Vet Appointment

ravvlet

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Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
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(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
I fully replace the vet wrap on Kirby’s stand every month. I spot wipe it down with water wipes when he gets stuff on the wrap otherwise. Unless it’s really gross; then I try to replace just the top layer of wrap.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I would expect a bird housed in the same household as a bornavirus-positive bird to develop a bornavirus infection itself.

I would not bring another bird into my home if I had a bird with bornavirus. I would be very cautious about visiting a poultry farmer or another bird owning home as well.

PDD is a terrible disease and you don’t want to share it with another bird. If your bird is indeed PCR positive for this virus I would suggest you not bring another bird into your household. I am especially concerned as you say Nico has had “one medical problem after another”. This is not typical to a healthy parrot.
 
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HeatherG

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If you’re looking for information, read about “parrot bornavirus” or “Proventricular dilatation disorder” or “PDD”. The cdc article you referenced is general. You want to find something that discusses the bird or parrot disease.
 
OP
kme3388

kme3388

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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
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Long story short... I adopted Nico in June of last year from a shelter I volunteered at. The first week I had him I scheduled a vet appointment to get him checked out. That vet informed me that he had an overgrown beak, his wing is broken, and that he also had over grown nails. That he was underweight, and started the process of looking into his medical issues. He wasn't getting better so I contacted this vet again, and thats when she referred me to Nico's current vet. Before his appointment in person with his current vet she requested that I get Nico's vet records from the shelter. When I went to contact the shelter to get Nico's vet records this is when things sort of went sideways. She told me to just enjoy Nico, and stop worrying so much about his medical issues. She said that he just needs a good home, and love then he will be fine. They didn't have the funding to take Nico to the vet. That he doesn't need to go to the vet. They said it's very expensive, and they don't like to stress out the parrots. Then she started getting very snippy at me for asking for Nico's vet records. I had to inform the vet that I was unable to get Nico's vet records, and that I did try. I brought Nico to his current vet shortly after all of this took place, and thats when I found out he also had a skin infection (bacteria overgrowth). It would be from fecal matter. He was on antibiotics for that. His vet ran labs, and put Nico on celecoxib to help with inflammtion. with the labs, and with his clinical presentation that's how I found out that he had bornavirus. Nico also has feather destructive behaviors to the extent of self mutilating. I am guessing the bacterial infection he had on his skin made him itch really badly, and this is how his feather plucking started. I still do talk to the shelter that I once volunteered at, and I send pictures of Nico now, and then. I try not to judge situations, and do my best to be understanding. I do know the last time I sent a message to the shelter she mentioned that Nico had been rehomed a lot. That the last person she adopted Nico to prior to me ended up in jail for child porn. I am not sure how shelters are supposed to be ran, but from what I've gathered from my vet there should be an application, and some sort of background check before an adoption. That didn't take place when I adopted Nico. I volunteered there a few times. I fell in love with Nico, and he was given to me. The owner of the shelter seemed like a really good person, and she was very educated on parrots. I am guessing maybe she took on too much, and can't turn away a parrot in need? Nico's not been healthy sense I brought him home. I just do the best I can, and give him lots of love. He does have a tendency to get bacterial issues. I clean, and disinfect as good as I can. Maybe I need to step it up a notch. I really have no clue what happened to him, and I have no background on him. I know he's had a few bacterial infections, and that his vet, and myself are trying to manage this situation. Nico has some really bad days. He also loves car rides, enjoys just sitting on my shoulder, and has awesome days.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I don’t think that Nico’s health issues are your fault at all and I’m not judging you. If your bird has a virus that’s tough on his body he may get sick more.

But I am saying that if you have another bird living in the same house that the other bird will very likely also get the bornavirus. It’s very unpleasant for the bird and causes a lot of suffering. You don’t want to share it around. That’s all I’m saying.

Most of my birds have been rescued, really rescued, and have had lots of issues. I had vets ask me , “but WHY did you take this bird?” Well, because no one else would and he needed a home. All anyone can do is take the best care of them that they are able. It sounds like you’re doing your best by Nico and that’s a wonderful thing.

But your question was, “how contagious is bornavirus?” And it is certainly contagious enough that if an uninflected bird lives in the same home as another bird who is sick from this virus, both birds will likely soon be infected.
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
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I didn’t know all of this. Thank you for sharing that. I know Nico gets sick a lot more then my conure. No, I’d never want to spread something around or stress out Nico which could potentially make him worse. I think I was confused because bornavirus to me sounded like it was a Nico thing, and not contagious. I thought Ekkies were just sensitive with a poor immune system. I probably misunderstood as when I was being educated on bornavirus I was also caring for Nico. It was a lot to take in. If this is contagious though I won’t take in another bird.
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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I did just write this to the Macaw owner. I’m pretty bummed out, but I don’t want to hurt a parrot that has no health issues if the bornavirus is something very contagious.
351188D0-A563-45A5-AD8A-85146A2216C0.jpeg
 

HeatherG

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I’m really sorry. I think this is very unfair to you and it seems like maybe the rescue was not honest with you.

