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nekovet, Veterinary Surgeon
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 20550
Experience:  I am a veterinarian with extensive experience in avian medicine.
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African grey diagnosed with E. and on antibiotics 2 weeks

Customer Question

African grey diagnosed with E. coli and on antibiotics 2 weeks not better and losing weight. 20 years old. No previous problems. Is eating. Will drink. We r increasing fluids. Keeping her warm
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?
Customer: Watery diarrhea
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  nekovet replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Do you mean she has an E.coli induced diarrhea?

Was there any improvement with antibiotics?

Has this been re-tested since the antibiotic course?

Any other tests done? Any other treatments tried?

How is her appetite? Is she eating more than normal to compensate for her losses?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the veterinarian said there were two types of E.coli infections in her stool. We were given antibiotics to give her twice a day. She was eating normally and did not seem affected physically. Her feces did seem to improve slightly for a couple of days. But there was a drastic drop off yesterday, and she stayed huddled under her heat lamp. By the evening her droppings were pure liquid. She stayed at the bottom of her cage, I didn't realize she didn't want to climb, so she probably did not eat or drink through the evening. She has not been re-tested. She ate this morning, and I gave her water through the med. syringe. This has been abou 2 1/2 weeks now.
Expert:  nekovet replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I have to say that I am quite concerned to hear that she is still struggling with this 2 weeks later. It raises concerns that the E.colis may be resistant to what has been used to treat her or that we may have another issue present (ie another bacteria that has grown more in the wark of the E.coli's being treated, a virus, IBD, parasites, etc). Furthermore, I am quite concerned that she has had diarrhea this long for the sake of the toll it will take on her. So much fluid, electrolyte, and nutrient loss certainly will cause weight loss as well as cause weakness, and lethargy.

Therefore, after all this time, we need to be more aggressive here. You will want to ring her vet as soon as they are open to discuss trying an alternative antibiotic or rechecking to make sure there is nothing else present. If parasites/viruses were not checked before, then these should be ruled out too. In addition, given that she should have responded to treatment if E.coli was all that was present, we may need to think about a blood sample to make sure she hasn't any immune suppression or ongoing organ/metabolic issues weakening her to catch these kinds of opportunistic infections.

Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** treatment we need to make sure we are using supportive care. The heat lamp and fluids are good, but consider offering an electrolyte solution (ie Vit-al). That way we can address her electrolyte losses (which will be massive for a small bird and weeks of diarrhea). You can also start an avian probiotic (ie Avipro-plus) to support her gut and encourage the good microfloral bacteria to push out those overgrowing. Finally, we'd also want to consider a bird safe anti-diarrheal like Bene-bac or Kaolin/Kaopectate. These can be found OTC and will just slow the diarrhea so her body can try to keep as much nutrition/fluid/electrolytes as possible. And in the same vein as that, do encourage fiber rich veggies or even feeding boiled/canned pumpkin to bulk up her stools sooner as you work to get to the root of this for your lass.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  nekovet replied 10 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?