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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 06-26-2012, 11:28 AM
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Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

Hi all, I'm owned by an 11 year old greenwinged macaw, an 8 year old B&G macaw and a 13 year old amazon. The only possible exposure my birds have to other birds is the occasional trip to the vet (which is rare).

About a month and a half ago we had to change seed brands and I noticed my greenwinged was having some seasonal feather mutilation (springtime). I took her weight which had been about a year since the last time and she had approx a 5% weight reduction (from 1050 grams to 1000 grams). Although her droppings looked normal, I decided to rub it between a piece of paper to check for seed and noticed a grit to it. She is definitely passing undigested seed (I don't know officially how long it has been going on). I took her to an emergency vet visit the day I discovered this.

Since then we have had many tests done - two borna virus tests at 2 separate facilities (negative), xrays looked good (no proventiculus dilation), white blood cells were high, but that could've been the stress from the visit, giardia tested negative (although there's false negatives), cultures of the throat & vent both fine. She hasn't had any weird odor, head movements, crop distention, depression. We had been experimenting with supplying softer foods, removing shells from her seed and put her on Flagyl in the off chance she did have Giardia. During this time, her weight dropped another 5% during the first couple weeks but has since gone back to the 990 gram mark is stable. During all this we finally found a pellet she's interested in, we've been giving her vitamins and probiotics, and this week I started her on Harrisons enzymes since she finished her course of antibiotics. We're waiting on a second opinion on her xrays from our vet. There's multiple avian special-ists in the office we take her to.

Since so much is unknown about PDD (aka proventiculus distention disease or macaw wasting syndrome), I know one way to diagnose it is to rule out everything else out. I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts of things we should try/look out for. Our next course of action is to try biopsying (again there's false negatives), however, I don't see much point in having her go through that if there's no other tests or nothing else the vet could determine that she has anyway. Now that I've seen her weight stabilize, she has only 1 symptom (which she still has as of this morning) - undigested seed in her droppings. If her condition worsens, and we've ruled everything else out, I would think the next step would be to put her on Celebrex which I understand to be relatively safe side-effect wise.

Anyway, she's my best friend and I would do anything for her so this whole situation is so incredibly sad & scary for us, so I'm trying to do the best I can to manage the situation without affecting her quality of life. Wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation as I try to educate myself and reach out to others. Thoughts/suggestions very much appreciated!

Last edited by katkami; 06-26-2012 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:00 PM
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Re: Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

Hello and welcome to the Forum
Sorry to hear you are having problems with your Macaw.. It must be a worry for you!

Hopefully, the problem can be sorted.. I personally cant help you with this one, but hopefully other Members may be able to give you some advise..

We would love to see some pics of your Flock
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:06 PM
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Re: Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

Welcome to the forum!! Do not opt for the biopsy. The only way it will show positive is if there is an actual flare at that time. There is no definitive diagnosis except by what you are doing by ruling out symptoms. Sending you a PM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:46 PM
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Re: Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

Thanks for the quick response! Yeah, we're not planning on doing the biopsy at this time.

Here's a gallery of pictures of my girls:

Collection: Pets

and a portrait of Tiki I took a couple days ago:

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Old 06-26-2012, 12:49 PM
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Re: Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

Beautiful pics
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:11 PM
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Re: Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

i was told by my vet and when i got a second opinion by another one that all birds with PDD have borna virus, but those with borna do not necessarily have PDD...so if your test come back negative you shouldn't have to worry~ was the borna test a blood test?
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:13 PM
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Re: Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

oh and why are you feeding seed? try a pellet diet with fruits and veggies, much better than seed
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:33 PM
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Re: Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

Thanks triordan, yes, both Borna Virus tests were from blood work.

We have our amazon on pellets but never had any luck switching our macaws to pellets. We tried numerous brands, soaking, etc. We have been getting Kaytee Fiesta which is an excellent mix, including dried fruits & veggies. Since all this started, I have been reluctant to remove it from her since I want to make sure she maintains her weight and don't want to introduce too many variables. I have been offering a lot more soft foods at meal times though. But like I mentioned we did find a brand of pellets she's actually showing some interest in now, so I'm hoping we can move her to that once she's better.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:47 PM
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Re: Undigested seed in droppings = PDD?

I guess i 'm from the school of thought, that say's. Is it worth the risk? If i could get a definite answer, maybe. I think i would pass on the biopsy.
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