Can you get some more info from your vet? I wish someone had told you more about this virus.
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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Sep 17, 2021
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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
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The vet wasn’t happy when I told her I am unable to get Nico’s vet records to her from the shelter. I know the vet said Nico wasn’t healthy, and needed vet attention. When I did explain that feather plucking is just a behavioral issue which is what I learned from the shelter she did correct that, and said there are multiple reasons that a bird feather plucks, and that Nico has health issues. She took a lot of photos of Nico, and has really tried to help him.
 

HeatherG

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I’m sorry that you and Nico have to deal with this. I feel badly that I gave you this unpleasant information. I think the best you can do for your birds is to keep them as healthy as possible with a good diet for their species and a clean home. And that’s what you are doing!
 

Cottonoid

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I think you've done such great work trying to find out what's best for Nico (and your conure too!). He's a very lucky boy to be with you.

Sadly I think so many shelters and rescues have a shortage of funding, educated staff, adequate facilities, or all three. But there are still more and more birds every month that need help, so they do what they can.

I'm sorry about your interaction with asking for vet records, though :(
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
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I am disappointed that I won't be able to take on a Macaw. It's bad news for sure. I'll be bummed out for a few days. It's understandable how important it is to not spread disease, or create medical issues in a perfectly healthy parrot.

I do have to agree I think shelters, and rescues dont have the resources that they need to support their parrots. There were a lot of parrots there, and they are all older parrots with behavioral issues. These were truly the parrots that would be considered unadoptable as bad as that sounds. Nico was in 2 shelters. He was returned so many times, and he had no where to go. This shelter did take him in, and cared for him.
 

Laurasea

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I'm no expert on pdd. I probably have the info I found in my ornithology thread. But my understanding is many zero convert, some experience issues years down the road and some are more suspectable to the virus.

That trying to boost immunity by providing the best care and diet and low stress environment. All things im sure you are already doing.

Extra warmth is always supportive. I swear by my seeter heater.

I'm also a fan of supporting/ supplemental feed of baby burd formula. Easy to digest has burd probiotic in it , many take to it easily. Since he has Xtra nutritional needs with plucking and illness. It might be beneficial to offer a comfort feeding in late afternoon since my quakers take about 7ml id think about 15 ml would be a guess for an Amazon. Pamela clsrk recommended it her stress parrot article.


As far as rescues and diseases and screening...well not many labs run the tests, there are often false neg/pos ..most aren't going to test unless symptoms or requested . Most would need x-rays to confirm. I think macaws as a species are more suspectable to the virus.
 

HeatherG

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I'm no expert on pdd. I probably have the info I found in my ornithology thread. But my understanding is many zero convert, some experience issues years down the road and some are more suspectable to the virus.

That trying to boost immunity by providing the best care and diet and low stress environment. All things im sure you are already doing.

Extra warmth is always supportive. I swear by my seeter heater.

I'm also a fan of supporting/ supplemental feed of baby burd formula. Easy to digest has burd probiotic in it , many take to it easily. Since he has Xtra nutritional needs with plucking and illness. It might be beneficial to offer a comfort feeding in late afternoon since my quakers take about 7ml id think about 15 ml would be a guess for an Amazon. Pamela clsrk recommended it her stress parrot article.


As far as rescues and diseases and screening...well not many labs run the tests, there are often false neg/pos ..most aren't going to test unless symptoms or requested . Most would need x-rays to confirm. I think macaws as a species are more suspectable to the virus.
I do think it’s possible for a bird to somehow eliminate or overcome the PDD/ bornavirus. I was concerned because this sounds like a recent test and also because Niko had been unwell. That would suggest a real and active infection I think.

I have heard of birds testing positive and then years later negative. The thought was that they either passed the virus through their bodies or they eliminated it. That would be a good option for Niko and good supportive care and immune health can encourage that.

I found a number of factsheets for laypeople (non medical people) by searching on “PDD avian bornavirus “.
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
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Nico has been unwell sense I've gotten him. He gets a lot of bacterial infections. He see's his vet about every 3-4 months for his beak, and nail trim. With that he usually has some sort of medical issue going on. Recently it was his nostrils. I am currently having to towel him, and put drops in his nostrils. He is so scared, and stressed. There really isn't a delightful way of doing this. Vets don't want to give him oral antibiotics if they can avoid it because he is so prone to infections. They don't want to deplete his gut flora. I am hoping with that new vet grade disinfectant that it can help with his infections. Nico is on prescription pellets to help his digestion process. No, I will not euthanize Nico. He still has great quality of life. He loves being outside, and waddling around. Friends, and family that have met him suggest it as he doesn't have all of his feathers. Because of this most think Nico is sick, and should be put down.
 

