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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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HiI purchased a beautiful yellow bodied orange head hen gouldian

Customer Question

Hi
I purchased a beautiful yellow bodied orange head hen gouldian two weeks ago and found her dead at the bottom of the cage tonight. This morning as usual she was active, feeding in her single cage with her proposed partner gouldian.
In the cage was foreign finch seed, foniopaddy seed, water, cuttlefish and grit and a French millet spray.
It was closed rung bird which I belive was a 2014 bird since it had '14' on the ring along with other numbers!!
The cage was in a birdroom and was active in a temperature between 25c and 37c
The bird was tight of feather, not fat and seemd so healthy!!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

I'm Shantal and I'm a moderator for this topic.

We have been working with the Experts to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit.

I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still need assistance from one of the Experts.

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Thank you,

Shantal
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.

2 weeks is the common danger zone in the "new bird syndrome". New birds can bring in pathogens, or receive them from the new situation (if there was no quarantine or health screen). The diet may have been different. She may have not eaten, or over-eaten (grit, for example), or been exposed to pathogens to which she was not immune.

IMPORTANT Check the website for the feed you give, there have been many recalls.

Unfortunately the only real answer is to have a veterinarian or veterianry pathologist experienced with caged bird perform a post-mortem exam with testing. I would urge that you have your living birds also tested (at the minimum, fecal analysis and evaluation for bacterial/protozoan parasite/viral/macrorrhabdus).


I know it is expensive, but you may not have many home options, because the first thing you need a vet for is to find out what is going on. Treatment is only as good as the diagnosis. If you call around, you may find a vet to work within your means.


I really must stress that you need a bird-experienced person, and not just a vet who advertises that they care for birds.

You need to take your bird to see an avian-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check


http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/index.php/Avian_Vets/28

http://www.avianveterinaryservices.co.uk/

http://www.birdvet.co.uk/

http://alanjonesbirdvet.yolasite.com

http://www.cjhall-vets.co.uk/index.asp

www.marknelsonvet.co.uk

www.arkpetsonline.co.uk

www.riversideanimalcentre.org



for members of AAV in your area or call your regular vet and see who they recommend; ask if they really have worked with birds a lot. Unfortunately, this list does not rate competency or experience, but is only a starting place; the vets at least take the avian medicine journal and hopefully see a bird or two a year. The best referrals are word-of-mouth, so check with several non-bird vets, the humane society, parrot rescue groups, bird clubs, etc. for their input. As you might guess there may be controversy and varying opinions even with this. Even board-certified avian specialists may not have a lot of practical bird experience. Unfortunately there are few resources available to refer you to really good, clinically-experienced bird vets.

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. 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.


Here are a few suggestions that I give everyone: important!

The following guidelines help with basic issues such as nutrition, obesity, good immune status. Surprising how the following can make a bird healthy, and how infrequently birds are ill if they are on the following regimen. No amount of medicine is going to work if the birds' basic needs are not met.

AAV Guidelines

Finches should be on a high-quality, preferably prescription, pelleted diet: I prefer High-potency Harrison's
http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/products/harrisons.html

http://www.hbf-uk.co.uk/

http://www.mah-shop.com/


TOP
http://totallyorganics.com/t-pellets


Hagen
http://www.hagen.com/uk/birds/addinfo/tropican.cfm


In addition, they should be offered dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin; entire (tops and bottoms) fresh carrots and so forth. No seeds (and that means a mix, or millet, or sprays, etc. etc.) and only healthy, low-fat high fiber people food. A dietary change should be closely monitored and supervised by your avian vet.

Daily Maintenance

Birds should get 12-14 hours dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep at night. Any less and they can suffer from sleep deprivation and associated illnesses. They should be covered or their cage placed in a dark room that is not used after they go to bed.

The cage material should be cleaned everyday, and twice a day if the bird is really messy. Paper towels, newspaper, bath towels are ok. Never use corn cob, sawdust, wood chips, or walnut shell.
Food and water dishes should be cleaned and changed daily. Keep one set cleaned while the other is in use.

Fresh, perishable food should be placed in separate food bowls. Remove fresh food from the cage after a couple of hours to avoid spoilage.

Change cage papers daily, and clean the grate and tray weekly.

Clean food debris or droppings from toys and perches as needed (which can be as often as once a day).

Grit is not necessary for birds, and will cause digestive problems and death. The best sources of minerals (and vitamins) are leafy greens. Never give grit, gravel sandpaper or cement perches. A bird will eat those to excess when it is not feeling well or if there is a nutritional deficiency. They do not need it at all (an old myth from the poultry days, even poultry do not need it). It can cause an impaction and lead to serious or fatal consequences.

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