Hand Feeding adult Quaker

TawnyaJ

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Hi. Yesterday I brought my 17 yr old quaker Ginger to the avain vet due to breathing issues. Heavy breathing to be exact. Tail bobbing. She also dropped some undigested food out of her mouth. The vet said they think her dust and dander got in her lungs and the outlook is grim. We now have her on 2 medications and feeding baby bird formula to her along with pedialyte. I am feeding her with a 1 ml syringe. This confuses me alot. I have read she should eat 10 percent of her body weight. So how much should she be eating if she is at 4.7 ounces. (A little chunky) How many syringes worth of food should she have at a time. And would I feed her 2 times a day. She is not eating anything else at this time per the vet. I know to ck her crop, but just trying to see where she is at.
She seems to be doing slightly better today. Please send prayers if you can. I love her so much! (Old pic)
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Laurasea

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oh your sweet baby!

I've had to hand feed a critically sick quaker with chlamydiaosis.

Here is what worked for us. ( yes she pulled through!)

I weighed her every morning as her true weight.

Then I weighed before and after feeding.

My formula I made thicker but well stirred and kept warm. My formula weighed made up , 1ml weighed 1 gram.

She could take 1ml ( at sick est) to 10ml but average 7-8 ml per feeding.

Depending on how sick and where she is and how much she can take right now.

Mine was at deaths door when I started. So she could take 1-3ml at first, I fed her every 2 hours during daytime. Let her sleep and recover at her normal bedtime.

After a couple of days she could take about 5ml every 2 hours. I did at least 4 feeding a day.

Then I let her guide me. She started taking 10mls but then stabilized and started eating some of her food on own and averaged 6ml-8ml and I did twice daily.

It took a long time to recover and my vet had me keep offering an evening feeding of 6-8 for over a month msybe even 2 months.

Important, adult birds crops don't stretch like babies.
You will know you are getting it right if they slowly start gaining weight back. She would gain 1-2 grams back every day or every other day at first true weight .

I weighed before each new feeding and after. she would go up in weight by the number if ml i fed, in 2 hrs by next feeding she would drop back down by 2-5 . But her weight would be higher than first morning weight. By tge end of tge day her weight would be 10grsm higher. The next morning her first true weight would be same or show a slight gain.

Fir example at the start 96 grams skinny for her. First feeding after she weigh 101, before next feeding 98, after feeding 104, in 2 hours before next feeding 100, after 108. Kinda like that.

First weight the next day 97 grams. Slowly gained back steady tho not every day . Till she reached her healthy first weight of 110 grams. Then maintained with only end of day feeding till after forever I was able to stop all feeding.

I hope thst is not to confusing?

Cliff notes don't stretch the crop, crop should empty some before next feeding . If super sick and not drinking and dehydrated at first make formula runnier for all of first day feeding. Feed on average 5ml -12ml really don't go higher, spread between 3-4 feeding daily. If stool has way more liquid than normal formula to wet, if stool is dry and small formula to think, or you are not getting enough food in her during the day. Adults seem to prefer thicker formula like yogurt thickness but can draw up and give without getting stuck in syringe. You should start seeing weight gain if she needs to gain back, or stable weight if you are just supportive and supplementing. You do not want to see wright loss. Then either you aren't getting enough into her daily, or her antibiotics need to be changed either dose or new type.
To prevent yeast overgrowth from antibiotics I fed 3ml daily or every other day of Greek yogurt with live cultures acidophilus being one, no artificial sweetners. Till antibiotics finished. You may hear people for or against yogurt. I 100% swear by it, saw benefits, and vet said would not hurt her.
Because we had a few relapses and had to restart antibiotics, one time I didn't give the yogurt. She ended up with a crop yeast infection and we had to add nystatin( to treat yeast) so I will Always give yogurt when on antibiotics.

Keeping your burd warm is extra extra important for sick birds. I used a radiant heat panel called the Sweeter heater as sold on Amazon smallest size and hang on outside of cage or set back as needed fir ideal warmth. Do not use a heat lamp. You can also use K and H cage warmer panel they snuggle up to it. I don't think its powerful enough, but it will help.
 
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Laurasea

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If she is not eating at all , then I think 5-10ml per feeding 3-4 times a day. My daily total thst she ate around 20ml ish it all depending on her. Can't remember exactly.... I know my vet thought at first her daily total could be 40ml but I know we never got that as a daily total ever. And vet agreed we were doing perfect as she steadily gained back weight the way I did it.

O pray your birdie recovers as well.

What medicine is she on?
Mine was on azithromycin at first fast action have to give only every other day cover both gram postive abd gram negative bacteria. My avian vet is world class over 20 years experience. Unfortunately not as many avian vets are familiar with azithromycin . Then we switched to doxycline to treat the chlamydia. Doxycline is also excellent for many respiratory infections. My veterinarian is not a big fan of baytril, tho many vets choose this. It's much more likely to lead to yeast overgrowth problems. I am not a vet, many vets like human doctors choose different medications and they choose based on what they think is going on. But I have my veterinarian permission abd encouragement to sing azithromycin praises.
 
