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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone.

My beloved bird of about 9 years is very ill. I have taken her to the vet three times now, but there are no avian specialists near me.

She was initially on 50mg Noroclav tablets 3x a day for 6 days to treat general bacteria infections such as e.coli. These were stopped on Friday 11th as they didn't seen to do anything.

She is currently on 7.5mg Baytril 1x a day and has been since Wednesday 9th to target different types of bacteria.

She is also on 3.6mls Flagyl suspended (100ml per ml) 1x a day for 6 days and has been since Friday 11th, in case of canker.

On Monday 14th (tomorrow) I should be picking up some liquid treatment for fungal infection, as they suspect it may be aspergillosis. This would be pretty heartbreaking if it is - I don't know if she would be able to pull through.

Her symptoms initially were:
  • Very watery poop that had a yellow tinge and smelled very vinegary. After going on the first lot of antibiotics they stopped smelling and are slightly more solid, but very green. Water still tinged yellow.
  • Dropped wings.
  • Standing on two legs at all times.
  • Puffed up and lethargic.
  • Lost a lot of weight.
  • Laboured breathing with tail bobbing.
  • Slight change of voice (I noticed this a long time ago but did not know it was a symptom of anything - this makes me feel awful to think of now).
  • Brighter red legs and feet than usual.
  • Sometimes clicking when breathing.
  • Open mouth breathing after flying or too much moving.
  • Totally off food.

Since the initial vet appointment I have been hand-feeding her every day (peas, corn, seeds, and some mushed up cat biscuits when she isn't fighting me) and water every now and then. She is now interested in food and water by herself, although not enough. She's also still preening herself. I have been keeping her in a travel cage on a wrapped up hot water bottle. This is partly to make sure she isn't exerting herself too much - although she isn't interested in flying.

Symptoms are now:
  • All of the above symptoms minus the smelly poop.
  • Much worse breathing - any physical exertion makes her pant and wheeze on the exhale, and sometimes lie down.
  • A lump on her neck under the skin above the crop - does not appear yellow when I look through the skin. Feathers are falling out in that spot.
  • Tail pointing downwards.
  • Yawning a little more.
  • More interest in food and water.
  • Blue tinged inside of beak from less oxygen.
  • White/slightly creamy inside of throat.
  • Throat gaping open so she can breath better (although this may have been present before)

My other pigeon of the same species is not showing any symptoms, although I am keeping a close eye on her also.

I would appreciate any advice or help. Does this sound like aspergillosis?

I feel absolutely heartbroken that I didn't notice things sooner. She has really gone downhill over the last week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I tried to post this info a few days ago but for some reason it didn't work. I hope someone can help me out now! Further information - I am in Wellington, New Zealand.
 

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I can't give much info, but it sounds to me like canker and maybe a yeast infection as well. Baytril can cause yeast and yeast can cause respiratory symptoms. How much mg flagyl is she currently receiving? An adult pigeon will need 50 mg once a day.

A nebulizer will help her with the breathing, although I've never used something like that. Putting her in a steamy bathroom will also help.

There's a FB page: Palomacy Help group for pigeon and dove rescue with lots of experienced members. Join and put up a post, someone will probably be able to give more advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't give much info, but it sounds to me like canker and maybe a yeast infection as well. Baytril can cause yeast and yeast can cause respiratory symptoms. How much mg flagyl is she currently receiving? An adult pigeon will need 50 mg once a day.

A nebulizer will help her with the breathing, although I've never used something like that. Putting her in a steamy bathroom will also help.

There's a FB page: Palomacy Help group for pigeon and dove rescue with lots of experienced members. Join and put up a post, someone will probably be able to give more advice.
Thanks for your reply and the FB page reccomendation.

She had the yellowy, smelly poops before the Baytril, but it could be yeast infection as well?

I'm not too sure about the amount of Flagyl - the vet worked it out but I can't remember the precise number. On the label it says '2.22 x Flagyl S Susp 100ml (per ml)' and she is on 3.6ml a day.

Online the info about flagyl says "Flagyl-S suspension contains 320 mg metronidazole benzoate, equivalent to 200 mg metronidazole, in each 5 mL."

My brain just cannot figure out the maths.

What do you think about the potential for aspergillosis?
 

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If there's 200 mg metro in 5 ml, then she should be getting 1.25 ml. That will be 50 mg of metro. One can also easily aspirate them by giving so much liquid into their beaks. Is there no way you can get metro in tablet form? A tablet one can crush and divide into the correct dosage. One can also get flagyl from a petshop that sells fish and aquarium equipment. Flagyl and metro are the same.

