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My bird has runny droppings and has what it sounds like a…

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Hi there, my bird...

Hi there, my bird has runny droppings and has what it sounds like a cough

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the bird's name and age?

His name is ***** ***** he is 47 years old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Sam?

No I don't think so, the cough has been going for around 3 days and the runny poo for about 4

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 4 hours by:
9/27/2017
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 35,509
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. There are quite a few consideration in a bird such as Sam. I first need to clarify if he's truly diarrheic or, instead, you're seeing more urine than usual (polyuric). Diarrhea can be caused by:

enteritis: bacterial, fungal, viral, or toxic

intestinal parasites (helminths, protozoa)

proventricular dilatation disease (PDD)/bornavirus

chlamydiosis

Macrorhabdus (previously known as megabacteria or avian gastric yeast)

liver disease

zinc and lead poisoning

intestinal foreign body

change in diet

Polyuria can be caused by:

stress or fear

renal, hepatic, or pancreatic disease

diabetes mellitus or insipidus

hyperadrenocortisolism (Cushing's disease)

heavy metal toxicosis

"phosphate flush" due to an all-seed diet

Coughing can be caused by both upper and lower respiratory tract infections, tracheal foreign body, neoplasia in the respiratory system, and advanced heart disease.

It's important to note that once a bird acts ill it's already quite ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: aavac.com.au). This is a protective mechanism because sick birds are attacked by other birds in the wild and within their flock. Sam's symptoms are important but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder.

An avian-oriented vet might first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of Sam's choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken. Whole body X-rays can be quite helpful as well.

Until Sam can be attended to, please heat up his environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into his partially covered cage (not at night when he needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of his cage. If he appears weakened remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his water. They won't be effective if only because an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has his diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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