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

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Old 12-28-2016, 03:50 PM
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Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

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I've got two lovely, lovely 'tiels. Jazz is about 17, she's a gray 'tiel. Giles is 15ish? he's yellow and gray. Giles is a happy bird and LOVES to climb buuuuttt Jazz is crippled. I've noticed lately that she's not moving around her cage much. If she falls to the bottom (Which she does a LOT) it takes her about 5 minutes to get up. She has to use her wings, and it seems like a struggle to use her feet. She's NEVER been able to fly. (I think she was born with a club foot. She was used for breeding before I got her, so very possibly an inbred one he couldn't sell and kept for breeding) and she can't even bend back to clean her tail. (She breaks the feathers off instead. So no tail) She's always had trouble walking, and I've set up the cage to help her get around the best she can.
My main worry with the poor thing is that her nose has waxy gunk on it. She's ALWAYS had some buildup on it, but her mate usually picks it off for her. Lately he's been distracted, and I just moved, so I haven't been paying as close of attention as I should have. Today I brought her out of her cage to the 'sun room' to get some light, and noticed one side of her nose was clogged. It was a gross waxy black/gray goop. I (gently!!) used a nail to pick off some so she could breathe, and found up she has a TON more around her nose holes. It flakes like dead skin, but again, has the texture of wax. I'm assuming it's buildup because she can't reach her nose. (Again, she's always had SOME buildup)
She has a vet appointment next week, as that's the earliest a vet was open (holidays...) but in the meantime, is there a way I could help her keep her nose clean? I don't want her unable to breathe!

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her other issue is that I've noticed she's developed sores on the 'palm' of her feet. She CANNOT grip perches - always had issues with it! She instead uses her fat behind to rest on a perch behind her, and kind of 'nests' (She's got a T shaped perch, the stem of the T being against the wall. She uses the entire perch to balance) Her toes are also flat where the sores are, not round like little toes should be. And they used to be round! Is there anything I can do for Jazzy to help sooth her feet? She can't stand on long branches, always has to have support. She travels from her T branch to her food dish, and sometimes outside to the top of her cage if she's feeling brave. (I should note that she uses her beak to walk, so whenever she stands her fat behind sticks up in the air and her face is on the floor. I don't think she CAN sit up anymore)

She's also SUPER awesome at falling. She falls off her perches, my hand, a towel, the top of her cage, everything! I was thinking of putting something in the bottom of her cage to catch her, but where she uses her beak to walk I don't want to get it snagged. And then there's the issue of cleaning...

One thing I should note, Giles, being SUPER active, LOVES to eat things. So whatever I do, it has to be something safe for him. He also gets SUPER upset when I rearrange his cage (he has abandonment issues, and has to have his 'safe' house) so anything I do has to be done slowly. (About a week) I can handle him if Jazz needs a complete cage rearrange, but I'd like to keep the stress off of them since we just moved. Jazz also gets sad when she can't follow Giles, but he likes high places. So... Sigh.

I'd take them apart and make them their own cages, but Giles is VERY attached. He won't even let me talk to her without shoving his face in mine. If I pick her up he goes insane and flies around the room. He cannot handle being apart from her, even if I just move her to the top of the cage/sun room.

Sorry for all the details! I'm sure I'm rambling. But I want to give all the details I can to help her. I can provide pics of how she stands if needed! She's a very sweet bird, and I want the best care I can give her.

People have told me she may have a sinus infection, is that possible if she's had the gunk buildup for so long? There's no other signs of an infection. Again, I can take a pic if that's allowed. (And yes, she'll be going to the vet ASAP! sooner if I can find one open. I live in a rural area so not a lot of options!)
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:33 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

Hi again, Remember, an excellent perch? Nice hunk of Maple or Sycamore! And free!
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:58 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

Yeah, as already stated she needs an avian vet ASAP for both issues. "Wax" doesn't typically come from nostrils, I know it seems like wax, but she's got some kind of infection in there that needs addressed immediately. Photos would be a great help in seeing both the stuff in her nose and the bottom of her feet/how she sits. But she definitely needs better perches that will not hurt her feet and that she can balance on. I'm more concerned about her nose issue for now, as something weird is going on if this has been a constant thing that is now getting worse.