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TawnyaJ

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Thank you so much for your replys. Alot of good information. That really helps put it in perspective. She is doing a tad better today. Still breathing somewhat heavy but not like she was. Hoping that is a good sign.
The vet gave her 0.24 ml of Doxycycline 2x a day and also 0.07 Itrafungaol once a day. And advised to give pedialyte. It was hard to get it to take these, but I found a trick to put a tad of her food in the syringe after the meds.
This morning she ate about 9 mls and probly would have ate more.
It sounds like you have been through it too. I am happy to hear your baby made it through. It's so scary. But Ginger is a stong little birdie. I will keep you posted on her.
Thank you again for your words and support.
 

Laurasea

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excellent. Yes I went through it big time ! A budgie brought in the infection so I was treating and syringe 7 burds! Ugh. But only 2 were critical. My Penny quaker is older but true age unknown, I wasn't sure i could save her, fluffed not moving not eating ....it was close but we did save her.

My vet had me do pediolyte but only for one day. As once food is getting into them electrolytes will balance. But obviously I don't know everything going on with yours so I'm not contradicting your vet.

You will likely have to tweak feeding based on your burd. Important to use weight and poop watch to let you know if you are getting it right.

How was weight and poop today?

I want Ginger to pull through!!!
 
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TawnyaJ

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excellent. Yes I went through it big time ! A budgie brought in the infection so I was treating and syringe 7 burds! Ugh. But only 2 were critical. My Penny quaker is older but true age unknown, I wasn't sure i could save her, fluffed not moving not eating ....it was close but we did save her.

My vet had me do pediolyte but only for one day. As once food is getting into them electrolytes will balance. But obviously I don't know everything going on with yours so I'm not contradicting your vet.

You will likely have to tweak feeding based on your burd. Important to use weight and poop watch to let you know if you are getting it right.

How was weight and poop today?

I want Ginger to pull through!!!
Oh my. You sure did! 7 at once. That had to be quite stressful. I'm stressed out with just the one being sick.
She isn't taking much pedialyte now. Put regular water back in with her. Her weight was slightly up. Barely noticible. Poops look better. Not as watery. Her breathing seems to be somewhat better again today.
She is doing the head bobbing thing sometimes, but I think that is because she wants out of her little cage back to her regular one. (My other baby Ivis does this when shes agitated). Hopefully, maybe tomorrow or Saturday she can go back. I just do not want her over exerting herself quite yet.
All and all I think she is recovering slowly but surely. Hopefully that is not just my hopeful thinking.
Thank you again for your bird knowledge, it has helped me tremendously.
 

Laurasea

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It would bring me joy if what I went through helped save Ginger and other parrots.

How many feedings are you doing?
Warmth is very important to help save them. It saves them tons of calories and promotes healing. Keeping the environment 80-85f .

It takes time to gain the weight back and recover. All forward progress is to be celebrated!

My vet said sick ones get what ever they want to eat , except sugary foods. But try and temp with warm mashed sweet potato, cooked carrots, a little boiled or scrambled egg, yellow bell pepper or any peppers. Peas were a favorite of mine. But I kept millet spray, treat sticks, pumpkin seeds and regular food available.

Was Ginger a big seed eater? Or was she willing to eat pellets and fresh stuff?

Did you say you did offer yogurt? Hopefully by tomorrow poops will be even better.

I will keep watching for your every update. You both have my prayers.

What has life been like with Ginger all these years? What are her personality quirks?
I'm terrible at keeping track of the years but I think I've had my oldest rescue 5 years now. I very much hope to get 17 and beyond. My first GCC i had for 17 years bless her sweetest bird.
 
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Laurasea

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oh and PS I was beyond stressed and breaking down. The members on this forum gave me so much support!

At first I was scared to death to feed baby burd formula. So I was begging, pleading with her to eat even one bite of food, I tried every 20min by hand held nibbles for days.....
I feel foolish now because once I offered formula she took it fantastic and started to get stronger and gain back weight.

So its wonderful you and your vet started tge formula right away! Great job both of you

Also keep weight checking your other quaker daily as well. Sometimes they can catch whatever yours has as well. And also need treatment. At First only Penny was sick . I weighed everyone the day Penny was fluffed tgey wre all fine. I weighed them all at tge end of tge week and every burd had dropped 5-16% weight @ they were all sick . So then all got same treatment but as caught earlier all did much better except one who was being under dosed at first, then developed a sensitivity to tge antibiotics..
So do watch tge other one closely
 
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Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
I dearly hope your beautiful Ginger continues improving and returns to health. So much depends on immune system, effective meds, and daily support. Grateful for Laura's advice and your caring diligence!
 
