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best meds for respiratory rattle

9114 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  maryjane
I adopted three King squeakers from Elizabeth at Mick-a-coo :D....knowing they had respiratory infections. One was well after Cipro, and two had relapsed and Elizabeth kindly gave me the Cipro they had been on to continue the treatment....after a few more days they are no worse, but not much better. :confused: I have tetracycline, erythomycin and sulfadimethoxine on hand. Any thoughts on which of these might be a viable alternative to something that is resistant to Cipro? I am not adverse to a vet call, but they are otherwise quite strong, (wing slapping and biting and hard to medicate!:eek:) eating and drinking well, good poops, no discharge...just a chronic little rattle when under stress. Thanks in advance....

p.s. These are really special yongsters...I am lucky to have them and really want to get them 100% a.s.a.p....:p
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Go with a tetracycline but Doxycycline would be your best bet for something like that. Pigeons don't absorb erythromycin that well.

Were they actually diagnosed with respiratory infection?
I believe they had canker when first rescued, that cleared up then this persistent rattle when stressed is the final stubborn symptom...what is the dosage on tetracycline? I have 250 mg packets to be dissolved in water...but not sure of the ratio...thx.
How much do they weigh at this point?

To give you some idea, we'd be looking at roughly a six (6) milligram dose for a 250 gram bird, twice daily. That'd get you in the ballpark of dissolving a 250 milligram packet of medicine in 42 mL of (preferably distilled) water, and dosing 1 mL for each 250 gram bird twice daily.

Pidgey...Perfect...that's what I needed. I dosed with Cipro again this AM, symptoms are not a lot better but are certainly no worse. I just think maybe a change in meds might kick this faster than staying with the Cipro after almost 2 complete courses of it. I will switch to the tetracycline tonight and offer other supportive care...they seem quite strong and vibrant except for the rattle under stress. Thanks.
Squeakers' medical history


I brought the 3 squeakers home from SF ACC on 3/16. Lee had bad canker and was gasping and the other 2 had small plaques visible in their beaks. I treated all 3 for canker and started them on Amoxicillin which is so gentle and yet effective for most bacterial infections.

Lee got better but both Dixie and Sweetlips developed really bad, gurgly breathing and were switched to Doxy-T which worked great.

Then they went to a foster home and Dixie & Sweetlips relapsed with the respiratory thing. When Dixie & Sweetlips were just about better, Lee got it. They all completed ANOTHER course of Doxy-T and once again made a full recovery.

THEN Sweetlips and Dixie relapsed AGAIN and I switched to Cipro.

I use to take all sick and injured pij to the avian vet (at my own expense) and then I got laid off and that's when I started fund-raising as well as treating more birds (successfully!) at home with your and other experts help. I SHOULD have taken these guys to the vet when they relapsed the first time but I didn't. So they have not had the benefit of any lab work or diagnostics.

THANK YOU, Diane, for taking them in!
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Maybe the canker is back. Just a thought.
I'd bet against the canker as it was thoroughly treated against with Meditrich, RonSec and Spartrix and Lee, the one with the worst canker, has had the best health ever since.

They sound wet and snoughty and I really think (for what little it is worth) that it is a bacterial infection of their respiratory system.

Here's what my pij expert researched for me:
Here is some information. Notice the Resfite. It's Doxy with spiramycin not tylosin. I would medicate with Resfite.

Respiratory medication – which medication should I use?
Several blends of antibiotics are commonly used to treat respiratory infection/ air sac disease in pigeons. Most are based on either doxycycline, tylosin or spiramycin. Respiratory infection in pigeons is often a combination infection involving Chlamydia, Mycoplasma and various bacteria (described as the Ornithosis complex). Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice to treat Chlamydia, while tylosin is very effective against Mycoplasma and spiramycin kills a range of bacteria. ‘Doxyvet’ is 12% doxycycline. ‘Doxy-T’ contains doxycycline and tylosin. ‘Resfite’ contains doxycycline and spiramycin, while ‘Orni Special’ contains doxycycline, tylosin and spiramycin. Each product has its place in the control and treatment of respiratory infection. Changing from one to another also helps to head off problems with antibiotic resistance. If problems with respiratory infections are diagnosed, Dr Walker can prescribe and advise you on the appropriate product for your birds.
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I was wondering since they seemed to responded well to the Doxy-T, whether there might be a chance that the Doxy-T suppressed, but did not completely clear the infection. When you say they had a full course of treatment, how many days was this.

I remember my vet saying that for some infections birds may have to remain on antibiotics for well over a month, I think even a month and a half. I wish I could remember all the details, but that was a few years ago.

There might have been damage to the clearing mechanisms that's having a difficult time getting going again thereby causing chronic reinfection. Might even have a fungal problem in there after all of that. This is the kind of thing where nebulized Gentamycin treatments often work out well. Is this a really low humidity area? Those are often bad for these kinds of things.

Journey as most of you know suffered with this same thing as far as the breathing upon arrival to us... He was diagnosed with a deep set resp. infection along with high bacteria count in his fecal by our avian vet.

I know not a thing about med. dosage or what not. But can tell you that after this last go round... HE is finally well... With NO relapses since the middle of March.

Here was his meds and dosage.

Ronivet-S: 60mg/gram (4g packet) used as his sole water source for 7 days.

Doxycycline Syrup: 10mg/ml (Vibramycin) Given by syringe for 14 days every 12 hrs. ((5ccs.... Journey is about 515 grams @ time of dosage))

I also added Probios to the drinking water after the 7 day period on the Ronivet

They also had us keep him in the warmest room of the house with the door closed and a humidifier running during the day. IT was HOT and HUMID in there ... but it seemed to have helped him a lot.

I can't offer much more than that but I hope it helps... I know how hard this junk is to get rid of and you will be in my thoughts as well as the birds.....
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I'm sorry they're not all cleared up yet, but glad to hear they're strong and kickin' (er, slappin'!). :p I know for rats respiratory problems I had some success using raspberry leaf tea. Don't know if that would help or if it's usable for pigeons too, would think so though. I hope they feel better soon.
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