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N-acetylcysteine is also a very safe and powerful antioxidant and has its merits if the cause of the air sac irritation and inflammation is due to oxidative stress. But consult with your vet regarding this. It may be more beneificial to loosen mucus than not.
 

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Discussion Starter #82
That is great food for thought. Is there any way to establish a diagnostic for pneumonia? A specific lab test? the acetylcisteine was prescribed by my vet, dosages included. I've tried to research about it, but aside from it causing tachycardia in neonates (birds) and some study made on chicken that resulted in weight loss and other negative impact, I could not find much. You telling me good things about is actually reassuring. It's also pretty hard to tell how much he actually gets in terms of dosage. My nebuliser is a regular human one, not even one of the ultrasound ones. I do the sessions in a cat carrier wrapped in towels.
My bird was scheduled for a more thorough test on wednesday, but I decided against taking him due to a mix of him looking dreadfully, him being extremely stressed by the visits on monday and the doctor's hands there shaking so badly when he tried to open his beak, that he barely managed to open it slightly (told me to try to look in his throat at home, describing how canker should look like, as I had asked about that). My baby had a throat sample taken at my usual vet and it was pretty invasive even with somebody with sure hands. Still, if it's useful and my bird is more stable, I can try do that test next week. I did a reasonably decent job opening his beak myself.
 

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I understand your concerns. I would feel the same way about causing added stress to a bird, especially one with breathing issues. But, I feel a proper diagnosis should be arrived at. Testing may be difficult but a blood test with a complete white blood cell count should reveal signs of infection or look at inflammatory markers (c-reactive protein levels especially). Oxygen supplementation or the breathing treatments the way you are doing now sounds like what is best for now until further testing. Also, perhaps try keeping the bird warm by using a hot water bottle and providing a cool spot so the bird can adjust. Heat therapy works wonders for birds with many conditions.

There is many new promising research reports surfacing lately using drugs to target estrogen receptors in the airway to regenerate and promote lung tissue healing and restoring lung function in animals. I would speculate this may be true for birds as well, but I am not entirely certain if studies have been done on birds. See, Google Scholar

But it is interesting to say the least, and has great promise treating COPD and emphysema in humans.


It is well past time for bed, but I will respond later.
 

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I will keep your pigeon in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope the little one gets better soon :) (Sounds like your bird is in good hands and is receiving proper attention and care. This truly helps.)
 

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If you do administer oxygen, you should only do it with a vets advice. Too much oxygen can be harmful actually.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
I thought about oxygen, but especially in these times, it's complicated. However, ventilating rooms very well seems to work well.
He's not had fits for 2 nights. Sniffs and wheezes some, but doesn't go into those bouts of suffocating. Today is the 2nd day of clotrimazole break (was prescribed 4 days on, 3 days off). Eats well, is active - though his movements are more limited since I keep him all day in the balcony quarantine, which is a rather small cage and he can only walk in there. I bring him in at night. Sometimes he pushes himself against the window, wanting to go out. However, this is where the good things stop. He's still breathing a fair bit with beak open, though not as horrid as last week, and not constantly. He still tires and breathes hard when flying, even if he does feel like flying. Basically he is back at how how was before the many antibiotics.

I'll have to go to the vet with the other rescue - the one before him. Her snoring isn't improving, on the contrary. She behaves and breathes normally, but she sounds like she has a blocked nose at night - more in the evening, less later. She seems to start favoring one of my single males, and I worry about her passing something to him too. She's the one that responded very well to the gentamycin+acetylcisteine+dexamethasone nebulisation, but it seems it didn't actually solve the issue completely.
 

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It may be aspergillosis. That would explain breathing issues and clear nasal discharge or the snoring sound. Nebulised nystatin would cure that. But histoplasmosis and mycosis are other fungal diseases to rule out, but nystatin should be effective, if not, amphotericin B would work.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
I might have made this a bit confusing. I have 2 rescues, one that is in treatment now, and not getting better (Collar), and one that I cared for before and was declared clear 2 months ago (Snowball), but got some returning symptoms. The returning symptoms one - Snowball, is snoring. The current treatment one (Collar) isn't snoring, just sniffling or coughing occasionally. None of them have visible nasal discharge, though Collar had samples taken from his throat a couple of weeks ago and the samples were clear. Which one were you thinking of?

Regarding nystatin, I could not find it in liquid form here. All they have is pills or powder.
 

