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Discussion Starter #1
I have two previous threads detailing the symptoms and treatments.

I feel I might be missing something simple, so I thought I would ask all of you for your opinion on this poopie sample picture. Any input is welcomed

SYMPTOMS
-weak
-excessive thirst
-not eating
-watery poopies
-not flying
-fluffed up

Here is link to previous postings
https://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f6/sick-weak-pigeon-with-very-unusual-poopies-119628.html

I think I have been to focused on the poopie pic below, and I feel I'm missing something
https://www.pigeons.biz/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=74426&stc=1&d=1593329783
 

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Any chance of taking him to another vet to get a second opinion? Was the first vet an avian vet? I've also recently had 2 youngsters, both had excessive thirst and I was so sure canker was involved. But the canker treatment just did not help and I didn't had access to an avian vet unfortunately.

Are there no growths in the throat, take a flashlight and check deep inside.
 

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You said in your previous post the vet did a fecal test for canker. Shouldn't he rather do a crop smear?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sick pigeon

The visit with the vet was complete chaos. My bird went in with the Vet and I had to stay in my car. The vet talked to me by phone. I was wrong in suggesting the smears included trich. He did swab the crop when he couldn't see findings In the back of the throat. I've been quite confused while handling Zeke's illness.

There is one other avian vet here on the Island, but during the state wide lock down he is not available.

Back in June, When your first suspicions was leaning toward trich and I knew I was a couple of weeks out from an appointment with the Vet, I did look into the back of the throat and found no lesions, however the mouth and throat tissue was grayish, not pink . But I still followed your instincts and went with the 3 different trich meds because Zeke has been treated for trich by the vet before.

I do appreciate you taking time to respond and give me your thoughts. I doubt that the chlamydia test will come back positive as the symptoms don't match. I will wait for the vet to call with the results. Again, thank you.
 

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The fact you noticed the mucous membranes were gray, and not pink, would possibly indicate either a candidia fungal infection or a lack of blood/capillary flow due to severe dehydration. Depending on the amount of fluid loss (polyuria and diarrhea), you will have to add just enough electrolytes to counterbalance the internal osmotic pressure. This will be tricky to calculate, and an avian vet could suggest the proper amounts. Too much or too little can be bad, including water volume for moderate or severe cases. In severe, emergency cases of dehydration, the vet would inject liquids with glucose and electrolytes into the osseum internally, as an IV or subcutaneous injection would be nearly impossible to properly rehydrate him, not to mention the difficulty with an IV line for birds. Normal methods would be problematic, especially if he can not absorb enough fluids naturally or passes the fluids as fast as he drinks, and definitely if he has intestinal or renal (kidney) issues.

Does poor Zeke's eyes look sunken in more than normal, or is there any crusting around the eyes? If you gently pull on the skin near the crop, does the skin look stiff or non-elastic and doesn't naturally pull back flat on its own? If yes, these are some signs of dehydration, in addition to the lack of the pink color in mucous membranes. Also he may have a shallow, rapid heartbeat (and other shock symptoms) if it is severe dehydration.

He definitely needs urgent care and a proper diagnosis. I hope the vet seen him again recently, and that he would have checked for dehydration and/or gave you advice about it. Perhaps the vet would take him in to keep him monitored and hydrated while trying to diagnose his condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanx for your input Jonathan.
You do bring up a good point; too much pedialite? I will cut back a bit.

His eyes are good, clear. No abnormalities.

Yes, he is dehydrated. I've been giving him pedialite in his avian formula.

During the recent treatment of trich zeke was also given nyastatin.

As for the vets input and involvement, we are waiting on the chlamydia/pcr test to come back. He is very busy with sick dogs and cats.

When you observed the messy watery poopie pic without any other indications (putting aside the previous symptoms described and the jelly like poopie pic), what would be your first observations and instincts. Its possible that the vet and myself let the jelly like poopie dictate the direction of a diagnoses and I am missing something in the process.
 

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The body has a specific mechanism for concentrating sodium in the extracellular fluid while concentrating potassium in the intracellular fluid. This high concentration gradient is maintained by the sodium-potassium/ATPase pump system. This system transports Na+ out of the cell, while transporting K+ in. This is an energy-requiring process that uses intracellular ATP as an energy source. Intracellular sodium activates the enzyme system, which uses Mg++ as a cofactor.

