Advice, after visit from a vet, concerned about him. (UPDATE) MAJOR CONCERNS NOW 23/11

Oct 13, 2021
45
24
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2 Cockatiels
So, I managed to take one of my birds to the vets today, it was supposed to be 2, but issues prevented that, so I took the one that has clear symptoms. The problem is I live in the UK and this is the only Vet anywhere near me, and he is over an hour away as is. This is going to be a bit of a long post, but I need to give a brief history. Also, the vet no longer lets you see what he does with your animal you have to stay in reception, which was not the case pre pandemic.


So I first visited this vet around 3 years ago, i've had both my birds for 20 years and I got them when they were 2, they have had 0 issues until now. So Alvin developed a clear rhinolith and it had to be removed so we took him to this vet. The vet removed it and all seemed to go well. Then he developed another one about 5 months later, it was very tiny and not really blocking but it would have developed. Then around a year after he came down with a clear infection his right nose was huge, red and full of yellow gunk. I got his bloods tested, he was given anti biotics. His bloods were fine, his infection seemed to clear up. Then 7 months later, it came back, I got a culture done and it came back as "negative", yet he clearly had an infection. His nose was blood red, it looked like it had been bleeding after the vet cleared it out, and then 2 weeks later it was full of gunk again. We moved to Karidox and that cleared it up. Got him flushed 2 weeks later was confirmed to not be blocked anymore. I was told that it's probably age (22) causing it, which did not really seem like an answer and the culture coming back negative seemed odd.

Now 3.5 months later he has it again, he refused to drink Karidox, so he has been given baytril, I've had another culture done (results in 5 days) and bloods to check for cisstosis (might have spelt it wrong) with results in 2 weeks. He lost a little bit of rate and is down to 96 grams from 102.

My problem is on multiple fronts, one his right nose still looks very small when it is normally large after a clean and it looks like its still blocked (full of white stuff, and maybe some yellow stuff still), I’m unable to get a picture right now and I don’t want to bother him as he has been very stressed out today but it is not it's usual clean that I expect from his multitude of visits.
Also he flushed both nostrils, but his words were that both nostrils would not flush (for the first time ever his left nose has always been fine) and are completely blocked, this will be a common thing I will have to keep bringing him in and his nares are going to get smaller and smaller each time meaning the problem will surface quicker and we might have to start grabbing him (which he hates) and orally giving him anti biotics daily in the future, as well as different f10 solutions for nebulizing. However, I cannot help but wonder why an infection would keep on happening quicker and quicker if the anti-biotics do their job and his cage and playground are clean (which they are we use F10 solution once a week and clean the cages 3 times a week). It seems like a very care free attitude that actively wants to avoid the root cause of the problem. Additionally, his left nose was not enlarged, was a completely neutral normal colour and the size was fine. He was also sneezing through both nostrils, I could see bird fluff from grooming moving back and forth in his nose meaning a clear pathway, he flies around and is not out of breath and is not breathing through his mouth at all. He has no visible symptoms apart from his right nose, he has happy, eating a lot and drinking a lot, his poo is fine, effectively bar some sneezing and clear gunk and redness of his right nose there is nothing wrong with him.

So, I want some input from any medical professionals and people that are familiar with nasal issues and veterinary treatments with their birds.

Does it seem normal these infections keep re-occurring and the response is basically I don't know what is causing it, just keep bringing him in, until ultimately he dies from either treatment of constant anti biotics daily or age? How can both his nostrils be blocked if he is sneezing through both of them, debri is moving with his breathes aka air is coming through and is not using his mouth to breathe. His left nose is normal size in shape and hole size, normal colour and did not exhibit anywhere near as much fluid as his right one? It basically looked as perfect as it always has for 20 years. Surely, he would be breathing through his mouth, unable to sneeze and would not have any birdie dust moving in his nostril from his breathing? Also, right now we are using an anti-sceptic solution for nebulizing in a little plastic box with a few holes in it, what are the other formulas we could be using in a nebulizer?

I feel like I might have to find a different specialist and pay a £300 call out fee in the future (yes that is how much I have been quoted in the past), Attatched is a photo from 2 days ago, you can see the left is fine while the right is clearly showing an issue. Input on the questions in bold would be great.
 

