds, they'll say something about how they had a budgie once. Is it like that in America (I know, a big generalization)? Also, most of the people who I know who've kept "exotic" animals (hamsters, budgies, etc.) had their animals die completely preventable deaths! Like, pretty much all of them are killed by cats within three months. It's very disturbing to me that humans don't realize that cats eat small prey animals.

Anyways, they're in good hands with me. I just need to convince my stupid aunt and uncle to surrender their pair of budgies to me. Legit, several years ago my mom found one of their lovebirds dead on the bottom of the cage and told them about it. Apparently they knew about it, and the bird had been dead for at least two days! The other lovebird was forced to watch as their mate lay rotting on the bottom of the cage! My gosh, how hard is it to take the corpse out!?

Last edited by Teddscau; 03-20-2017 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:38 PM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

If she's having issues taking oral meds, consider asking your vet to teach you how to give injections. My vet taught me back when Cookie first needed pain control meds, and I'll never go back to oral meds if I can avoid it. It's sooooo easy to give shots to birds and so much less traumatic. Plus you eliminate the worry of not getting the whole dose in the bird because she's spit it out. It's a win for everybody.

And thank you for taking such good care of her!
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:12 PM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP December 9, 2016), and Alice; Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Hmm, if things don't go well when trying to medicate her orally, I'll have to take your suggestion and ask about injections. All I know is that it's a pain in the butt trying to stick the syringe in their beak and get them to swallow. They either spit it out, have it drip out their beak, or aspirate on it.

I hope nobody thinks poorly of me that I was preparing myself to decide whether or not to euthanize. I truly care about the two of them, but it wouldn't be safe if they had such a deadly, contagious disease. Plus, it would be extremely difficult finding them an experienced, bird-free home for them. I mean, we're not talking about a simple case of scaly face mites. Luckily, it's just good old sinusitis.

I hope she isn't in too much discomfort. I know having a regular sinus infection is a nightmare, let alone one that involves pus trying to force your eyeball out of its socket!
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:25 PM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Sometimes euthanizing is the humane choice. If that's what it had come to, then I don't think anybody would have thought badly of you for making that choice.

And I really cannot say enough good things about injections vs. oral meds. If it's at all an option, go for it. It's super easy to learn how to do; far easier, actually, than injecting a human. There's certainly some discomfort, but all things considered, I think it's less traumatic and far more precise than trying to give oral meds.
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