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I have a beautiful squab who is about 3 weeks old, and he had been thriving until about a day ago. Papa is still crop feeding the baby, but the kid is also eating seed (canary grass, nyjer, millet, milo, sunflower hearts) and drinking on his own. Poop consistency has been fantastic -- formed balls, good color, no odor.

Yesterday I noticed that he was not walking so much as he was slowly trudging around. This morning when I picked him up he was incredibly hot and sweaty, which is atypical for him. While I was examining him, he tipped and fell out of my hand and landed on the floor -- ouch! Normally he holds tightly onto my fingers and hand until I lower him and he very uncontrollably steps off.

I am very concerned because the baby's breathing is labored -- his back is heaving up and down about once per second. Periodically he might mouth breath, kind of like a dog panting. Under-wing temperature is about 105.3 fahrenheit. I placed him in a low terra cotta bowl lined with a hand towel -- and he leaves sweat marks when I left him out. I have placed the bowl on an eye pack to reduce his foot temperature. His body now feels more temperature appropriate, but he is still breathing heavy.

I did a fecal wet mount, and to my surprise found lot sof undigested starch grains. The Gram stain showed a moderate number of large Gram (+) box-car-shaped bacteria, which is the morphological hallmark of Clostridia. Because of that, I immediately administered Clavamox orally.

I am troubled with how labored his breathing is, yet he periodically preens, yawns, and will still eat small seeds offered to him. He is not making any pops or gurgles as he breaths, so I do not believe that he has a respiratory infection. He does not want to drink water offered to him, which I think he desperately needs. I just palpated his crop, and was surprised to find that it feels like a bean bag -- full of seed from earlier today. The full crop might be partly responsible for the heavy breathing issue. I would like to get some of that seed out of his crop, but milo and sunflower are way bigger than the feeding tube I have.

I'm not keen on inducing regurgitation, but maybe it would make him feel better to dump the seed in his crop. What would be the best way to induce regurgitation? I have found that a salt water gavage will sometime trigger regurgitation.

I am keeping him in the lightly chilled terra cotta bowl so he does not overheat.

Help! Any suggestions?
 

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You don't take seed out of his crop like that. Wait for it to empty and don't feed until it does. Inducing regurgitation can aspirate him. And trying to suck it out is not normally needed. The full crop isn't what is making him breath like that. He is either sick or injured from the fall. You should have a vet check him. Sometimes a bit of warmed applesauce will get the crop moving again.
 
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