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Laurasea

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Hi, sorry your beloved baby has these issues.
Age is a factor, naturally declining immune system. You've done fantastic to
get them to a ripe old age.
Sometimes, truly, the root cause can't be found on health issues. Sometimes you have to balance what further tests or invasive procedures are worth the risk to an elderly breathing complications parrot. But if you want a second opinion that is also well within reason. I always tell people to trust their gut in complicated situations.

Sometimes this kind of issue can be linked with low vitamin A levels, sometimes low vitamin D levels. Especially in burds that mostly eat seeds. To boost vitamin A id feed lots of peppers, bell, red chili pepper, even dried pepper maintains vitamin A, as well as cooked sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, and romaine lettuce, Swiss chard ect.
When weather permits, secure cage and bottom trey abd roll it outside for some sunshine, light shade is fine, stay with them. Half hour a day is good. Or when you can.
Extra warmth is very supportive for sick burds . Really helps healing. Radiant heat is best. Like k and h panel thst tgey can snuggle up to. Move cage away from exterior walls abd windows as it can be drafty abd 5 degrees cooler by them.
 
OP
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Oct 13, 2021
45
24
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2 Cockatiels
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Hi, sorry your beloved baby has these issues.
Age is a factor, naturally declining immune system. You've done fantastic to
get them to a ripe old age.
Sometimes, truly, the root cause can't be found on health issues. Sometimes you have to balance what further tests or invasive procedures are worth the risk to an elderly breathing complications parrot. But if you want a second opinion that is also well within reason. I always tell people to trust their gut in complicated situations.

Sometimes this kind of issue can be linked with low vitamin A levels, sometimes low vitamin D levels. Especially in burds that mostly eat seeds. To boost vitamin A id feed lots of peppers, bell, red chili pepper, even dried pepper maintains vitamin A, as well as cooked sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, and romaine lettuce, Swiss chard ect.
When weather permits, secure cage and bottom trey abd roll it outside for some sunshine, light shade is fine, stay with them. Half hour a day is good. Or when you can.
Extra warmth is very supportive for sick burds . Really helps healing. Radiant heat is best. Like k and h panel thst tgey can snuggle up to. Move cage away from exterior walls abd windows as it can be drafty abd 5 degrees cooler by them.
Hi Thanks, I should have mentioned their diet to be fair. They have seed, a lot of nutriballs, spinach,pasta,toast,sweetcorn,kale,brocolli and so on. I also have Alvin on BSP drops to give him a boost.

I am right in relaiton to hsi nose right, if it was blocked he wouldn't be sneezing, I would not see the birdie dust floating about and he would be breathing through his mouth. I mean he flew off 4 times trying to get him into the carry case and he was not out of breath or panting, if he couldn't breathe through his nose then...
 

kme3388

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I'm so sorry to hear about your cockatiel. He is so cute! I will add that birds in general hide illnesses very well. By the time you can notice something wrong usually the situation has comorbidities, and has became perplexing. Always follow your heart, and it sounds like you are doing everything you can to help your feathered friend. I agree with you 100% about giving a parrot medications orally. What I have found when it comes to using a syringe is that I have to get it further down my parrots throat otherwise he just spits it out, or regurgitates the medication. I had to do this until I got my parrots birdie bread in the mail, and now I put it on his birdie bread. I hope something in here helps you. Again, I'm so sorry to hear about your cockatiel. Please do keep us updated on him, and if you decide to get a second opinion. I hope he gets better.
 
OP
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Oct 13, 2021
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I'm so sorry to hear about your cockatiel. He is so cute! I will add that birds in general hide illnesses very well. By the time you can notice something wrong usually the situation has comorbidities, and has became perplexing. Always follow your heart, and it sounds like you are doing everything you can to help your feathered friend. I agree with you 100% about giving a parrot medications orally. What I have found when it comes to using a syringe is that I have to get it further down my parrots throat otherwise he just spits it out, or regurgitates the medication. I had to do this until I got my parrots birdie bread in the mail, and now I put it on his birdie bread. I hope something in here helps you. Again, I'm so sorry to hear about your cockatiel. Please do keep us updated on him, and if you decide to get a second opinion. I hope he gets better.
Hi thanks for the kind message, They really hate being handled or touched by stinky hooman fingers so I really am not looking forward to the idea of Orally giving them medication. I am looking into humidifiers atm.