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TawnyaJ

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Hello. Sorry so long for an update. Ginger seemed to be doing better, however, today she is breathing heavy again. She is also sneezing now and again. She is eating bird formula ok today, but not as good as yesterday. I have a heating pad under her and have her covered 3/25 of the way. She also did eat a little scrambled egg today. But not to much. I haven't weighed her today as I don't want to stress her out. (She doesn't like it for some reason).
Praying she comes around and her meds would kick in.
Thank you all for your support.
 

Laurasea

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Hi sweetie,
Thanks for the update.
Is she not perching?
I don't think it is safe to put a heating pad under a weak bird. I think close pin it to the side or back of cage , as long as won't melt it burn anything and she won't chew it. Or out a towel on too if cage then the heating pad. You just have to be so careful with heating pads.

I created a routine with feeding and a special place set up in my counter with big soft towel . I did and said the same things so she knew what to expect.
Often after hand feeding formula was when she was willing to eat a little on her own.

Mine slept a lot while recovering, and I tried so hard to not let her know I was stressed.

How much did she eat? How many feedings did you do?
I'm glad she ate some on her own that's good.

How do poops look?

I hope tomorrow is better for you both. How are you hanging in there?
 
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TawnyaJ

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Hello Laurasea,
I have the heating pad under a towel under her cage. I check it often just to be sure its not to warm. Her avian vet suggested it.
As far as eating, she had 6.5 ml this morning. Would only take a little over 3 in the afternoon and tonight she had 7. For now I am going to keep her on the formula only as this morning I gave her a few bites of egg again and after a bit she dropped them out.
Her poops look normal but a tad on the watery side.
She is sleeping somewhat more then usual. But I don't know if its really sleeping or just closing her eyes for a few minutes.
I am doing the best I can. When I feel a moment coming on, I will go in my bedroom for a minute. Like you said, I am not letting her know how emotional I am at times. She does not need any more stress then she already has. I just want my Ginger to pull through. I am staying as positive as I can.
Thank you again for your knowledge and kind words.
 

Laurasea

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Ok, under cage is safer. I was able to communicate a lot with my vet for guidance and adjustments.

Sleep can be healing .
Come on Ginger!!! Your doing great. I hope she will take a little more for you tomorrow . And hopefully it will be long enough for antibiotics to really kick in.

I have a big soft spot for quakers. Ginger and Penny are 2 quaker ladies of same generation.
 
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TawnyaJ

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I hope she will too. That's what I keep telling her. "You can do it Ginger, your doing such a good job. You're mama's strong little baby!"
Yes they are! Btw Penny is a cute name. ๐Ÿ˜€
 
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TawnyaJ

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Hello,
It has been very stressful over here. Yesterday Ginger decided she didn't want to eat much. It was really hard to get her to eat anything. I did manage to get about 17 mls all day. Today (Monday) she was worse off. Her breathing is still bad. Tail bobbing ect. She would not eat all day. Whenever I tried she would start panting and making little noises with each breath. I didn't want to push her any more and let her rest. We did manage to get maybe 1 ml this morning with her meds included. I tried all day off and on to get her to eat. It wasn't until tonight around 8pm that she ate 9 ml. Her breathing is still labored. And if you try to pick her up, she pants and breathes even heavier. I hate to even say this, but I don't know if she is going to make it. I am trying to stay as positive as I can. I have been aware of her health issues since Feb 1st when she went to the avain vet(which was my bday)(then Feb 6th was the 1 yr mark of when my Mom passed away). So needless to say I am a wreck. I am more concerned for Ginger than I am for myself. Praying tomorrow will be a better day for both of us...
 

Laurasea

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Oh I'm so sorry...
Condolences on your moms passing.
Can you check in with veterinarian and let them know ? Maybe they will want to change medicine. Or maybe hospitalized her.
Gosh this has got to be so tough !

I don't know if this would help? My girl had infected sinus. My vet had me sit in the bathroom to get steam , from shower blasting. We didn't get wet , just breathed in the steam.

My heart goes out to you. I will keep praying for Ginger.
 

Laurasea

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I'm hoping today Ginger is feeling better and eating . You are both on my mind
 
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TawnyaJ

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I'm hoping today Ginger is feeling better and eating . You are both on my mind
Ginger is still not eating much. I called the vet and she said just to keep doing what I'm doing. She said there isn't much of anything else they can do for her as she was surprised to know she made it this far. Ginger hasn't really been eating much at all still and when she does, it's not until 6 or 7 pm. I have been adding applesauce to the baby formula as I know it's one of her favorites. It seemed to help at first. I also gave her a bit of mashed bananas. Which she ate enthusiastically. However, 2 hours latet, she dropped them out of her mouth. So she is still not digesting food normally.
She seems to have a bit more spunk yesterday and today. Her breathing doesn't seem as labored as it was. So that is good. We are managing to get the meds down at least. I just wish she would eat.
I will not give up on her! She has been going through now for 10 days that we are a ware of. She is a strong little fighter.
 

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