ravvlet

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Jun 25, 2019
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Seattle WA
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Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Broccoli - Dusky Conure - 3?mo old (July 2023 -)
~~~
(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
Oh, poor Nico! I’m sure he’s still got good quality of life. I’m sorry people have suggested that to you; that sounds so insensitive.

Kirby also sees the vet about every 3-4 months and frequently gets bacterial infections. He doesn’t have ABV (the boarding facility we use tests for it so we’ve had both him and Sammy tested) but he has heart issues and is on meds for that & he has to have saline drops and frequent nasal flushes. I’m not sure how long Nico has been with you but I’ve been doing this song and dance with Kirby for 3 years I think this September. We’ve finally gotten to the point where when I towel him he’s *mostly* cooperative - he still doesn’t like it and tries to get out, but if I gently hold him in the towel and stroke his head or hold his beak very lightly, he lets me do what I need to, because he knows I’ll let him up right after. He steps up like a charm right out of my lap when we’re done. I hope that, if you continue to need to medicate Nico, you guys can come to a similar understanding!

I won’t lie, what really helped us was bribery. Now that he’s got his liver values under control and his weight is down I’ve been using very small pieces of walnut (his favorite) as rewards for cooperating and just as motivation to get him moving around.
 
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saxguy64

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Nico has been unwell sense I've gotten him. He gets a lot of bacterial infections. He see's his vet about every 3-4 months for his beak, and nail trim. With that he usually has some sort of medical issue going on. Recently it was his nostrils. I am currently having to towel him, and put drops in his nostrils. He is so scared, and stressed. There really isn't a delightful way of doing this. Vets don't want to give him oral antibiotics if they can avoid it because he is so prone to infections. They don't want to deplete his gut flora. I am hoping with that new vet grade disinfectant that it can help with his infections. Nico is on prescription pellets to help his digestion process. No, I will not euthanize Nico. He still has great quality of life. He loves being outside, and waddling around. Friends, and family that have met him suggest it as he doesn't have all of his feathers. Because of this most think Nico is sick, and should be put down.
Put him down??? Are you kidding? That people would suggest that because of his feathers, or lack there of, makes me ugly. I'm so sorry you're subjected to people that would say that. :( Would these same people tell me my disabled son should be euthanized too, because he doesn't fit their idea of perfect? Ugh!

No one here would ever suggest that for Nico. I know it's hard sometimes, but you're doing an amazing job with him. He's happy, he's cared for, and he's loved in his forever home, and he knows that. That is a simple gift he's likely never known. ❤️ You're his hero!

Have to tell you, I love Nico. I don't at all see a "sick bird needing to be put down." I see a gorgeous little boy with a sweet soul full of life and love with an unfortunate past. Don't listen to the clueless ones. Just keep doing what you can, and love on Nico for as long as you can, be it 3 months, or 30 years. He deserves it, and he's worth it.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Nico has been unwell sense I've gotten him. He gets a lot of bacterial infections. He see's his vet about every 3-4 months for his beak, and nail trim. With that he usually has some sort of medical issue going on. Recently it was his nostrils. I am currently having to towel him, and put drops in his nostrils. He is so scared, and stressed. There really isn't a delightful way of doing this. Vets don't want to give him oral antibiotics if they can avoid it because he is so prone to infections. They don't want to deplete his gut flora. I am hoping with that new vet grade disinfectant that it can help with his infections. Nico is on prescription pellets to help his digestion process. No, I will not euthanize Nico. He still has great quality of life. He loves being outside, and waddling around. Friends, and family that have met him suggest it as he doesn't have all of his feathers. Because of this most think Nico is sick, and should be put down.

I’m so sorry that people say that to you. I have heard that about some of my rescue birds, too: that they are plucked or funny looking and should be put down. I think that is terrible! Everyone’s life has value! If Nico is a happy bird who gets enjoyment out of life and not overwhelming suffering he has a right to ‘be’.

I think that people do keep sick animals and people alive long after they might like to go, but that is not the point. And I hope you didn’t think I meant that. You love Nico and take great care of him.

I had a Quaker who, all her short life, was a ‘poor doer.’ (This was while I was an undergraduate student.). Sadly, at the end of her life we found she had aspergillosis throughout her body. I had maintained her very carefully so she must have gotten this at the bird breeder. She always had little infections that we wrestled with and we never knew what was wrong.

Unfortunately, PDD is a great explanation for health compromise in a young bird. But it is awfully sad. It is too bad that there are not antivirals for birds. The best thing you can do is deal with these secondary infections and keep Nico as well as you can.

I think Nico is cute with his big candy-corn beak! Thank you for caring for him.
 

SailBoat

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There should be a red badge of Love that those who take on special needs Parrots receive (as well as human Children and Adults that have special needs) as you, they are doing God's Work.

We are proudly owned by a tail-less DYH Amazon Rescue. My lack of Social Kindness is likely why we are rarely approached by such Stupid People. IMHO, Never let an Idiot get away with belittling your Loving Efforts of Providing a Special Parrot the Loving Gift of Life!!
 

HeatherG

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My best birds have been birds who had disabilities. My Lucy rode around in a scarf in her last (very old) years but she had such a personality! And Magoo, being blind, didn’t like to meet new people but was a complete love bug at home. I miss both these guys.
 

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