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

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:47 PM
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Re: Acting Different...

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Hey everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! I just wanted to post an update about my Lovebird, Kiwi. Her lab results returned showing negative for "Beak and Feather", negative for Psittacosis, and negative for really any harmful bacteria....


The front office nurse I talked to said her white blood cell count could have been high because of the "oral swab" they did to her?? She said it is somewhat common in small birds.
In a way I am happy that Kiwi is negative for any very harmful illnesses, but...I have her on a 21 day antibiotic now for nothing?? She still seems more tired than usual and I can only imagine how the antibiotic/anti-fungal medicine is making her feel.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:58 AM
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Re: Acting Different...

Congrats on the negative tests -- that is partytime, big time!


Is your bird on pro-biotics as wel as anti-biotics?
Having an upset stomach/ bellyache because of the meds might make her uncomfortable as well.


Always finish the course - no matter if you are in doubt, you do not want to breed some anti-biotic resistant baccies by accident...
(we already have enough of those running around and causing trouble)

Last edited by ChristaNL; 12-29-2018 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:58 PM
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Re: Acting Different...

Update: Kiwi is doing well, and the antibiotics/antifungal are going down good. However she’s seemed to stop eating quite a bit. She goes to her food bowl and picks things up but doesn’t eat them; like she’s over-picky about eating. I weighed her today at 49 grams which is pretty normal. If it starts dropping I’ll need to start worrying.

Probably sometime next week I will call to have her white blood cell count tested again and see if it’s lowered. (I wish my vet was a little more lenient though, he’s quite expensive and it is a tiny bird :/ )
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:14 PM
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Re: Acting Different...

Update: I’ve missed about 2 doses of Kiwi’s medication. Also she has been sleeping on the bottom of her cage. I don’t know if she always did this, but I’ve realized it now for about a week....When I uncover her in the morning, she is always on the bottom so maybe she always did this. Ugh I don’t know I have a bad gut feeling about something, even though her tests returned negative....
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:30 AM
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Re: Acting Different...

Psittacosis can be shed intermittent, do can be missed if it was tested for with culture. Your girlfriend's teil was sick too, what did the vet say was making the Cockatiel sick? As the birds have been together they likely have the same thing, and the cockatiel seemed to have classic psittacosis symptoms..... Anyway I think finding her on the cage floor in the morning is very scary!! I don't think that's normal....baytril doesn't treat psittacosis you have to use doxycycline or something lik that.
Plus the baytril can make her feel sick here are some side effects I found. Enrofloxacin may result in these side effects:
Loss of appetite.
Vomiting.
Diarrhea.
Lethargy.
Convulsions.
Seizures in pets with CNS disorders.
Cataracts if given long-term. I would be talking to you vet,
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2019, 10:39 AM
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Re: Acting Different...

This doesn't sound good now at all...sleeping at the bottom of the cage is not at all normal, and is typically a sign that they are quite sick...They do that because they cannot balance themselves on a perch, or cannot put forth the energy to do so...This is scary...

I'll say the same thing I already said and that Laura said, Baytril (Enrofloxacin) does not in any way treat Psittacosis Chlamydia, which can be caused by 3 different strains of bacteria, none of which are treated by Baytril or any of the other drugs in that particular family of antibiotics. Doxycycline is the most-effective drug for treating all 3 strains of bacteria that cause Psittacosis Chlamydia, but it must be at the very least a 21-day course of the Doxycycline, with a 45-day course being the new "standard of treatment" because of how well Psittacosis Chlamydia "hides" and how often birds with it end-up relapsing...

As Laura said, Psittacosis is a bacterial infection that regularly is "shedded" by birds, and it's extremely common to get a false-negative on the blood work...However, the most common outward signs/symptoms of Psittacosis are #1) All upper-respiratory/sinus symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, runny nostrils (clear discharge), and conjunctivitis in both eyes. These are the "classic" signs/symptoms of Psittacosis. So I don't know if your bird has been displaying any of these signs/symptoms since you first noticed something wasn't quite right, but if the only signs/symptoms of illness that your bird has been displaying are lethargy, sleeping during the day, going to the bottom of the cage to sleep, and anorexia, then I'd have to say that it's probably not Psittacosis because at this point I'd think that he would showing the upper-respiratory symptoms and the conjunctivitis in both eyes...

***A lot of Vets unfortunately prescribe a long course of a broad-spectrum antibiotic when they know something is wrong with the bird because of how they are acting, outward signs/symptoms they are displaying, and also an elevated WBC count, just like your bird had...(By the way, I have no idea what the hell that receptionist was talking about with the "Oral Swab" being the reason that the culture showed bacteria;
laboratories who run cultures/swabs know what "normal" or "healthy" bacteria commonly live in the mouth, the GI Tract, the nostrils, etc. of each different animal, and when they plate a swab/culture and bacteria grows-out, it's the different strains of bacteria they identify that actually diagnose a particular infection or illness, with any "healthy" or "normally found" bacteria being identified and disregarded! That's how a streak-plate culture works and is read! So that receptionist was just running her mouth to try to get you to go "Oh, okay." and to drop it.


Unfortunately, Baytril (Enrofloxacin) is the broad-spectrum antibiotic that Vets usually prescribe to birds, reptiles, amphibians, rodents, etc. when they know they have some type of infection based on the WBC count and their outward symptoms, but they can't identify where the infection is or what bacteria is causing it...Unfortunately "broad-spectrum" does not at all mean "Will treat any and all bacterial infections", not even close, and also unfortunate is that Baytril is really harsh on their GI Tracts, very, very often causing an upset stomach and anorexia, as well as a secondary Fungal (yeast) infection...Which will of course make your bird very sick if not treated...

