breathing difficulties

pir8don

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Hi all.

Our Alexandrine is 26 years old and over the past 8 years or so has breathing difficulties that have previously responded to antibiotics in his water but they have repeated every 8 months or so on average.

The latest episode is not responding to antibiotics and has continued intermittently for around 3 weeks. He is sneezing a lot and his nairs seem blocked. We have started using a nebuliser administering Baytril .6ml in 15ml water. This seems to help but doesn't sustain. We have also tried Metacam with no clear benefit.

In the past the breathing problems has resulted in a loud clicking in his lower body when very bad. This time it has not developed in that way but rather there is occasionally a softer click that seems higher in his body, closer to his nears. If he rests it gets a bit better but as soon as he strains it occurs again. He is very clingy when its bad but otherwise normal. Eating well and otherwise behaving normally. He is in his hormonal period but these symptoms reduce as his beathing difficulty increases.

Environment:


My partner and I are aging and "OurBird" (yes his name) is a feathered son. He sits on my shoulder wherever we are a lot of the time including when away from our home.

We live in Nelson with 50k pop and no specialist avian vets although we have a university in the North Island that trains veterinarians including avian. I and our local vet has talked to a vet there who can only suggest an alternative antibiotic.


We use a heater to keep his cage above around 20c deg. Our house does not drop below about 15c deg. Humidity is higher up to around 60%. We heat with a wood fire that has some fumes at times. This winter is exceptionally wet.


He is in a slow molt and we supplement his diet with vitamins. He has a good diet with Harrison's pellets, fresh veges (hates greens). chicken and lamb with bones. Gets less than a teaspoon of ice cream with his evening meal.

We are getting quite desperate and suffering with him as he gets exhausted. Any help would be gratefully appreciated.
 
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Kitekeeper

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Hi,

I am sorry to hear that.

Reading your post it seems clear that a previously bacterial infection was controled with antibiotics, that are no longer working now.

Have you considered with your vet that this time it might be fungi? Sometimes fungi can take advantage of a place previously infected by bateria...

Thanks for the enviroment description and measures you are taking, good job!

I wish you guys good luck!
 
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pir8don

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Thanks KiteKeeper. Yes we have considered with our vet that it could be fungi but have no idea of how to treat him.
 
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pir8don

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Thanks again KiteKeeper. Our vet and consultants agree that there is too great a risk attached to invasive examinations as trauma is increased by our bond. I hope we can try treatments that will do no harm so will refer your link (which I have read).
 
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pir8don

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Hi again all
I have further discussed with our local vet and realized that some of the symptoms of Aspergillosis do apply and as KiteKeeper has suggested it is likely that his multiple uses of Baytril may have contributed to a fungal infection. Because further diagnosis is intrusive we have decided to start OurBird on Itrconazole. Treatment will require about 6 weeks of treatment by beak and I will advise further as we progress. A big thanks to KiteKeeper, your experience and knowledge have helped greatly!
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Welcome to you and OutBird, my best wishes for speedy recovery!

Kitekeeper brings valued discussion of Aspergillosis, high likelihood of diagnosis normally requiring advanced testing. Itraconazole a wonder drug against fungi, complete full course to guard against potential recurrence.

I have a Goffins who survived a bout of Aspergillosis. Rapid improvement, hope you experience same!
 
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pir8don

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Thanks Scott
I
traconazole seems to be slowly working 2 weeks along now and he is doing "birdie burbles" (rants to himself) for the second time in the last week. we expect to run a full six weeks at least.


The tremors are really hard to figure. He only does them when on my shoulder and when he appears very relaxed. He is gradually getting less clingy.


The main lesson I have learnt so far is that vets can be too focused on diagnosis with intrusive tests that in our case would have been extremely risky for Ourbird. Fortunately they now agree and prescribed Itraconazole without further hesitation. I consulted an avian vet by phone and he agreed on diagnosis based on the tremmors.

Not sure if we are out of the woods yet but definitely improving at present.
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Good to see promising update! Any difficulty administering meds to OurBird? Sometimes challenging from the beginning... we have some tips if needed!!
 
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pir8don

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Thanks KiteKeeper and Scott. Sporanox is the solution we administer. He seemed too effected by the initial double dose for 5 days so we knocked it back a little bit .15ml each. He tolerates being turned onto his back and held by me while my partner empties the syringe into his beak. Being only around 250g the daily dose is just .2ml and even that seemed too much but after talking to our vet we have split the dose to two of .1ml per day. Means double the handling but better tolerated so we will continue. He glares at the med box whenever he sees it! Then looks at me as if I am the worst Da in the world. He understands a lot of words but refuses to acknowledge "medicine".



