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Kisota 02-26-2015 10:08 AM

Stubborn, stubborn polyurea!
(GAH, I just realized I typo'd and misspelled "polyurea" in the title... if a mod would like to help me save face and fix that, it'd be much appreciated)
Hi, again everybody! Been a while, hasn't it? I've been trying to finish my thesis, so I've been very busy!

In the meantime, my cockatiel Tilli has been having some health problems for months now. She started having problems with really watery, splattery poops sometime last November or December. She had no other symptoms other than slightly off breath and the occasional bout of crop-adjusting, and wasn't losing weight, seemed to be eating and drinking normally... so I gave it a bit to see if it would clear up (stress or something, maybe?)... but it didn't, so it was off to the vet, an exotic-specialist clinic about a half hour away (a challenge of a trip in these frigid temps!)

She was found to have a squishy crop, a sign of a crop infection of yeast, which explained the breath and adjustment of her crop. There was also protozoa in her poop, so we were advised to order Ronidazole from a pigeon supply website.

Things didn't improve, so it was back to the vet, with our conure as well this time just to make sure he was okay. He's fine, thankfully.
But Tilli was found to have a lot of bacteria in her poop as well, so now she was put on an antibiotic.

I thought it was getting better for a few days there, but even before she'd finished the meds, she was having bad poops again.

So it was off to the vet again. This time we paid over $140 to have her poop sent off to the lab to be gram-stained and cultured as well as more thoroughly examined. And she had another crop infection, so she was put on more yeast medicine, a stronger one this time.

A few days later, we got a call with the results: nothing odd in her poop except the yeast. Good, because that was already being treated. And nothing severe was going on! So, I kept up with the medicine and she seemed totally better for a few days.

BUT... again, before the medicine round was even done... she was having wet poop again.

So I called the vet. She's been really nice about all this and has, so far, taken logical steps and not charged me out the bum. This time she said she would send us some metronidazole and I got permission to do another round of the Nystatin yeast medication. The metro isn't here yet, but I've started giving her the yeast medication again. Here's a sign of a good vet: She recommended a more experienced avian vet and said I should go there if this doesn't work, then asked that if I did so, I call her and let her know what he decides to do.

I was advised by the vet to use Apple Cider Vinegar in her water and to feed her Nutriberries instead of pellets and to discontinue feeding vegetables while she was fighting this, so I have. She's still acting fine and seems to be at a constant weight or possibly gaining a bit back (she's at around 86 and used to be closer to 90... but she had gotten a little lower than that).

But man... three vet trips, six rounds of medicine, and over 450 dollars later and she's STILL NOT BETTER!

I'll have to see how she is after these two rounds of meds, but man, it's stressful. She's a very sweet and loving, tame little thing and I hate wrestling her so much and making her nervous of me like this.

I'm going to try taking her cage apart and sterilizing it as much as possible, as well as her perches and toys.

I've had other people suggesting it's something in the water or it's mold in the house or something. I'm really skeptical of that. Cuzco's been fine, and he's a good 20 grams lighter than she is. I suspect it's one of four things:
1) Just a REALLY stubborn infection of some kind - yeast or something else weird that isn't getting killed off easily
2) An underlying condition that isn't an infection: kidney disease, diabetes, an obstruction, or something wrong with her body that makes her prone to the yeast... OR something behavioral. Maybe she just drinks more water than most birds, or has chronic polyuria from her diet (though you'd think switching to the Nutriberries would have helped more in that case)
3) Something in her cage and her cage alone that is encouraging the problem
4) Stress. Cuzco's screaming does seem to stress her out a bit. He's generally quiet when he's not begging for attention when we're around, though. She's nervous of him, though not terrified when they're both out.

It's frustrating. I want to get to the bottom of it so I know my buddy is alright. I guess the good news is that she's not really having any other symptoms, but it does make the situation a particularly kind of frustrating!

Anyone else deal with this before? I saw RavensGryf's post about Robin having chronic metal poisoning. I hope it's not something like that! Ah!

And for your enjoyment, here's a photo of Senorita Splatterpoops.

Terry57 02-26-2015 11:18 AM

Re: Stubborn, stubborn polyurea!
I fixed the thread title for you:)
I am so sorry to hear that Tilli has been sick. I have not had this issue with any of mine so can't give advice about it, but I hope this round of antibiotics does the trick. Have you been to see the more experienced vet yet? Hopefully they will be able to get to the bottom of this.
Sending you prayers and hugs, and wishes for a full, swift recovery.