Unfortunately I don't know anything about aspergillosis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If there's 200 mg metro in 5 ml, then she should be getting 1.25 ml. That will be 50 mg of metro. One can also easily aspirate them by giving so much liquid into their beaks. Is there no way you can get metro in tablet form? A tablet one can crush and divide into the correct dosage. One can also get flagyl from a petshop that sells fish and aquarium equipment. Flagyl and metro are the same.

Unfortunately I don't know anything about aspergillosis.
That makes sense. Thank you.

The vet figured the dose out by her weight (301grams - she has lost a lot), but the vet isn't a specialist and is just trying to do her best based on her research. I wonder if I should cut it down? I only have 4 doses left - but can go back to the vet if it seems to be working. So far I haven't seen a whole lot of improvement, but she has only had 2 doses.

The Flagyl is in individual little syringes. I only give her a little bit at a time and let her swallow in between - I really don't want her to aspirate! She is good about taking it, and also takes her Baytril pill easily. I'm not sure if I can get metro in tablet form here - lots of meds are prescription only here anyway. I'll ring around some pet shops and see.

Is there anything else I could be doing to help her breathe or fight off any other potential nasty things? I read that garlic is good for fungus, in case it is aspergillosis. I'll also look into the nebuliser. Perhaps a humidifier might work too.

Thanks again for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In regards to the Flagyl - the stuff I'm giving to my bird says '100ml per ml' so I wonder if the information I just found online (200mg per 5ml) is a different type? Sorry for the confusion.
 

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It can be a different strength to the one you have. Is it not 100 mg per ml? If she weighs 300 gr, she needs to get less than 50 mg. An overdose of metro will cause neurological issues, so you need to look out for that.

Apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, turmeric and garlic are all natural antibiotics. You can also give probiotics if you have some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It can be a different strength to the one you have. Is it not 100 mg per ml? If she weighs 300 gr, she needs to get less than 50 mg. An overdose of metro will cause neurological issues, so you need to look out for that.

Apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, turmeric and garlic are all natural antibiotics. You can also give probiotics if you have some.
This is a great list. Thanks so much. I'll double check with the vet about the dose tomorrow.
 

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Can your vet get x-rays and send them to an avian specialist? Even a box shot might be helpful. They can definitely swab her mouth to see if she has canker, and determine what the white stuff is.
If she’s cyanotic she needs oxygen support. I would try to get her hospitalized until you can figure out what’s going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can your vet get x-rays and send them to an avian specialist? Even a box shot might be helpful. They can definitely swab her mouth to see if she has canker, and determine what the white stuff is.
If she’s cyanotic she needs oxygen support. I would try to get her hospitalized until you can figure out what’s going on.
Thanks for your advice.
I’ve got an X-ray booked in for this Wednesday (16th) and am heading back to the vet to pick up a prescription for some antifungal meds. Ill see if they can do a swab on the Wednesday also (I do t have an actual appointment today).

I’ll ask about getting hospitalised too. if they can’t do so, is there anything I can do to support her oxygen intake?

I feel so awful for her. She’s ok while resting - just breathing heavily - but any extra exertion makes her pant badly.
 

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hello. i wish to add that Oregano is also helpful, but i dont remember how to. my mom's covid pneumonia cough has stopped since she began making tea out of dry oregano spice. thnks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hello. i wish to add that Oregano is also helpful, but i dont remember how to. my mom's covid pneumonia cough has stopped since she began making tea out of dry oregano spice. thnks.
Thanks for this - I’ll look into it. I hope your mom is doing well.
You can look into getting an oxygen concentrator.
I’m not sure if I can easily access bird ones in NZ. The prices are a bit beyond me too :(
 

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Some places rent them out, but you likely need a prescription. None of my local resources provide them for non-humans though.
 

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hello. an oxygen tank with aquarium tubing and a regulator attached to a plastic tank with a lid, on top of a heating pad, worked for one veterinarian. thnks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the advice about the oxygen. I’ve looked into it, and it doesn’t seem like a possibility where I am, unfortunately.

Pika (my pigeon) is still hanging in. I’ve got an X-ray tomorrow - so this may help with a diagnosis. She seems to have a little bit more energy, but the breathing is still very bad.

I’m just wondering, does canker present itself as anything other than yellow-y cheesy deposits in the mouth or throat? Pika’s throat is swollen and seems to have a white lining - not in the beak or back of mouth, but right in the throat. I’ve been researching canker, but can only find descriptions of the yellow lumps, or cases that are completely internal and invisible.
 
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