Also no one seems to answer me but sneezing and seeing debri move in his nostril would be completely impossible if both is noses were blocked right? He sneezed again this morning, seemed to be dry. He is clealr breathing through his nose, which is why I don't buy the "both are completely blocked" diagnosis.
 

wrench13

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AS with any antibiotic, if the full course of medication is not completed, or if the recipient does not get the full dose, only the strong bugs survive, and come back in spades again and again. I feel for you, a lot, my 'zon went thru a really nasty, long time nasal bug years ago. Luckily he lets me hold him pretty tightly and administer meds orally (most times). A suggestion is to mix the meds with a small batch of baby parrot formula and give it to them that way. Most parrots take to getting formula, and the meds definitely get eaten.
 

Kentuckienne

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We had a parrot with a difficult respiratory infection which ultimately ended his life. The problem is that birds don’t have the kind of straight-path lung system we do. They have these open ares, called air sacs, all through their bodies. You can Google up some images that show this aspect of avian anatomy. Infections, especially fungal overgrowth, can easily get established in these areas. Since they are filled with air, antibiotics in the food or bloodstream have difficulty reaching their targets.

Our bird had a home-made nebulizer box. This was a plexiglass box, held together with duck tape at the seams, that was big enough to sit over the bird on a small perch. There was an opening in the wall where the nozzle from a nebulizer came in. You put the baytril or whatever solution in the nebulizer reservoir and it turned it into a cool mist that filled the box with a fog of medicine. The bird sits in there and breathes the fog for a set amount of time. This seems to help the meds penetrate into every cavity and space and really helps treat infections.

But for that to work, the pathogen has to be correctly identified. It’s no good treating a fungal infection with an antibiotic, and the wrong antibiotic can be worse than none. I think there are avian vets who will do a video consult, and then refer the bird to a local vet for blood work etc…but I don’t have any names. Maybe someone here can suggest someone? I like our avian vet Dr. Sam Vaughn at Stonefield Veterinary Associates…they have a Facebook page and respond to messages. Distance doesn’t matter on the internet.

Good luck, and I hope things improve soon…
 

Emeral

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Sep 16, 2021
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It's illness that reminds us how fragile life is. We value and appreciate our present moment all the more because of it. And under your care, I am sure the situation will improve. Your birds are lucky to have you. And we are with you, as you can see from all the caring answers you already got.

To get a second opinion, the second vet will review Alvin medical history and give you his/her view, the diagnosis and treatment plan. He or she may suggest different treatment options than the first vet you saw.

While we discuss into what can help your birds, let's focus on all the things that may be useful to understand and cure this illness. let's start from the current symptoms then down to all the diagnosis and treatments in the past. Details are important. So some blanks will have to be filled by calling up your current vet. And let's do so with out wondering into who did or didn't do what, who to blame or what to say next.

Our goal is not any of that but to......
1)to put all information on a the table
2)Group them in an easy to understand form
3)full understanding leads to correct choice of cure

This 123 is going to make that expensive second opinion works. It is a lot of work to travel there. We don't want to miss this short simply by missing information.

Since you mentioned that the current vet is over an hour away and is the nearest one. I would not want to burn the bridge by telling the vet that I want second opinion. I would simply say, " I am trying to make a health record (medical record) so I can understand my bird's history of illness and treatment. For, If I have a better understanding, I would feel better. I just want to understand and keep record. That is all"

This is the health record, just blanks to fill in to become a piece of jigsaw. After assembling all the jigsaw puzzles, we will see the illness patterns and understand what was done and why. This will be a valuable information to read to help Alvin.

Each jigsaw puzzle looks like this.

Alvin's date of illness:.......
Symptoms:.............
Diagnosis:................
Treatment:.............
Approximate duration of illness:


You have mentioned......
......Rhinolith
The recent blood test is probably for ......Psittacosis,
(this is contagious to human and bird)





.....Asperggillosis
(caused by indoor and outdoor fungus)
and
.......Bronchitis
(Caused by virus)
Both has difficulty breathing as one of the main symptoms. But you also mentioned that Alvin haven't any difficulty in breathing.

Sometimes I feel uneasy because I need more information. If you feel this way too, don’t be afraid to ask more than once. If you need more time than your current vet can usually gives you, ask the receptionist to help you schedule a call or a longer appointment.