Is there any type of dust/dirt/powder that she is exposed to that could be clogging her nares? Does your other bird have it at all? Does she grind her beak on a sanding perch? I'm just looking for what it might be if not an infection, but I'm going with infection for now, which ironically is what is going to happen to her feet as well if not treated soon.

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Old 12-28-2016, 05:18 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

My poor bird. I feel terrible letting it go on so long now! She's the only one who has it. I can't think of any dust she could be exposed to. I'll for sure switch out perches. She rubs her beak on a cuddle bone perch, or did when she could bend.
The one thing I can think of is there is a tiny spot of rust on the bottom of their cage. It's been there since I got the cage. (Her mate refuses a new cage) I scrub at it every time I clean it. Sometimes her mate takes a bath and flicks water into places I don't see right off, and a tiny bit of mold grows. I've started cleaning the area once a week now to prevent that.
Give me a minute and I'll get pics.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:22 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

Bumblefoot?

Infected nares?

This is something a vet needs to check. Don't guess. It could be fatal.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:34 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

Please do take Jazz to see an AV and would you mind saying what you feed?
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:51 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

I'm ashamed to say... They just eat Walmart seed. Up until a few months ago I didn't know there was anything better. (A "few" meaning "two" right when I was moving)
I did forget, Jazz ALWAYS has her face in the food dish. There's lots of seed dust in there. She likes to toss the seeds around. Once in a while I have to pluck a seed out of her nose because it gets stuck.
I'm also fighting pantry moths (they came with the house) and they live in the seed, so there's webbing sometimes. (I replace the entire food dish every other day)

Here
is the first pic of her nose. It's really hard to see on camera as it's the EXACT same coloring as her.
Second pic. While fuzzy, how can see how uneven her nose is and the lumps. That's gunk.
Another view
This is how she stands. All her weight is on her tail.
Here is her foot. I'm sorry it's not super clear. She kept falling off my hand. She also shivers whenever you pick her up/talk to her, so the camera couldn't focus. She's got another sore that's a little redder on the other foot, but you can see she stands weird. She doesn't handle being on her back or I'd get one that way.
More nose
Her mate. Who also happens to have something stuck in his nose. (He got it out) He kept mugging for the camera.
How she stands. It's the only perch besides her food dish she can sit on. Again, all her weight is on her rump.
More standing. Don't let her fool you, she's NOT unhappy. She's half asleep. Giles is also going over to show off his computer tower for the camera. I put little toys in it, and treats, and he climbs the tower's guts to get them. He loves it. (And doesn't eat the wires - not that there's anything dangerous in there besides plastic)

I don't know if you can see it, but she also has a bald spot on the back of her head. Before I got her the breeder kept her with a mate who plucked her head bald. They never grew back. Her tail is wrecked because she bends the feathers out of place. Most of them have just stopped growing in. The rest break off/fall out easily. (In fact taking pics cost her two feathers)

They're both off to the vet at noon on the 5th, if I can't find anyone earlier. That's there main vet who knows them fairly well, but if it's really important I can try to get them in earlier.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:56 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

Thanks for the pics, they look sweet birds. You are seeing an Avian Vet, yes?

Please take both along for an appointment, OK? Soonest possible appointment!

A flat perch may help with perching?

Need further input on this but IMO I would dump the seed and the moths and purchase new and keep in a sealed container somewhere cool. Have a go at offering fresh foods, veggies and some fruit.
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:15 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

FYI store all food in the freezer!
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:20 PM
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Re: Really old cockatiel with nose gunk/feet sores. Ideas?

Quote: Originally Posted by plumsmum2005 View Post
Thanks for the pics, they look sweet birds. You are seeing an Avian Vet, yes?

Please take both along for an appointment, OK? Soonest possible appointment!

A flat perch may help with perching?

Need further input on this but IMO I would dump the seed and the moths and purchase new and keep in a sealed container somewhere cool. Have a go at offering fresh foods, veggies and some fruit.
Absolutely! My current vet pretty much does nothing but birds. I'll see if I can get sneaky on them with fruits/veggies.

The moths are an ongoing project. They're in EVERYTHING. I'm in the process of tossing out ALL my grains and cleaning.

Thank you for your wonderful advice! They really are sweet birds. I love them to death.
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