In the presence of chronic renal disease, especially when the animal is in acidosis, sodium levels are depleted because of poor tubular resorption and the use of sodium for the buffering of acids. Both renal disease and diarrhea may cause sodium depletion. This will often be followed by a rapid loss in weight due to dehydration.

Moderate increases in dietary sodium are relatively nontoxic providing adequate (low sodium) water is provided for renal excretion. Levels of five to ten times the requirement can be provided before there is a decrease in growth and loss of appetite in a young bird. At all stages of life, there will be a considerable increase in water intake resulting in looser droppings. Higher levels of sodium intake result in poor feathering, polydipsia, polyuria, nervousness, edema, dehydration and mortality.

Pg. 92, "AVIAN MEDICINE: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATION", 1994, ISBN 0-9636996-0-1
It would depend on how much fluid loss is occurring compared to how much he is drinking. If he already has too much sodium, he would have an increase in thirst (if he has normal kidney function) and expell water/urine in copious amounts to flush the excess of sodium (or other toxins). If he looses too much water (polyuria, diarrhea), and becomes dehydrated, he will need more water, sodium and glucose/dextrose to retain his internal balance. This is a careful balance. And if he can regulate his own fluid intake, he should balance himself out, granted he is healthy and has normal kidney function.

In moderate or severe dehydration cases, a calculation of a normal body water content would be approximately 60% of his healthy lean body weight (prior to his recent issues). 40% of the water is inside his cells (ICF), 20% outside the cells (ECF), of that 20%, about 15% is in his interstitual fluid, and 5% is in his blood plasma. Then the percentage of dehydration is calculated (by comparison of normal lean weight to current or estimated loss) to determine how much fluid is loss. That requires some number calculations and a few vet manuals. Basically, knowing what his healthy weight was, compared to how much is lost will yield his percentage of dehydration. Then estimating for his nonsensical fluid loss (respiration, etc.) and measuring his sensical fluid loss (urine, diarrhea), to arrive at a rate of loss of a volume of water that normally would be needed in addition to whatever added fluid intake or administration should be given.

Then, precise calculation of electrolytes and other solutes like glucose is needed depending on degree of dehydration and volume of fluid loss (eg. (mmol/ueq)/mL) for a proper tonicity to achive rehydration with a given rate and method of fluid administration. I wish I was there to help. But the vet should do this when you bring him in again.

In severe dehydration of birds, the worse stage usually involves glazing of the eye, rapid breathing then shallow breathing (shock), cold extremities, serious lethargy/depression, then unconsciousness/comatose state. If he is in shock, it is an emergency, and he will need to be kept warm at 36°C/98°F by artificial means (heating pad or lamp) until he can be treated promptly. I hope and pray it doesn't get severe and he just recovers. Poor bird.

Anybody here who has had serious dehydration/diarrhea issues in their birds, please reply with anything that can help, like what worked for you, etc.
 

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When I saw the last picture of his loose watery droppings, and if I didn't know anything else about the condition, this would tell me he is either stressed, overheated, or is purging excess water (or toxins, medicine) and at risk of dehydration. Lead toxicity or poisoning can cause excess watery urine, and other toxins. That's if I didnt know anything about the bird and suspected that there was no pathogen or organism to blame.
 

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The fact I can see bits of fecal matter in amongst all the watery urine is a good sign he is digesting and passing food. Now to get his fluid loss/hydration in check :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
PIGEON with dehydration/diarrhea issues

Hi Jonathan. Your last posts were a lot for me to take in. I had to read through them several times. I appreciate your input.

Two nights ago Zeke was down in his coupe, no longer perching. I did two things. I brought him into the house to keep a close eye on him. Secondly I started him on baytlril even against the direction of the vet. This morning Zeke is actually showing a little improvement. Still not eating, I'm crop feeding him 20cc of avian formula 2x day. Still lots of watery poopies but the digested food being passed with the liquid is more pronounced (not thin, spaghetti like). He is also preening and alert and perching. Hoping for the best.
 

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Hi John.

Yeah, sorry about VET101 in my last few posts, but just wanted you, or anyone who reads this thread later, to understand the broad in and outs and some specifics of fluid therapy. So glad to hear he's perching and preening! Preening is a very good sign of health and his mental state. He's feeling better and not in pain or discomfort! :)

Soon as he begins to eat and have normal droppings, he will be close to full health, but will need to kept stable a bit longer. He may do good inside even a week or two afterwards, to minimize his stress, and for you to keep him calm and observe him. I am pleased he is digesting and passing food. At that time in a few weeks he should have a little probiotics. You can give a little fine grit by the second week that he is eating normally, but not too much or too course of a grit as he may still have some inflammation still in his GI tract, but that should subside in a few weeks.

