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Old 10-23-2019, 02:00 AM
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Baby cockatiel with respiratory infection

I'm a new cockatiel owner and hoping to ask advice as my baby cockatiel, Cinnamon, is not well. Apologies in advance for my long and detailed post, and thank you to anyone who reads it and replies.

Cinnamon came to us aged 6 weeks. We think he is a boy, as the people at the aviary said they had heard him singing.
Within 3 days, he developed a wheezing sound while breathing, and was sneezing a lot. We got him straight to the vet. He was admitted for 2 days, first night in an oxygen tank, and then onto medication. He was discharged and the vet prescribed a week of meds: antibiotic in drinking water, loxicom and sporanox (antifungal) both given orally via syringe. Also nebulizing him 3 times a day with F10 solution.

After a week, the wheeze was still happening. The vet said to continue the meds for another 2 weeks and nebulizer for a month. A poop sample is being analysed for chlamydia and we should have the results soon.

We are nearing halfway through the 2 weeks and the wheezing is still happening, though not all the time. He will have a day of being fine and then start in the evening. Sometimes it seems worse after the nebulizer and sometimes better. It seems to be worse at night. When he is wheezing his chest moves in and out fast and his tail bobs. His nose also looked blocked for a couple of days though seems better today.

Through all of this he is eating well, playing with his toys, climbing round his cage, and doing some beak grinding and dozing. I can see him learning like a normal baby and even showing off a little! His poop looks normal.

Apart from the meds he is having, is there anything else we could give him that might help?

I worry that his first experience of life in our family is being caught twice a day, wrapped in a towel and fed yuck tasting medicine. We did not get a chance to start taming him before all of this started. He is very shy, though over the past few days he will eat from a millet spray if I hold it in his cage. Should I just keep doing this?

Any tips for giving meds orally? He is feisty and bites the syringe. I try to go slowly but I think a little bit went up his nose yesterday as he was sneezing straight after. Is this okay?

He is soooo quiet. I have played him a recording of cockatiels in an aviary, and he got excited and squawked back. But apart from that, almost no sound from him. Is this normal?

Thank you for any advice you can offer.
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:06 AM
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Re: Baby cockatiel with respiratory infection

Are you taking him to a board certified avian vet? Exotics vets will be less able to make a proper diagnosis in this situation (although nearly all will agree to see birds).

I don't know enough about the situation to help much, but....

Are you using any chemicals in your home? Make sure you don't use anything with PTFE/PFOA/PFC'S/Teflon in the same house as a bird..This stuff is hidden all over on many objects that heat up (in and outside of the kitchen) and can kill birds through walls/doors/floors. Also, things like glues, perfumes, air fresheners, fabreeze, glade plug-ins, hairspray, essential oils, smoke of any kind, vaping, burning foods, plastic fumes and standard household cleaners (lysol, bleach, windex, ammonia, mr clean etc etc) are all toxic around birds due to their very sensitive respiratory systems... I say this in case you could be inadvertently irritating his/her lungs on top of everything else (only mentioning it because you said you are a new bird owner).

Good luck and sorry I can't help more!

Since he is a baby, I am not sure about some of your questions (I have never dealt with super young birds of my own).
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