5 month cockatiel, slow recovery?

Shadark

New member
Oct 7, 2021
4
6
Parrots
Frodo (Cockatiel)
Greetings! Obligatory "english not first language", hopefully everything is clear!

Our baby cockatiel, Frodo (5 months old) has gone through quite some troubles.

When we got him (2 months ago approx.) he did fine for 1 month or so, he had a bit of candida so we gave him Mycostatin (Nystatin).

Then, one day, we found that he had vomited a minimum of 3 times during the night and he lost quite some weight (one of these times he was 79g). We took him directly to our avian vet, and she found some yeast on his crop with a bit of inflammation too.

He got admitted and stayed at the vet for 4 days, he seemed to improve so we got him back home (Saturday) with a lot of meds: antiemetic for the vomits, still on Nystatin, some medicine for a nebulizer (apparently he had some troubles with his lungs, she showed me the X-ray and one lung appeared a bit whiter than the other), some painkillers, I think that's all. Sunday was 100% fine, as always, but then Monday we found that he had vomited again. We took him directly to the vet, she seemed a bit concerned about the repeat of the vomit so he got admitted again.

He was put onto an incubator, still all the treatments, etc. We called daily to check if he was improving and apparently yes, but at a slow pace. The vet told us Frodo had his crop tissue a bit impacted and that could develop in PDD, so she prescribed some NSAID too. He was doing a bit better each day, but we had a bit of a scare past Friday cause the vet told us that Frodo hadn't emptied completely his crop during the previous night and they were concerned in case it was crop stasis (I guess). Luckily, he recovered fine from that (he was eating pellets on his own and he emptied his crop normally afterwards).

At this moment, we obviously asked the vet what could've caused all of this, she hypotesized that maybe the brand of pellets that we were using (Zupreem) didn't sit too well with him (at the vet he's eating Nutribird from Versele-Laga). We thought about it and it made a bit of sense, because when he really started eating pellets was the first time that he vomited (coincidentally, previous day was the day that he had eaten most pellets ever). And, after he came back home, we tried giving him some pellets too that we guess could've caused the relapse. We asked if there was something at home harmful for him, but nothing that could explain the symptoms came to light.

More days passed, we got to this week, each day they tell us he's better but slowly so we're hoping to get him back soon. Today we called the vet again and she had run another X-ray. She expressed some of her concerns because the X-ray showed that his crop was still a bit inflamed/swollen and that, at this point, Frodo should've improved faster/earlier. He's apparently fine (eating on his own, crop empties fine, good weight, demanding scritches and attention, sometimes singing) but the vet suggested to do the tests for PDD and PBFD because, as I said, his crop is still "impacted" even with the NSAIDs (that he got intravenously during 14 days, now he's back to oral doses).

We're concerned because we know PDD prognosis (and, to a lesser extent, PBFD) and it doesn't look good, but we're also a bit confused because Frodo had 3 brothers where we got him and they (and his parents too) are completely fine, as far as we know.

I should mention that before Frodo, we had another cockatiel named Pascal that sadly died too young (4 months old). We got him when he was 10 days old (that, in perspective, was a mistake on our part because even if we were reading about cockatiels and their breeding from years ago it was still a difficult task) and we tried to take care of him the best of our abilities. Sadly, he also got some crop problems, couldn't digest food (we didn't manage to wean him so he was on formula still) and after losing weight for some weeks, having 2 crop flushes he was very weak, we took him to our current vet but he passed away the following day.

Pascal got tested for bornavirus because it was a suspicion of our previous vet, but he came back negative (I know tests are not really conclusive, but still). We still cleaned thoroughly every toy, every surface that was in contact with Pascal and we took some months to have Frodo, so we thought that he should be fine in that regard. But, with the current situation, we can't help but worry if there was something else we did wrong.

Sorry for the current wall of text, it's just that we're somewhat worried about the future of our small friend, it's going to be 3 weeks without him at home and we would like to have some other opinions or ideas about what we could expect, what else we could ask our current vet or if someone has a similar story to share.