RavensGryf 02-26-2015 12:27 PM

Re: Stubborn, stubborn polyurea!
Hi! Thanks for the update.. I see you got the tiel you were wanting :)! Tilli is such a beautiful color, and what a sweet pic of her. I'm so sorry that she came with all of these health conditions :(. It's so frustrating when you try all kinds of meds and the problem still is there. I hate to have to mention, but have you considered getting Tilli a Bornavirus test for peace of mind? Good luck, and please keep us posted!

Thank you for thinking of me and Robin! Good news is that Robin had a successful surgery last year to remove 2 tiny rocks from his gizzard (which contained the lead). He's fine now, but due for another blood check.

Kisota 02-26-2015 01:36 PM

Re: Stubborn, stubborn polyurea!
Yes, Tilli is wonderful. I think I've posted about her before. She's really just perfect - so pretty, and just the sweetest, funniest little thing. I adore her!

I'm so glad Robin is doing well!! That's pretty amazing that he was affected by it so long but never got too drastically ill. It's a refreshingly happier story than most "lead poisoning" bird stories...

Bornavirus!! Yikes... I just looked that up, because I couldn't remember all the details about it. Dang, that is scary... I don't think her poop is coming out undigested at all, but otherwise the poop photo on Avian BioTech's page on Bornavirus looks all too familiar. :< Oh gosh, and that would mean Cuzco would probably already have it too...

Color me terrified...

If these medications don't work, we'll be taking her to the very experienced avian vet, and I'll be sure to ask about Bornavirus. <:C

Thanks for the well-wishes, guys. I'm really concerned. I'll keep you all updated...

RavensGryf 02-26-2015 02:31 PM

Re: Stubborn, stubborn polyurea!
I know it's hard, but don't panic about Cuzco. FIRST, you don't know that Tilli even has it in the first place!

My first Pionus Adrion had PDD from Bornavirus (this was 10 years ago). The good news is that this virus is one which thankfully is NOT very hardy in the environment, and dies on surfaces rather quickly, which IMHO means much lower transmission rate than other viruses.
Robin is the bird that I'd had at that same time. I'd wash hands between cleaning cages, and the birds were not friends, so that further helped keep it away from Robin. When Robin went through his lead symptoms he was tested for bv, so I know it didn't get to him. There was another bird Terry, a Cuban Amazon who although was not buddies with Adrion, many times did share the same back of the couch and sat near her. I still hear about Terry every now and then, and she is happy and virus free.

Take it all one step at a time. Try... I know it's hard. Sending good vibes that the meds work this time!!

Kisota 02-27-2015 12:48 PM

Re: Stubborn, stubborn polyurea!
Thanks so much. <3 It's been stressful. I've been trying to palpate her crop and see if it still feels yeasty (squishy, doughy) at all. I can't tell very well, but it seems at better than it was, at least...

She's as sweet as ever. She's not a high energy bird at all, which has made me worry that maybe she's been lethargic and I just never knew! But she pretty much never seems droopy or uncomfortable. Right now she's tweeting at me for attention.

But she pooped on me today and it was frothy in addition to being watery. <:C The frothiness subsided almost instantly, but it was not even close to being a normal poop. I would think clostridium, but she JUST had expensive lab tests done that showed no unusual bacteria in her poop.

Man, I thought things were stressful when I had to deal with pangs of anxiety whenever my last cockatiel laid an egg... Now I'm getting upset and concerned every time Tilli poops!!

I started her on the Flagyl (metronidazole) this morning. I'm going to keep up with some yeast medicine as well. If she's not better after this, I'll have to concede that she probably has a much more severe issue than a treatable infection and it'll be off to the vet an hour away to see if she'll ever be okay. If it's Bornavirus or something she's already symptomatic and so it isn't likely to be held off for terribly long.

Tilli's only maybe a year old now. I want so badly for her to have a long full life. She's the best little birdie I could have asked for; I really don't want to watch another of my pets die young. :/

RavensGryf 02-27-2015 02:03 PM

Re: Stubborn, stubborn polyurea!
I seem to have heard the frothiness is protozoan (clostridium) so hopefully it is just that and the Flagyl will take care of it, and the meds for the yeast will take care of that too. Sounds like a little good news if there is no more bad bacteria that they could find? At least it's improvement. It's nerve wracking I know.. and expensive. Hang in there and keep us updated.

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