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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Avian Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25 years as avian-only veterinarian
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I have a white capped pinous parrot that just turned

Customer Question

Hello I have a white capped pinous parrot that just turned 1 year old March 1st I purchased her from a woman on Craig's list. Now we have had her to 3 different vets and none of them have been able to help us. Ok she is very nethargic she lays around on our couch cuz she's not strong enough to hold her self up in her cage she has lost a lot of weight and and is having a hard time swallowing one of the vets said that's because she is so week they have givin her medicine for clamidia and some vitamins neither one has done any thing she acts like her equal libreum is off she has been sneezing since the day I fell in love with her and brought her home. She seems like she's having a hard time breathing at times. She still is in good spirits and wants to be with us all the time. We love her so much and we have to help her we don't no what to do or where else to turn all the bird vets here have helped us none. It's hard to get the medicine down her please please we just want our baby better
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.
Are any of these vets experienced with bird care?
Here would be my main concerns:
**my first worry** Borna Virus infection--causes GI nerve paralysis and severe wasting, as well as nerve damage so they cannot stand and are incoordinated
Calcium deficiency--if she has been or is now on a bad diet
Aspergillosis--fungal infection of the respiratory tract--and antibiotics may make this worse.
And there are many other possibilities.
What tests have been done, and were they done at a bird-experienced lab?
Where are you located?
What is the usual diet? You can offer warm cooked rice, pancakes, cornbread, grapes, melon, greens in addition to high quality bird pellets. She should not be getting seeds at all, especially if her GI is impaired.
Your job is to keep the bird warm, safe, quiet, and confined; and to provide adequate hydration and calories.
When she is not with you, move the bird to a box or carrier with soft towels in the bottom, no perch, and food and water in low bowls that can be reached easily. Put the whole thing on a heating pad on low or medium. Check it frequently, no overheating allowed! Keep the unit partially covered, warm and quiet. White paper towels or white cloth towels will show the true color of the droppings. Small animal/reptile boxes are great for this purpose. The bird, bowls and unit must be kept very clean. Here are some helpful links:
If this were my patient, and money no object, I would start with complete fecal analysis and direct smear, stained with Sedi-stain and unstained for multiple parasites, fungi, spirals; direct smear stained with Sedi-stain and unstained of the oral cavity; bacterial culture and sensitivity of the feces and choana. Depending on the case I might do a fungal culture. Routine blood work is necessary to rule out other issues.
There are MANY DNA/RNA tests for bird diseases, and I certainly would include the Borna Virus and Aspergillosis testing. Depending on your location I might add more to the list.
Ultrasound is often more informative than radiographs and does not require anesthesia (ask your vet about this option). Generally I start them out on medications as indicated by the tests.