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Jeanne Smith
Jeanne Smith,
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 4905
Experience:  owner at Avian Health Services
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My 7 year old bantam, Pennie, went suddenly blind about 2

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My 7 year old bantam, Pennie, went suddenly blind about 2 weeks ago. 6 days ago she stopped eating and drinking. On the advice of Jeanne Smith, one of your bird experts, I have been giving her water from a dropper every 2 hours, and I have added some liquid nutrient Nettex Poultry Power) in the mornings. She can hardly stand. Yesterday I noticed she was occasionally opening her beak slightly, for only a minute or so, and her throat was pulsating. This morning, that did not happen, but in the afternoon was doing the same every few minutes. I had her sitting on my lap at those times ( to give the water) and now I have put her on the floor the beak opening has stopped. Can you suggest what may be causing this.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Earlier, zPennie took a very tiny amount of mashed hard-boiled egg, with a little live yoghurt added. I am hopeful I can gradually get her eating properly, with time and patience. I have an abundance of both.
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Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I am OK to continue waiting.
If Jeanne Smith is still available, I'm sure she could answer my question.

Hi, this is Dr. Jeanne Smith. I just came on line and saw your request. I'll be typing for a few minutes.

One possibility for Penny's breathing is stress or pain. Another possibility is if she aspirated some of the fluids you've been giving her and it has caused an inflammation in her airways, but if that were the case I think you'd be seeing more constant open beak breathing by now. If she only does it while in your lap for treatment, she may be stressed or even getting a little warm.

Birds dump extra heat by increasing blood flow to their legs, lifting their wings, and panting. In your lap she's sitting on her legs and she probably can't spread out her wings much so the only way to dump heat is by panting.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No open beak breathing today at all, thankfully. I am more concerned by her inability to walk or even stand. I've been trying to give her some mashed boiled egg, moistened with a little yoghurt, from a spoon. She does eat a tiny amount, and very slightly more each day, so I am hoping that will continue. She does not seem ravenous hungry, though, but is taking 2ater as you suggested, with a product called 'Poultry Power' (containing molasses plus vitamins and other nutrients ) added several times a day. I've also added electrolytes to the water two or three times a day. Do you think I'm doing the right things?

Yes, you are. If she has Marek's Disease it progresses to affecting more nerve tissue day by day. There isn't anything you can do to stop it. All you can do is try to make her comfortable and support her life in the off chance it isn't Marek's.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Many thanks. Will do.

You're welcome.

Jeanne Smith,
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 4905
Experience: owner at Avian Health Services
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