If you took the time to read all of this, thank you very much, we really appreciate it.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
10,297
2,753
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
You have done a wonderful job in caring for him and getting veterinarian care for him.
I sure hope he continues to improve.

The only thing I can add, is sometimes to rest the crop, you feed baby burd formula only, and make it a little thicker. There is also a veterinarian medical formula for sick burds that can be fed. I myself prefer the baby burd formula. Its easy to digest, and a little easier on the crop. When ever a tear in the crop is suspected this can also help.
Sometimes healing just takes longer than we think it should. I've had sick birds, and they took months to recover.

I would look into getting a radiant heat panel for when he comes home, extra warmth is very healing and important fot sick birds. K and H makes one, as does the sweeter heater. Do not use a heat lamp.
You can also offer supplemental feed of baby burd formula by syringe, no force it, most burds like it and will take it if it's warm enough and slight thicker than you would use for baby birds. Adult birds crops don't stretch like baby birds. So you only offer about 5ml at feeding oir your size bird. You can offer twice a day in addition to what he eats in his own.

Have a digital kitchen scale and weigh your bird every morning until fully recovered. Then continue as a habit once a week. For your size burd weight can fluctuate by a gram or 2 each day. Like one day 100, tge next 98, then back at at 100 as an example. But a steady loss would mean you would have to work hard to keep weight on or talk to vet about medication changes. Sick birds burn a lot of calories, so they need extra support.

I had 7 sick burds, one wasnt gaining back like the others, turns out she was under dosed and talk to the vet we up her meds. She also was more sensitive to the meds and they made her vomiting. So I had to feed her a little, give medication and feed her again. Of course she was the only one that didn't like th0e baby bird formula. So I gave her peanut butter, and dosed her neds in a little piece of bread. I also gave a little Greek yogurt with no artificial sweetneers. About half a teaspoon daily. She lick it from my fingers. I'm a big believer that yogurt helps, and now my avian vet is as well. Make sure acidophilus is one of the live cultures listed.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
10,297
2,753
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
This is my very long cover months of treating my flock. I do have good info and links here and there through out, if you want to skim it
 

Emeral

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2021
197
421
Parrots
Hanhs Macaw
Greetings! Obligatory "english not first language", hopefully everything is clear!

Our baby cockatiel, Frodo (5 months old) has gone through quite some troubles.

When we got him (2 months ago approx.) he did fine for 1 month or so, he had a bit of candida so we gave him Mycostatin (Nystatin).

Then, one day, we found that he had vomited a minimum of 3 times during the night and he lost quite some weight (one of these times he was 79g). We took him directly to our avian vet, and she found some yeast on his crop with a bit of inflammation too.

He got admitted and stayed at the vet for 4 days, he seemed to improve so we got him back home (Saturday) with a lot of meds: antiemetic for the vomits, still on Nystatin, some medicine for a nebulizer (apparently he had some troubles with his lungs, she showed me the X-ray and one lung appeared a bit whiter than the other), some painkillers, I think that's all. Sunday was 100% fine, as always, but then Monday we found that he had vomited again. We took him directly to the vet, she seemed a bit concerned about the repeat of the vomit so he got admitted again.

He was put onto an incubator, still all the treatments, etc. We called daily to check if he was improving and apparently yes, but at a slow pace. The vet told us Frodo had his crop tissue a bit impacted and that could develop in PDD, so she prescribed some NSAID too. He was doing a bit better each day, but we had a bit of a scare past Friday cause the vet told us that Frodo hadn't emptied completely his crop during the previous night and they were concerned in case it was crop stasis (I guess). Luckily, he recovered fine from that (he was eating pellets on his own and he emptied his crop normally afterwards).

At this moment, we obviously asked the vet what could've caused all of this, she hypotesized that maybe the brand of pellets that we were using (Zupreem) didn't sit too well with him (at the vet he's eating Nutribird from Versele-Laga). We thought about it and it made a bit of sense, because when he really started eating pellets was the first time that he vomited (coincidentally, previous day was the day that he had eaten most pellets ever). And, after he came back home, we tried giving him some pellets too that we guess could've caused the relapse. We asked if there was something at home harmful for him, but nothing that could explain the symptoms came to light.

