Ask a Bird Specialist. Get Answers to Bird Care Problems ASAP
How long has this bird been like this? Especially at the bottom of the cage?
I'm still rather concerned about this little lovey. Tell me more about how long this has been going on.
How old is your lovey and how long has she been with you?
Let's see if you and I can work together to help make hubby change his mind ok?
A major concern is that she's got a zoonotic disease. This means that both you and your husband, as well as anyone else who enters the home, may be at risk.
One example: Psittacosis (Chlamydiosis/Parrot Fever/Ornithosis) is now (officially called) Chlamydophila .
It is transmitted via ingestion or inhalation of the bacteria. Birds may be nonsymptomatic , asymptomatic (just one symptom is noticed) or be unmistakably ill with respiratory distress, lethargy/bottom sitting, diarrhea and urates being yellow or a lime green.
Keep the environment especially clean, air filters are worthwhile and daily vacuuming with the bags changed or receptacle emptied each time (with a "true" HEPA filter you may get by with changing the bag or tank every other day, but even this is chancy) .
Psittacosis is a reportable disease in most states. Your vet needs to notify your CDC (Center for Disease Control). That's how serious it is.
Testing techniques are varied, but the most certain is a PCR DNA and my recommendation is to simply start with that one instead of trying others (and ending up with the PCR DNA anyway).
If she's on a predominantly seed diet, the risk of fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis) rises; when there's a deficiency in certain vitamins, fat is not properly processed by the liver and the potential for disease rises.
A large number of birds on seed only diets have both a deficiency because seeds are not a complete diet, and they're extremely high in fat.
What many owners don't realize is that even in the wild, our companions don't eat only seeds and they're constantly flying and foraging, burning off those fat calories throughout the day.
Unfortunately, marketing ploys represent seeds as a ‘complete diet' or ‘fortified', along with other questionable claims that aren't quite true.
Birds need fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, even eggs, fish and poultry.
Take a look here for more about fatty liver disease and many of the symptoms to watch out for:
Fluffing up (looking bigger) and sitting in one spot, less (or sometimes more) vocalizations, any loss of balance, lethargy, increased sleeping during the day - all important indicators of illness that must not be ignored or delayed.
For the bird's safety, if it's not able to perch well or maintain balance, lowering the perch or even removing it is suggested.
Another condition that could exist in a female bird, whether she's ever laid eggs before or not is becoming egg bound. Egg binding is when an egg doesn't exit the female bird. Dystocia is the obstruction of oviposition or cloacal function because of the egg in the distal oviduct.
If any owner suspects their female bird is egg-bound, getting her to a doctor who is experienced with birds, preferably an avian specialist, is necessary. In the meantime, making sure they are drinking is important since dehydration is common.
Offering plain water with an eyedropper just inside the beak, a drop or two at a time (slowly, not forcefully) may be helpful in keeping the bird alive until medical intervention.
Egg binding may have any one of a number of underlying causes, including hyperthermia or hypothermia (too hot; too cold). By improving the temperature and humidity in the environment, it could help with the passing of the egg; other causes are malformed egg, poor muscle tone or other health and condition problems in the hen.
There are various methods of treatment that an avian specialist or experienced vet may attempt, but none of these procedures can be executed by someone who isn't highly experienced with the condition; even many breeders would prefer medical intervention rather than chance the loss of the life of their bird. http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/birdinformation/egglaying.php
A vet should do a physical exam. That means hands on, feeling the chest area, peering into the mouth with a well placed flashlight and lifting the tail feathers to examine the vent.
This exam should also include any one or more of the following: Blood tests, gram stains/cultures, x-rays, even oral/crop/tracheal swabs and so on.
If the examining vet doesn't perform a hands on exam, or worse, leaves your bird in their cage or carrier, leave immediately. This is not the vet for you or your bird.
Find an avian vet near you http://aav.org/vet-lookup
Finally, this list might help when it comes to the cost. It takes some effort to apply, but it's really worth it.
American Animal Hospital Association http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/home The AAHA Helping Pets Fund helps with veterinary care for sick or injured pets, including those abandoned or with owners experiencing financial hardship.Angels 4 Animals http://www.angels4animals.org/ Services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need. Care Credit http://www.carecredit.com/ A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. From $1 to over $25,000, they offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget.God's Creatures Ministry http://www.all-creatures.org/gcm/help-cf.html Fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help. Help-A-Pet http://www.help-a-pet.org/home.html Efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor.
IMOM http://www.imom.org/ Dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged. The Pet Fund http://thepetfund.com/ The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care.
Ask your local Humane Society and/or ASPCA for help; and don't forget to contact your local pet stores. Oftentimes they have rescue orgs working out of them or with them and can offer you a list of numbers to call. Someone should have options in place for kind hearted people like you doing the right thing.
Don't give up ok? She really needs to be seen. Birds tend to have recoveries that are only temporary and by the time you see the problem again, it's much worse.
Let me know how you make out ok?
Do you recall when all the national chains of pet stores stopped selling birds for about 6 months recently? It was due to an outbreak of psittacosis and some humans being infected by it after they brought birds home. The birds didn't look or seem sick at all.
It's really not that remote of a possibility Click Here
--- No, I'm not saying this is it by any means, just that zoonotic diseases must be considered. There are many more than this one that humans can catch as well ---
I was a farm gal myself back in the 50-60's, so I understand that line of thought, but we're always learning right? I've since learned that these birds intelligence levels are significantly higher than livestock or even cats and dogs. Yep, higher than a dog.
The tests just sound like a lot, but we're talking about a swab from the mouth, the other end and a drop of blood from a clipped nail.
Well, do what you can and remember I'm here in your corner. Got a birthday coming up? Anniversary? Tell hubby that taking care of your lovey is what you really want.
Who knows, we use whatever we have to right? Good luck (and let me know)
I'm very glad you let me know how she's doing. Keep up the cleaning efforts. While birds don't exactly get a 'cold', what you may have seen was an allergic reaction. By doing what you did, it sounds like you got rid of the allergen.
Keep in mind though that sometimes the initial problem (be it bacterial, fungal or viral) seems to go away. It happens all the time in birds. Then it suddenly reappears again, but seems worse (which it usually is). Rather than being a 2nd infection, it's the 1st one, but it hid inside the animal and got stronger.
I like taking our birds for regular check ups twice a year. Even once a year would be a prudent move for any bird owner. The peace of mind is incredible and if you ever need that emergency visit, someone will know your bird and what she's supposed to be like (they'll have a baseline).
Do not press accept again. I'm happy to follow up with you