Hope this helps
 
OP
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Oct 13, 2021
45
24
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2 Cockatiels
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  • #9
We had a parrot with a difficult respiratory infection which ultimately ended his life. The problem is that birds don’t have the kind of straight-path lung system we do. They have these open ares, called air sacs, all through their bodies. You can Google up some images that show this aspect of avian anatomy. Infections, especially fungal overgrowth, can easily get established in these areas. Since they are filled with air, antibiotics in the food or bloodstream have difficulty reaching their targets.

Our bird had a home-made nebulizer box. This was a plexiglass box, held together with duck tape at the seams, that was big enough to sit over the bird on a small perch. There was an opening in the wall where the nozzle from a nebulizer came in. You put the baytril or whatever solution in the nebulizer reservoir and it turned it into a cool mist that filled the box with a fog of medicine. The bird sits in there and breathes the fog for a set amount of time. This seems to help the meds penetrate into every cavity and space and really helps treat infections.

But for that to work, the pathogen has to be correctly identified. It’s no good treating a fungal infection with an antibiotic, and the wrong antibiotic can be worse than none. I think there are avian vets who will do a video consult, and then refer the bird to a local vet for blood work etc…but I don’t have any names. Maybe someone here can suggest someone? I like our avian vet Dr. Sam Vaughn at Stonefield Veterinary Associates…they have a Facebook page and respond to messages. Distance doesn’t matter on the internet.

Good luck, and I hope things improve soon…
@Emeral @Kentuckienne Thanks for the name, I see he is US based, which is no good for me, since I am in the UK unfortunately.

We have a nebulizer ourselves and have been told to use anti sceptic f10 for now, we use a plastic box with a few holes in it. We assumed we would need holes, i've mentioned it to the vet and he didn't see an issue with it but maybe you can input as you seem to have experience in this area. I had him in the box for 30 minutes yesterday with the f10 anti sceptic solution

Alvin's been on 10% baytril 0.5ml per 100ml for 3 days now, his nose looked relatively dry and has become a much more neutral colour overall. However the hole shape is still a bit warped, it's a square with the top right cut off at the moment. I noticed he scratched his nose today and sneezes (again indicating it is not blocked), he done this for both holes over the space of about 30 minutes. When he did, the nostril he scratched exhibitined a significant amound of clear thin discharge. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing 3 days in? Maybe he is clearing whatever is left from the infection out? The vet would probably just brush this off, is the feeling I get, so any experience with baytril would be great.

Psittacosis was indeed the thing the blood test is for. I've been told it would be a 2 week wait last Thursday 18th of Nov. The bacterial culture and sensitivity results I've been told to call tomorrow about, last time they came back negative despite an obvious infection with a ton of swelling and yellow discharge... So I am very skeptical about tomorrow. I'm also wondering why the culture is just bacterial and not fungal, I feel like tests that could be done are not being done, either through incompetance or the hope of another visit and more money. From what I gather right now, if it is fungal no tests he has ran will actually diagnose that.

Alvinw as 96 grams when weighed down from 106 last weigh, but he was as low as 82g with his last infection before this. I'm actually holding off on Alwyn who is also getting discharge when scratching his nose at the moment, because I am losing confidence in this vet, Alwyn has no yello discharge, enlarged or inflamed nostrils or anything else, and despite my best efforts does not take regular showers. I have especially lost confidence in the vet when the say both holes are blocked when he is clearly sneezing and breathing through them...
 
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OP
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Oct 13, 2021
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@Emeral @Kentuckienne

So I called the vets today, and I have a major issue, their attitude is simply brign him inevery time this happens but the HUGE ISSUE I NOW HAVE. The bacterial culture and sensitivity they allegedly done (again not allowed to see what they do to the animal), has come back NEGATIVE AGAIN. This is twice now with clear infections and nothing comes back. Both times they have said, it might have not survived in transport to the testing facility. This is beyong a joke now, so no idea what is going on with him, culture coming back negative yet again when he clearly has an infection. His nose hole shape is still off and he is still sneezing liquid although it is only 4 days in. I've been told to f10 anti sceptic nebulize him every day, maybe twice a day on top of the anti biotics.

I'd put money on im the only person here to do 2 cultures and have them both come back negative when he clearly has an infection.

Could it be the case it is fungal? Due to them doign no Fungal tests it is not being picked up?
 

Laurasea

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You are not the only person to have negative culture a d organism not grow. In fact I have a kidney infection right now, tgey. An they see the bacteria but can't grow it.