More days passed, we got to this week, each day they tell us he's better but slowly so we're hoping to get him back soon. Today we called the vet again and she had run another X-ray. She expressed some of her concerns because the X-ray showed that his crop was still a bit inflamed/swollen and that, at this point, Frodo should've improved faster/earlier. He's apparently fine (eating on his own, crop empties fine, good weight, demanding scritches and attention, sometimes singing) but the vet suggested to do the tests for PDD and PBFD because, as I said, his crop is still "impacted" even with the NSAIDs (that he got intravenously during 14 days, now he's back to oral doses).

We're concerned because we know PDD prognosis (and, to a lesser extent, PBFD) and it doesn't look good, but we're also a bit confused because Frodo had 3 brothers where we got him and they (and his parents too) are completely fine, as far as we know.

I should mention that before Frodo, we had another cockatiel named Pascal that sadly died too young (4 months old). We got him when he was 10 days old (that, in perspective, was a mistake on our part because even if we were reading about cockatiels and their breeding from years ago it was still a difficult task) and we tried to take care of him the best of our abilities. Sadly, he also got some crop problems, couldn't digest food (we didn't manage to wean him so he was on formula still) and after losing weight for some weeks, having 2 crop flushes he was very weak, we took him to our current vet but he passed away the following day.

Pascal got tested for bornavirus because it was a suspicion of our previous vet, but he came back negative (I know tests are not really conclusive, but still). We still cleaned thoroughly every toy, every surface that was in contact with Pascal and we took some months to have Frodo, so we thought that he should be fine in that regard. But, with the current situation, we can't help but worry if there was something else we did wrong.

Sorry for the current wall of text, it's just that we're somewhat worried about the future of our small friend, it's going to be 3 weeks without him at home and we would like to have some other opinions or ideas about what we could expect, what else we could ask our current vet or if someone has a similar story to share.

If you took the time to read all of this, thank you very much, we really appreciate it.
Our hearts are with you and Frodo, as we understand how it is to worry about our buddy. You have good English and the given details are useful. Full understanding of all the points may help prevent or allow for earliest detection, for every one, in the future.

You may already know all these points but I will list them out just in case you want to run them through your avian vet.

1) what are the possible cause of crop inflammation?

I have read from an article, a long time ago, with a similar vet diagnostic and treatment. The author suggested a change in diet from 100%pellet to 20% pellet+10%seed+70%fresh fruits and vegetables. She mentioned that
pellets contain fiber. Fiber is essential to the normal functioning of the digestion. However, in dry form, it absorbs a lot of water. Kind of similar to fiber powder in our laxative which must be taken with lots of water. The crucial part is that some birds drinks a lot, some barely. And there is little we can do to make them drink enough. So when the bird eats lots of pellets but did not drink enough water, she can get ill from indigestion or slow crop emptying.

2) what are the earliest symptoms of crop inflammation?

Loss of appetite, any noticable change in the poop? slow crop emptying? Vomiting?

3) what's the developmental stages of this illness?

Since birds must empty their crop completely once every 24 hours, we stop feeding baby bird at night. But if in the morning the crop is still filled with some food, does this means indigestion?

From this point, how quickly? are we talking about hours until crop inflammation start?

4) what can we do during the wait and see period?

Fresh fruits that has special enzymes to speed up digestion is papaya. Normally, after only 3 to 4 hours, Emerald's poop turn red just the color of ripe papaya we gave her. She is on 5% pellet, 80% fresh food 15%seed has consistently good poop everymorning. Some of her favorites are cooked fish, cooked chicken, banana, orange, cucumber, cooked jobs's tears. So if, I suspect indigestion, I would give ripe papaya just to see how long it would take for her poop to turn red? And if I have to aid the crop functioning, I would give ripe papaya, yogurt, basil leaves, garlic, depending on what's available.


4) what are the critical symptoms that if present, indicate immediate rush to the hospital is needed?

Vomit, loss of appetite, loose interest to play?

5) is there anyway to prevent it from rehappening again?

Diet change, switch to more fresh fruits and vegetables?

I believe that prevention is easier than correction. And if it can't be prevented, quick first aid will reduce the damage. So please share Frodo's case with us.

