Kakariki sleeping all day on bottom of cage, is lethargic and completely silent.

RainbowRose

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Aug 6, 2014
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SICK Kakariki sleeping all day on bottom of cage, is lethargic and completely silent.

I have a red fronted male Kakariki. :green1: His name is Tiki. He is approximately a year old. Typically he is extremely hyper which is typical of Kakarikis. They have a lot of energy. Tiki is normally very sweet, lively, curious, and vocal (he loves to say “hello” over and over again.) His absolute favorite thing is his bird bath. When changing the water, he tries to jump in it before I can even get it back in his cage! This is also typical of Kakarikis; they love baths. Tiki would take baths everyday. He loved playing with his toys. He loved climbing all over the place and he was always curious about whatever I was doing and would come fly to me and climb all over me to see what I was doing. A very hyper, sweet and interactive bird.

However, over the past few weeks, things have gradually changed for the worst. I noticed he started to become aggressive. I figured that since this is the age of sexual maturing, he may just be hormonal. But then he became silent. The only noises he would make is a little growl noise when I approached the cage or if I put my hand in the cage to pick him up. Then he would bite. I still pick him up even though he bites, because once he realizes it’s me and I’m not harming him, he’s fine. He’s just very defensive and cautious about everything so he’s cranky.

This leads me to believe he is defensive and fearful because he is ill. I realized this after his other symptoms appeared. He suddenly lost interest in all of his toys, even his bird bath. He hasn’t taken a bath in weeks. Even if I spray him with a water mist he just sits there and doesn’t soak it all in and enjoy it like he normally does. Then he began sleeping on the bottom of his cage all fluffed up. Now he is sleeping all the time, falling asleep in his food dish or at the foot of his bird bath. He just starts falling asleep, on both feet, wherever, whenever, all day long. Sometimes he even stumbles and has fallen off a perch the few times he's climbed up onto one. He has become extremely lethargic. He also is sneezing more frequently than the occasional sneeze. I’ve noticed it more, even though there is no nasal discharge.

I will list his symptoms to make it easier:

1. Major decrease in vocalization.
2. Lethargic.
3. Sleeping very frequently.
4. Sleeping on bottom of cage all fluffed up on both feet.
He will fall asleep in his food bowl or at his water bath.
5. Loss of interest in all toys and activities he normally plays
with on a daily basis.
6. Appears to be sneezing more frequently than usual.
Instead of once in awhile it’s at least once everyday.
7. Suddenly aggressive, defensive and biting.

Now, HE IS EATING AND DRINKING. He is NOT throwing up from what I have seen. His droppings appear normal. He is just lethargic, sleeping a lot on the bottom of the cage, fluffed up and quiet.

I took him to the vet yesterday (8/5/2014) and even on the examination table he just sat there with his wings drooping and dozing off. The vet said she didn’t like how he looked and didn’t know if he is going to live. Testing and examinations alone can stress out an already sick bird to the point of no return. However, she did a wellness exam.

First off, he was sitting on the examination table half asleep with wings drooping, slightly puffed up. I would have expected him to be running around all curious and lively at a new surrounding. It's like he's given up...:( When she opened his mouth she said he looks anemic because his mouth was pale pink as opposed to being a bright vivid pink. When he got his blood drawn for the CBC testing, she said he bled a lot because his blood was very watery (also common with anemia). If this is in fact anemia, it would explain him being lethargic and low energy. She also showed me that his bones are visible under his belly. He has lost some weight even though he is eating and drinking.

So he got his blood drawn for a CBC and chemistry test. He got an injection of iron, and he got an injection of an antibiotic. Additionally, we were sent home with an oral antibiotic (Baytril) to be administered twice a day using a syringe. The baytril is used to treat bacterial infections, but we don’t know for sure if it is a bacterial infection until we get the blood test results back. I will be notified of the test results tomorrow (8/7/2014).

Is anemia common in birds, and are they typically caused by bacterial infections? I’m praying that is what it is because then he is already on the antibiotic and on the road to recovery. But it might not be bacterial, and that is what I will find out tomorrow.

I would like any input and/or advice on my poor bird. She said his chance of living is about 60%. Has anyone ever had a bird that they were told might die and made a remarkable recovery? Has anyone ever had a bird have anemia? Has anyone ever had a bird show these symptoms?

I’ve never been this attached to a bird before. I love him so much and I’m terrified he’s going to die. I’ve been keeping a heating pad under the cage to keep him warm and I have a fleece blanket covering the cage. He has a mostly pellet diet among a seed mix, with the occasional fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m doing everything I can for him but I am really, really scared.

Again, any input or advice is extremely appreciated. I'm really scared and worried. :( :( :(
 
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Birdman666

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Sep 18, 2013
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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
Pecker was given odds of no better than 50-50 when I got her. Her liver values were so bad that the vet told me she should be dead.

She recovered and lived 3 more years, but I lost her to a tumor.

This doesn't sound good.
 
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RainbowRose

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I also just realized his normally vibrant neon red eyes are very pale, like a light yellow. Thus the 3rd indicator of anemia?? I do believe so.
 
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TessieB

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I'm very sorry you are going through this. Anemia can result from several things: malnutrition, organ disease (bacterial or viral), neoplasia, parasites, heavy metal ingestion. Light yellow coloration means there is a buildup of bilirubin possibly due to the lack of liver function.

Right now the best thing you can do is give supportive care. Keep him warm and quiet. Good luck with him. It's never easy having your best friend be so ill.
 

happycat

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I am so sorry your kak is not feeling well! I feel the utmost sympathy for you, I can understand that you'd be terrified. The one thing I can tell you, however, is DON'T LOSE HOPE. Keep telling yourself Tiki will make it, Tiki is healthy. Send positive vibes, I promise it helps.