I am very happy for you and for him!!!

~ Jonathan

(I am still curious about the lab results, and I can't wait for your update.)
 

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You are welcome, John! Thanks for reaching out!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
dehydration/diarrhea issues

Don't apologize for the Vet 101, I had to read through it literally 7-8 x, each time getting a bigger, better picture of whats going on. I will refer back to it again no doubt.

I realize that the baytril is not a good idea (understanding the vet did not recommend) but once I brought Zeke in the house I noticed a boil on the pad of his foot. I usually see this in the joints, but the doctor and myself missed this. Possible Paratyphoid? Could be. But I've seen the signs of a bird in decline and felt I nothing to lose.

Yes, I'm waiting on the lab work also.
Its frustrating, but things are a little different here on Maui. I try hard not to criticize the professionals (in this case the vets) but they really are not that interested in avian pets. The one Avian Vet currently available will take emergencies as long as the bird is a regular with yearly or bi-yearly visits. Otherwise, when we call into the Vet with an emergency we are given an appointment 4 weeks out. I have upwards of 30 different birds with 5 of them being pigeons (Zeke being very special to me). So yearly, bi-yearly is not an option.
I actually get it and clearly understand. They are trying to provide a very needed service and at the same time MAKE MONEY. Its expensive here and their overhead is incredible.
Because Avian Vets are not readily accessible I've tried to care for them myself and have learned a lot over the years, in part thanks to people like yourself. I had a mentor, but she is no longer available. I keep a well stocked selection of medicine and I'm still learning what each med does and how.

Thanks again, I appreciate you and my wife appreciates your caring input( I didn't realize the posts are sent to an email, and see has been reading the correspondence as they go to the emails)
 

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I am glad you noticed the boil. It could very well be a form of paratyphoid, and is one of the more common infections seen in pigeons. If it is paratyphoid, it usually starts in the digestive track and causes inflammation of the intestines before boils can be seen on joints or swelling of the feet in latter stages of disease. It would explain a lot, especially the watery droppings, etc. It also will increase thirst and lethargy. He may have had other issues but sounds like the meds are working.

I would definitely keep with the Baytril for 14 days and then try to vaccinate him against paratyphoid. Fortuately, you can order a bottle for a reasonable price online at any major pigeon supply site. You can pull out several small leg feathers and apply a dose of the vaccine directly to the skin with a small paintbrush rather than trying to inject with an insulin needle, if you didn't already know.

Sometimes, you will need SMZ-TMP (Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim, "Bactrim") to get paratyphoid under control (30mg/bird/once a day for 14 days), and it is a good drug to have in your arsenal of meds (if you don't already) as a last-line defense antibiotic for resistant strains and severe/systemic infections. And it would be wise to keep him isolated from other birds to minimize spreading to your other birds for the time. You may want to vaccinate the entire flock as well and give about four weeks for them to become immune to it before reintroducing him back to the others, and vice versa. Sounds like he will be spoiled in the meantime living inside :) He deserves it, the poor guy.

I hope the infection resolves and you stomp it out. Sounds like he is recovering and just needs antibiotics for a few weeks more. Afterwards, he will definitely need some probiotics, and then a drop or two of apple cider vinegar in his water a few days a week afterwards if he can tolerate it in his water as some are finicky about it and hate it getting in their nares.

Yeah, I definitely understand about the vets, but waiting four weeks for an emergency is bad, as sometimes it can be life or death in the matter of a few days as you know. But I also understand that having annual or biannual check-ups for all your birds is unrealistic unless you are a millionaire. What kinds of birds do you have? Sounds like you got quite the setup and all.

I too live in an area where the closest avian vet is a considerable distance away amd is quite busy with cats and dogs, so I am forced to deal with a lot on my own too. Experience is the best teacher and every case is a learning experience. The more you take care of them, the easier it becomes, but there are always new things to discover. Lately, I am taking online vet classes and stocking up on as many papers and pdf vet manuals as I can get my hands on. I got a few good ones and most are specific to avian medicine. And, of course, a few pigeon-specific references. If you are interested, I may be able to share a few. I am one of those who likes to be more than prepared :)

I am pleased your wife has been following our posts. And I am glad you appreciate my input, and glad you care for Zeke, as you obviously do! Pigeons have that charm on us! :) I am truly glad to help in anyway I can.
 
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