I am sorry you are going through this. And I understand the need to vent.

I think at this point you would feel happier and have more confidence in a second opinion.

Sometimes conditions have to managed without answers. I hope you to find answers. It drives me nuts when they can't find them as well..

More importantly I hope your birdie feels better
 
OP
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Oct 13, 2021
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You are not the only person to have negative culture a d organism not grow. In fact I have a kidney infection right now, tgey. An they see the bacteria but can't grow it.

I am sorry you are going through this. And I understand the need to vent.

I think at this point you would feel happier and have more confidence in a second opinion.

Sometimes conditions have to managed without answers. I hope you to find answers. It drives me nuts when they can't find them as well..

More importantly I hope your birdie feels better
Thanks, It just seemed odd to me how they kept comign back normal and you aren't allowed to see him treat the animal, so he coudl totally be doing nothing and charging as if he had, which adds to my skepticism.

I hope he gets better soon, his left nose has opened up quit ewell btu the right one is very warped and small still. Wondering if he is going to need another visit and clean out to try and get it to a normal shape and size...
 

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Laurasea

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Awww, I think he is looking better!!
Sometimes the nostril will scar down. That happened in one of mine who had chronic sinus infections

Obviously you love and are protective of your birds, and have given term great care. I feel the same way as you I always want to be present when they do stuff. And worry my head off when I can't. I don't thi k they are tricking you. But if you are feeling so mistrustful, are there other avian veterinarian options?
 
OP
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Oct 13, 2021
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Awww, I think he is looking better!!
Sometimes the nostril will scar down. That happened in one of mine who had chronic sinus infections

Obviously you love and are protective of your birds, and have given term great care. I feel the same way as you I always want to be present when they do stuff. And worry my head off when I can't. I don't thi k they are tricking you. But if you are feeling so mistrustful, are there other avian veterinarian options?
Hi, When you say scar down I get what you mena, but does it ever heal up? I'm quite concerned the smaller it gets the harder it's going to be to notice something going wrong. He's refused to come out today, sensing I will put him in the nebulizer as I have been advised to (also hoping that opens up his nose a bit). You are right though, the colour of it is a lot better, it is just really dry. Any advice on how to try and get it to open back up would be great.

As for other vetinary options they are all really far away so not really many options.
 

Laurasea

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Neither nostril looks significantly scarred down, my burd actually had her nostril scar closed and lived most of her 17 years with only one working nostril.

Cockatiel don't come from a humid climate, as that's my understanding. They also bathe less, than rain Forrest species. So dry nose is the norm. Unless you mean crusty from discharge or something.

Be careful of over treating.

I know parakeets have a structure thst kinda makes them look like they have blocked nostrils when they don't , I don't know if that true for Cockatiel

I don't want to stay into veterinarian medical advice, as I can only share what little knowledge and experience I have, I'm not a vet
 
OP
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Neither nostril looks significantly scarred down, my burd actually had her nostril scar closed and lived most of her 17 years with only one working nostril.

Cockatiel don't come from a humid climate, as that's my understanding. They also bathe less, than rain Forrest species. So dry nose is the norm. Unless you mean crusty from discharge or something.

Be careful of over treating.

I know parakeets have a structure thst kinda makes them look like they have blocked nostrils when they don't , I don't know if that true for Cockatiel

I don't want to stay into veterinarian medical advice, as I can only share what little knowledge and experience I have, I'm not a vet
Thanks, I appreciate the input and honesty. I am kind of veering away from the nebuliser despite vet advice, as I got him in about an hour and 20 misn ago for 30 minutes, and now his nose has got smaller... The right one is a barely visible triangle now, feels like the nebuliser has made him worse.

I feel like I might have to take him back up to the vet next week. To try and get the nostril size dealt with somehow, because right now it's barely a hole.
 

Laurasea

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Nebulizer is a great respiratory treatment. I think nostri look normal size before were enlarged inflamed.

Can you back and look at your older pic of him before respiratory issues abd compare? See if thsts the case?
 
OP
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Nebulizer is a great respiratory treatment. I think nostri look normal size before were enlarged inflamed.

Can you back and look at your older pic of him before respiratory issues abd compare? See if thsts the case?
Yea I have, the hoel size is significantly smaller. Normally once he's been to the vet it is significantly more open. Not too sure what's going on, maybe it'll sort itself out, if not I might have to take him down to this vet again.
 

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