Do any of you have experience of the tremor symptom? My feeling is that it may not go as he heals or that it will be the last to go if does. It is really weird as mentioned above. He did have a dropped wing but that has improved already. He doesn't fly so not a huge issue. We don't trim his flight feathers as he doesn't have the wing muscle strength. Overall he seems in excellent health with a real glow to his feathers and its great to see him slowly returning to more independent normal behavior.
 

Kitekeeper

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Hi,

Can you remember if the tremors started before treatment with itraconazol?

It was reported in humans that itraconazol can cause tremors as a side effect.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20185472/

If this is the case, tremors will pass after the treatment.
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
I don't recall tremors during my Peanut's (goffins) treatment. If there is a silver lining, might have closer relationship with OurBird following treatment. Peanut was wild-caught but seemingly predisposed to bonding with humans. At the end of 6 week course she was about as tame as her hand fed offspring and remains so to this day!
 
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pir8don

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He did have tremors before treatment but I thought it was him warming himself by shivering his feathers. When tremors were described as a symptom of Asbergillosis I thought that was a more likely explanation. Now that he only does them while on my shoulder I am left ignorant. Still he is improving in other ways so hopefully just a symptom of treatment &/or disease and not a matter for concern at present.


I can't conceive of closer relationship as our sensory experiences have been almost identical for nearly 27 years. The relationship is strained by hormones but they pass eventually. I can count of one hand the number of times we have been awake and not in each other's company. The bonding is so strong that my partner and I avoid activities that separate our unusual family.


Later edit: he is having the tremors while off my shoulder and in the sun and warm. So nothing conclusive about them.
 
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Kitekeeper

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Ourbird is 27 years old?

I was touched by the bond you three have! I can not imagine how it must be to have an animal friend for so long! You guys have my admiration!

Regarding the tremors, it is something we must wait to see. As we said before, it could be a symptom of the disease which I have read has some neurological origins and then I do not know if it will pass. If it is just a side effect of the itraconozol, it will pass after the treatment ends.

I am really happy to see you are having success to treat him! Your reports are encouraging! Nevertheless 27 years old for an Alexandrine seems quite a full life and although I have no experience with that species, I tend to think Ourbird is somehow an old bird now. If the tremors remain and he can live a happy and confortable life, that is already a great victory for you!
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Nearly 27 years a divine example of human-avian bonding! May OurBird fully recover and enjoy many more years in your loving embrace.
 

Cardinal

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Currently I have none, but I have the capacity to adopt a minimum and maximum of two budgies - preferably a bonded pair or two males.
He did have tremors before treatment but I thought it was him warming himself by shivering his feathers. When tremors were described as a symptom of Asbergillosis I thought that was a more likely explanation. Now that he only does them while on my shoulder I am left ignorant. Still he is improving in other ways so hopefully just a symptom of treatment &/or disease and not a matter for concern at present.


I can't conceive of closer relationship as our sensory experiences have been almost identical for nearly 27 years. The relationship is strained by hormones but they pass eventually. I can count of one hand the number of times we have been awake and not in each other's company. The bonding is so strong that my partner and I avoid activities that separate our unusual family.


Later edit: he is having the tremors while off my shoulder and in the sun and warm. So nothing conclusive about them.

Greetings Pirdon

Your story is inspiring indeed. 26 years is a great lifespan for an Alexandrine and they indeed have potential to go on till 40. Wishing you and your bird baby- OurBird a speedy recovery and long life. From India -The land of Wild Alexandrines- one of the most charming Parrot species.

:yellow1::yellow1::yellow1:
 
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pir8don

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Thank you again to you both and to Cardinal (Well met) . I have to admire anyone who can live with more than one parrot as I am sure it would be well beyond us.

This site and your support is a real treasure to us at a time when we are so stressed by OurBirds' health.

We have recently gravitated to steam punk and OurBird has adopted the name "Sir Ourbird SteamPlunk" . He is almost lost in the abundant color already present. As you will see he is still not certain about my hat.


Have put the image in Photo Gallery - Others

showimage.php
 
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pir8don

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Just a thought for other parrot parents: Over the years OurBird has gently nibbled my ear lobe when he has a problem of which I am unaware. One time it was because he was having trouble breathing and I had not noticed. He did it once when there was a strong wind and we were on high bridge.

He last nibbled my ear about 5 years ago and probably just a handful of times over his life so far. Could be other parrots use the same trick or maybe its already well known? I
 

Scott

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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Just a thought for other parrot parents: Over the years OurBird has gently nibbled my ear lobe when he has a problem of which I am unaware. One time it was because he was having trouble breathing and I had not noticed. He did it once when there was a strong wind and we were on high bridge.

He last nibbled my ear about 5 years ago and probably just a handful of times over his life so far. Could be other parrots use the same trick or maybe its already well known? I
I believe highly bonded parrots and their humans develop unique communication skills. Using the beak on head or face generally for important reasons - assuming you are not being bitten!
 

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