Lately my cat stopped eating altogether for about 4 days. I wasn't sure she would make it through the night. She made it and is eating like a pig now. Before that I lost my cat for 40 days. Everyone in my family was sure he would be dead but me. We found him on the brink of death, and he is healthy to this day. I have 9 pets that have had me scared to death, many times. They've all been sick or hurt at one time or another. My oldest is a 14 year old cat, and the only pet I've ever lost was my 20 year old ancient outdoor cat. I'm sure you can find plenty of miracle stories better than mine, too.

I'll pray for you and Tiki.
 
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RainbowRose

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Thank you so much. His blood test results came in early and he does have severe anemia. His red blood cell count was at 26 and it should be from 45-60, so it is indeed very low. I brought him in today to be hospitalized for 2 days, they said it would be the best thing to help his chances of survival. He is going to be tube fed all the things his body needs and he will be in a warm temperature controlled cage. On Friday morning he will have one more blood test to see if his red blood count has gone up. If it does, then he is regenerating the red blood cells and that's good. If it stays the same, he's nonregenerative and he would need a steroid. But either way, viral or bacterial, regenerative or nonregenerative, being in their care getting warm and fed will help him become more stable I hope. My room is empty without him, I hope he can get through this, it is truly painful to watch him suffer even after I've done all I can. Thanks for the support I'm going to try to stay positive knowing he's in good care. I've been such a pessimist about it all because I'm scared, so I pray he pulls through. :eek:
 

goalerjones

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Anemia causes extreme shortness of breath. That in turn severely limits any activity. Eating, bathing, etc easily overwhelm any creature without proper oxygen carrying capacity. It also causes stress with even the smallest triggers, which in turn tax the lungs even more.

1) keep him in as stress free an environment as is possible.
2) easy to eat and digest foods only. Digestion also bogs down the blood o2 levels.
3) find out the root cause of the anemia. As Tessie said there are many reasons, some easier to treat than others.
4) just love on her patiently. Minimal activity. Lots of sitting and talking. No climbing or exertion.

We will pray and wait to hear how the test results come back.
 
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RainbowRose

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Vet hospital called this morning and the vet who kept me informed of bloodwork results and options said that Tiki is more active and happy today. She also told me the vet who initially saw him on Tuesday (she did his exam, injections and bloodwork) said that he looks a LOT more lively than when she saw him, which is when she initially thought he might die! So being in the incubator cage and getting tube fed and getting his medicine must be really helping. Him perking up is a good start to recovery. I hope the news stays good. I can't wait til I can take him home. I miss my bird and I can't wait to see the life come back into his eyes again. Still praying he regenerates red blood cells though. The blood test being done tomorrow (8/8/2014) will determine if he has regenerated red blood cells. My fingers are crossed.
 

Birdman666

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Sep 18, 2013
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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
I don't have any experience with these guys, but I just looked up their dietary needs on line. Turns out dandilion and thistle are staples...

Which leads me back to (stop me if you've heard this before) two of the three staples in Aloe Detox! I am wondering if Aloe Detox might be a good thing to supplement this bird's diet with when he gets home? Just a little bit mixed in with some favorite fruit juice as a treat a few times per week?!
 

happycat

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Mar 9, 2012
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Kakariki (Kirby) Cockatiel (Shiro) Jenday Conure (Jojo)
I don't have any experience with these guys, but I just looked up their dietary needs on line. Turns out dandilion and thistle are staples...

Which leads me back to (stop me if you've heard this before) two of the three staples in Aloe Detox! I am wondering if Aloe Detox might be a good thing to supplement this bird's diet with when he gets home? Just a little bit mixed in with some favorite fruit juice as a treat a few times per week?!

Do all kakarikis need this?
 
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RainbowRose

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Tiki is officially home! He appears happy and a bit more lively since the initial visit.

They felt it was in his best interest not to take more blood from him because they didn't want to stress him out more than they needed to, and they noticed his mouth looks a little bit pinker as if the color is returning so they said that's a sign he is regenerating red cells so they don't feel they need or should draw more blood. I also noticed his eyes look like a faint orange now instead of that weird off white! So his red eyes seem to be slowly returning which is another good sign of regeneration.

As long as he continues taking his antibiotic it appears he's slowly getting better. He is still sleeping more than usual, but when he IS awake he's more alert and active and he is even getting back on perches and not the cage floor. With rest and antibiotic he will improve it seems. I've added chicken as a new add on food in addition to just fruits and vegetables. The vet recommended it.

He also got upgraded to a toy filled birdy mansion while in the hospital, so he was stoked to come home to a huge cage twice the size of his old one! He even went in his bird bath for the first time in weeks!!!! He used to bathe everyday until he got sick. So I'm glad he's doing better and I'm so happy he's home.

I thank you all for your support; it was really hard not having him home and even just watching him suffer made me feel depressed. I kept crying all the time! He really is a great bird so it looks like he will be okay. Thanks again my new friends! :)
 

Allee

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I'm so happy to hear Tiki is home and doing so much better. Very scary experience. Hope he recovers quickly and completely. He's lucky to have such a caring Mom.
 

Kinny

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Yay for Tiki! Yep, all my Kakarikis (breeders or pets) get mixed vegetables, fruit, cooked egg and chicken often. They eat everything!
 
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RainbowRose

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How long do you think it'll be before he starts chattering away again? He just says a hello here and there, but he used to make all these crazy noises when excited. I wonder how long it'll take... I mean I guess there's no real amount of time you can place on anything, he's still recovering technically, but I miss his noises. He's still so quiet. :confused:
 

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