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I realized you had two when you said "he" and "she", haha. That is what I get for joining the discussion late :)

I was thinking aspergillosis as the symptoms match (breathing issues, sneezing, nasal sounds) and the weather has been humid for your area. The mold spores would be high this time of year as well.

Nystatin powder will work if it is fine enough to make a liquid suspension in water for nebulization. Dosing may be a bit tricky to calculate, but your vet should decide the route and dose after confirming aspergillosis.

Perhaps these papers will help:
https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/154952249.pdf

Like I said there are other antifungals that may treat similar conditions, and some work better in certain situations. It would be best to have a definitive lab or culture diagnosis. I was just tossing out a possibility that to me might make sense.
 

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If indeed it is aspergillosis, nystatin may not work. A combination therapy of a few other antifungals may be needed. It depends on the species and strain of aspergillus.
 

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Discussion Starter #91
I doubt I will be able to get such a detailed diagnostic. Veterinary medicine in my country is pretty primitive, and there are no avian vets in my town. Theoretically it sounded like the people at the university could run some tests, but I did not feel a lot of confidence in their actual practical experience. I'm now worried about Snowball, as I really don't want to go into another roulette of "let's try various antibiotics and see which works". Any idea about what kind of tests could I get for her to establish a diagnostic and treatment? So at least I know what to ask for, if it will even be available.
 

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I would say the University may be your best vet. Perhaps their microbiology department if they do not a veterinary medicine department. They could perhaps do a sputum cytology exam but you may need to collect any mucus or discharge on a plastic sheet and refrigerate for the sample. This may be impossible though. Perhaps they may have suggestions. A swab sample and culture may be the only way. And a microbiology student or class may find it a good learning challenge.

Yes I know what you mean. I always want to know what the exact organism is for a prompt, narrow and effective treatment. It is better than shotgun approaches or using broad-spectrum antibiotics. Most doctors will let the medicine do the hard differential diagnostic steps by a process of elimination. This can lead into increased drug resistant organisms and can be hard on fragile systems and organs. Improper medication use can be a waste of critical time in some cases when the infection is misidentified. Sadly, some doctors will not be able to do the required laboratory diagnostics or be willing to do the effort and simply let the medicine do it for them. This is true even for some (if not most) medical doctors here in the USA when treating human patients. Either they prescribe you a drug and wait, or they treat the symptoms and not determine the cause and treat accordingly. It seems like some are either lazy or do not have the time, skill or means to do a proper diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter #93 (Edited)
Well, the news is that my vet might actually be able to do specialised tests. I requested a visit to him with my other rescue, and he was able to see me on tuesday. While she doesn't exhibit the same symptoms as the issue one, she has been snoring at night lately and occasionally sounds like she has a blocked nose (no open beak breathing). He listened to her and said she also sounds "wrong" in the trachea area, like the other one. So now I'm listening to both of them at night with my heart in my throat. None other of my 6 pigeons is showing any symptoms, and she has been free for the past 2 months. The vet prescribed only methylene blue in the water until tomorrow, and I'll need to call back to him tomorrow with updates. Still, he pulled out a booklet and I could see all kind of tests in it (they had prices in euros so I assume they are not regularly asked for, but maybe they can order them?). He said he will also have a chat with a colleague from the university to see how to proceed best.

I've been giving both of them (basically all of them, since my non-quarantined pigeons drink from the same recipiet) methylene blue in the water (1 ml/liter) since tuesday. I've also made a mix of crushed garlic, pinch of cinnamon, pinch of turmeric, pinch of coconut oil, raw pollen and pinch of dried oregano leaves and made it into small balls thickened with crushed pellets. I gave the 2 with symptoms 2 balls each and the others one.

Collar (the one this topic is about) has also been on the second round of Clotrimazole nebulisation this week. Tomorrow should be the 4th day, which should be followed by 3 days off. Unfortunately, I've not seen any improvements in his breathing, though his mental state seems better - as in not terrified to death by me. It feels like our original connection is mending. He continues to be active and eating with great delight, but there is no evolution on his condition. He's only had a fit at night on monday, but his breathing during the night still gets loud and fast sometimes. This morning he had a coughing fit of about half an hour. I decided to try Bromhexim pills on him as a mucolitic. He's actually such a joy to watch eating - when I give him fresh seed, as he has favorites, he gobbles them up rapidly, twitching his wings.
 
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