Did you say that they also gave your bird a prescription Anti-Fungal medication??? Did they also identify a Fungal/Yeast infection on a culture? Or did they also just prescribe an Anti-Fungal "just in case" like they did with the Baytril? Did they prescribe a daily Probiotic supplement as well? I hate to say this but this CAV seems not at all like a CAV or Avian specialist to me, but rather like any old Exotics Vet that doesn't have a clue what they're doing, from the whole "doing the appointment/exam outside" because "Lovebirds carry PBFD" (so wrong) to the prescribing Baytril and an Anti-Fungal "just in case" without a specific diagnosis, to getting an elevate WBC count but not running additional, simple swabs/cultures to properly diagnose what microbe is causing the infection and where the infection actually is!!! It's quite possible that your bird never had ANY Bacterial infection at all, but rather a Fungal/Yeast infection from the start, as BOTH will cause an elevated WBC!!! And if that's the case, then the Baytril would only serve to make your bird much, much sicker by causing the Fungal/Yeast infection to grow out of control because a broad-spectrum antibiotic will kill-off ALL the healthy, normal bacteria living in your bird's GI Tract, which is what protects your bird's gut against Fungal/Yeast infections in the first place!

I'm quite concerned about your bird now, since he's been sick for so long at this point (of course probably ill long before any outward signs/symptoms became evident) and since he's now sleeping on the floor and his appetite has lessened/is completely anorexic...This is not good. I highly suggest you find a different CAV/Avian Specialist, call them and explain the situation and make ask for an emergency appointment, and have all of the test results sent to them from this first vet...This is not good.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2019, 09:59 AM
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Re: Acting Different...

Thank you guys for the fast replies! I am making an appointment today to get her in to recheck her White Blood Cell count. She is not acting sickly at all or showing any real symptoms. I checked on her last night and she was sleeping on her perch, but for some reason in the mornings she will go down to the bottom and walk around...


Her test results returned negative for psittacosis, PBFD, or any harmful bacteria. The Baytril that was given to me also had an "antifungal" just in case a fungus was not picked up.



Ive been weighing her everyday for a few days and shes staying at 49grams.


One thing that is REALLY bothering me is her new feathers coming in. When the feather bursts through the new sheath, it leaves the flaky keratin sheath for another bird (or human) to kind of break off/pull off. Well I tried helping her with a couple of them and the entire feather pulled out extremely easily and with no pain. The bottom of the new feather seemed to be filled with a black sticky substance that squeezed out onto my finger like a toothpaste tube. I will be asking the vet about this. I'm not too sure if the new feathers are very delicate and need to grow more before preening, or if something else (malnutrition,vitamins, illness, etc.) is going on.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2019, 10:24 AM
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Re: Acting Different...

That's odd...I'd definitely show them exactly what you're talking about...Is she eating normally now? It's quite possible that she has been suffering from a systemic Fungal/Yeast infection this entire time, which not only grows throughout their entire GI Tract but also very often all over the surface of their skin and in their feather-follicles. This will cause all of the symptoms she's had, including the not eating, lethargy, the feather issues, etc.

I don't know what you mean by "The Baytril they gave her had an antifungal in it", as Baytril does not have an antifungal in it at all, and the problem is that Anti-Fungal meds are much more specific than antibiotics are; there aren't really "broad-spectrum" anti-fungals like there are antibiotics (sort of, but not really, I won't get technical here but basically if you don't actually diagnose the specific Fungal Infection and you give them the wrong antifungal, then it will only serve to make the Fungal Infection much worse)...So this whole thing may have been due to systemic Fungal Infection this entire time, which would account also for the elevated WBC. Show them exactly what you're talking about with her new feathers coming-in, it's common to get a little blood from new feathers but I don't know what a "black, sticky substance" would be...Glad her PBFD test was negative, so you don't have to worry about that, but something just isn't right here...If she's now eating normally that's a good sign as well, have to remember that Baytril is a nasty antibiotic on their tummy's.

I'd highly recommend that you start giving her a daily Avian Probiotic from now on. I've been giving one to my birds every single day of their lives, and none of them have ever been sick or had any appetite or dropping issues (I also take one myself daily)...Probiotics cannot hurt and can only help to keep their GI Tracts moving smoothly, and protect them against any potential Fungal/Yeast infections, especially if she ever gets sick with another Bacterial infection again, her body will already be full of healthy, normal flora to prevent against a yeast/fungal infection secondary to the antibiotics...

I use Qwiko Avian Probiotic, which is a powder that you simply sprinkle on their seed-mix or pellets once daily, and it comes in a bottle with a pre-measured scoop. it's a very small amount of powder and if your bird eats a seed-mix it's extremely easy, you just sprinkle it over-top of the seed-mix and you're good to go. It costs $9.99 a bottle at any Petco, and a bottle lasts about 3-4 months if given every day. The other good Avian Probiotic supplement is called Bene-Bac, and is available at any Petco or Tractor supply. It comes in both a powder just like the Qwiko Avian Probiotic does, and also a "paste" , which is easier to give to dogs, cats, and larger animals, so the powder is usually the easiest to give to birds because you again just sprinkle it on their seed-mix or pellets every morning.
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