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Old 11-07-2018, 08:44 AM
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For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

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I happened to be watching an episode of "Dr. K's Exotic Animal ER" last night, and it featured a little Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure baby that the owner said was only 6 weeks old at the time, and that they had purchased from a breeder at the age of 3 weeks old, and had been hand-feeding her formula since. They had no prior experience hand-feeding or raising a baby bird, nor did they know anything about formula temperature or ambient temperature that a 3 week-old bird required. They had brought her into the Hospital to see Dr. K because she was "wheezing" as the owner described it, though it wasn't wheezing. This adorable little Green Cheek was actually sucking air into her beak/lungs in these tiny little gasps that were creating a high-pitch whistling sound...

Dr. K put the baby under quick gas sedation and then opened her beak/mouth up, and saw nothing but a thick, white/yellow plaque all over the back of the baby's throat and entrance to her Crop. After using a tiny Endoscope to look down her Trachea and Esophagus, Dr. K realized that this poor little baby had developed a Yeast Infection inside of her Crop due to the owner not being trained in hand-feeding a baby bird formula and not making sure the formula temperature was between 104-110 degrees F, but just "making sure it was warm", and at 3 weeks old with no outer feathers, not keeping her in a Brooder at 95 degrees F...But this Yeast Infection was never treated and she had had it for almost a month at this point, and it became so bad that it spread from her Crop right up to her mouth, and then down her Trachea, creating such a thick layer of Yeast that she only had about a pinhole-sized opening to breath through. Dr. K actually had to put a Cannula into her Abdominal Airsac and breath for her through this hole with a tube through it into her Abdomen. They started medications, gave her fluids, etc., and she started to get a bit better, though she couldn't breath on her own at all through her mouth/beak, and then they realized that the Yeast was so bad that it had actually clogged the Cannula already, and when they removed the Cannula because she was suffocating, she ended-up dying. It was horribly sad for everyone, including me.

This is the reason why you should never, ever, ever buy a baby bird who is not fully-weaned and only eating solid-food on their own. It's NOT EASY to hand-feed a baby bird, no matter what any "breeder", pet shop, or website tells you...
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:11 PM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

I love watching Dr K. Even though I have seen many bad endings when treating birds..
Hard to watch but informative.
Next week episode will have a CAG that started plucking.
Going to be sure to watch that.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:20 PM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

Quote: Originally Posted by texsize View Post
I love watching Dr K. Even though I have seen many bad endings when treating birds..
Hard to watch but informative.
Next week episode will have a CAG that started plucking.
Going to be sure to watch that.
It is always sad when they are treating a bird, because generally the birds die. CAV's all over the country refer their patients to Dr. K because she is one of the foremost-authorities in Avian Medicine in the country, specifically Avian Surgery, but with how sensitive birds are to Anesthesia, and then to the stress of being sick and in a hospital, the outcomes are generally very bad (she has developed the safest Anesthesia for birds to-date, and is working on a new one as we speak)...Did you see either of the episodes where she literally rebuilt the legs of two different baby Macaws? She's an artist. And both of those massive, long orthopedic surgeries were successes. But that is rare...Avian medicine is getting better every day, but it's nowhere near what it needs to be...

What I can tell you is that I lived anywhere even near Florida in-general, I would be taking my birds to Broward Avian & Exotic, without a doubt...
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:29 PM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

Wonderful if very saddening post.

Perhaps worth turning into a “sticky”?
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:47 PM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by texsize View Post
I love watching Dr K. Even though I have seen many bad endings when treating birds..
Hard to watch but informative.
Next week episode will have a CAG that started plucking.
Going to be sure to watch that.
It is always sad when they are treating a bird, because generally the birds die. CAV's all over the country refer their patients to Dr. K because she is one of the foremost-authorities in Avian Medicine in the country, specifically Avian Surgery, but with how sensitive birds are to Anesthesia, and then to the stress of being sick and in a hospital, the outcomes are generally very bad (she has developed the safest Anesthesia for birds to-date, and is working on a new one as we speak)...Did you see either of the episodes where she literally rebuilt the legs of two different baby Macaws? She's an artist. And both of those massive, long orthopedic surgeries were successes. But that is rare...Avian medicine is getting better every day, but it's nowhere near what it needs to be...

What I can tell you is that I lived anywhere even near Florida in-general, I would be taking my birds to Broward Avian & Exotic, without a doubt...
Yes I saw that episode. Amazing job she did.
Also saw an episode where she was seeing an Amazon (YNA I think) that was owned by a medical Dr. Bird was way overweight and the owner did not want to listen to her advice . They always say Dr.'s make the worst patients.

I also saw an episode of Dr Pohl where he trimmed the beak of a parrot (don't remember the type but it was large) with a nail clipper. I was horrified to see someone so knowable in general vet care do that.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:08 PM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

LOL Doctor Poll is an "every animal vet" who got his schooling a long long time ago and does not have the time to surf the net because he is too darn busy working.
He is of the generation 'if it works it ain't stupid'
and if I had to choose between clippers and an lungful of beakdust-by-powertool ...

I met someone who trimmed the overgrown upper beak of her parrot (african grey) with pruning shears. For decades. (I saw/met the beak, it was a no-brainer ..)

We have a lot op Doctor Poll on tv, Dr. K not so much (havent seen her yet), maybe in a few years or so... sometimes these series get here so slow I swear they row them across the Atlantic episode by episode!
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:55 AM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

I've never watched Dr. Poll...Dr. K is a Certified Avian Vet and an Avian Surgical Specialist, so it's a weird situation in that she owns and runs an Exotic Animal Hospital that treat every species except dogs and cats. She personally treats most of the birds, unless it's something simple, and I like to see that her now-partner Dr. Thelan, who is not a CAV but rather a General Vet, has been learning from Dr. K. You can see the huge difference between a General Vet being taught by a CAV and a General Vet who just decides to start treating "Exotics". It's huge.

I saw that episode where that old, retired human doctor refused to even give his Amazon an anti-inflammatory when she diagnosed him with severe arthritis...Then she showed him his bird's x-ray with his HUGE liver and prescribed medication and a special diet and he refused...That poor Amazon was so obese that he was covered head to toe in Fatty Cysts, they were all over his body, and just from walking across the room he was open-mouth breathing and "squeaking" when he breathed. And when Dr. K mentioned that he was struggling to breath after just walking across the room that guy was like "It's nothing. He always does that. That's not why we brought him, we brought him for his injured knee.", which wasn't injured at all, it was just crumbling to bits under the bird's weight...That guy really pissed me off, that poor Amazon was so obese, and 29 years old if I remember correctly...
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:50 AM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

see stuff like that is why I could never be a vet. I'd be in a practice for minutes before I ended up assaulting someone
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:57 AM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

Quote: Originally Posted by LordTriggs View Post
see stuff like that is why I could never be a vet. I'd be in a practice for minutes before I ended up assaulting someone
Yep I'd start practicing and the next day I would be arraigned!
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:59 AM
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Re: For Anyone Thinking of Hand-Feeding an Unweaned Baby Bird Without Experience

Quote: Originally Posted by LordTriggs View Post
see stuff like that is why I could never be a vet. I'd be in a practice for minutes before I ended up assaulting someone
... and I would be right behind you to back you up.
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