Best of luck
 
OP
S

Shadark

New member
Oct 7, 2021
4
6
Parrots
Frodo (Cockatiel)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Hello, long time since the last update. At least is a very good one!

Frodo is back home! We took him back last Saturday. Long story short: he still has some problems with his crop tissue and the vet is hoping he will recover with time even if it's a slow recovery. We're waiting for bornavirus tests, and the vest suggested that PDD (even without bornavirus) could be a possiblity, but at least it seems to be controlled.

Frodo is almost 100% fine. Since he still has some crop problems, his crop seems to be a bit slow but he's digesting fine and eating like there's no tomorrow, but we make sure to check that his crop is emptying (with the amount of bird poop we're getting, we're 100% sure that he's getting his nutrients). He's on a 100% pellet diet (with some harrison powder over to stimulate his flora) with some fruit (apple, papaya, orange, etc). He also managed to gain some weight during his vet stay, so that's good news also.

He's back with a lot of prescriptions: gastric protector, injectable antiemetic and meloxicam, and then gabapentin, amoxicilin and nystatin. Ah, and we're still keeping up the nebulizer medication too (azithromycin). We give him his meds 2 times each day + 15 min of nebulizer (and 45 min rest). The vet said she changed a lot of times his medications during this month and these were the ones that seemed to work best. I fully trust her judgement, she seems to be a very well established bird vet in our country and she always gives very detailed explanations about the treatments, prognosis, etc.

He's also confined to his cage and we put him with a blanket over the sides (we let him see us, of course) and an IR light to heat him up, vet said she preferred if Frodo was in a very comfy environment to ease up his recovery. We only take him out to give the meds ant some scritches when he's really asking for them.

Overall he seem to be doing well besides the crop issue, he's eating, chirping, biting his toys... as a normal bird should! Vet said to call her Friday and update her, so she can decide on the next course of action. Hopefully he won't have to stay "confined" for a long time or with so many meds! But, obviously, time is the essence and we'll wait for him to be the best he can be.

Thank all of you for reading, and hopefully this will be the last update! If this serves for someone in a similar position, my only advice would be (like most of the people in this community): better go early to the vet, you can never miss if you go early.

Have a photo of Frodo to enlighten up your day (even if he's a stinky and full bird :LOL: ):

photo_2021-10-19_12-50-13.jpg
 
OP
S

Shadark

New member
Oct 7, 2021
4
6
Parrots
Frodo (Cockatiel)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
It is with a heavy heart that I wanted to inform you that Frodo passed away peacefully this Tuesday. 😥

Long story short, he was vomiting on and off for almost one month, we were giving him all his meds and giving him time to recover. One day that he was a bit weaker than others we took him to the vet and they said he had a candida infection. We then realized we were giving him the wrong dosage of the meds (nystatin, antibiotic, etc). We started giving him the correct dosage past Thursday and he seemed to be doing fine (Sunday was the best day that he ever had, he was eating all day, very happy and playful).

Monday morning he looked weak, not moving, not even wanting to take his meds, so we took him directly to the avian vet. He got hospitalized again, and he also had a bit of coccidiasis. He was put with IV meds, controlled temperature... basically everything they could give to him.

The vets stayed with him all night, taking turns caring for him (he was also very loved with them, since he took almost 1 month in there), but even if he seemed a bit more awake at dinnertime, his crop was very weak and he couldn't digest any food. We were told to go see him Tuesday morning and choose what we wanted to do, but as soon as we got there, he passed away. We never got to see him alive for the last time, but we could see him afterwards.

The vet reassured us that we did the best that we could, and that sometimes these little friends have a lot of problems (cockatiels even more) that we can't really plan for them. He would've been 6 months old next week, so he was still a bit of a baby and we know these times are difficult times for them.

We still need to mourn him properly (together with the fact that he is the second cockatiel that we lose very early) but we're trying to maintain our hopes up to have a healthy special friend someday.

in any case, thanks to all of you for the time spent here, and sorry to bring sad news here. Hopefully we'll meet Frodo someday, beyond the rainbow road.
 

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