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Ask S. August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question
S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11056
Experience:  Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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My female cockatiel has watery dropping. She is actually

Customer Question

Hello, my female cockatiel has watery dropping. She is actually feeding her two babies. She had four, but two of them died. I found some undigested seeds in nest box, too. I would like to know if I can give antibiotics to her. Chicks are less than 12 days old. Thank you
JA: What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Cockatiel
JA: Maybe I'm confused. I thought you had a problem with a pet. Is that correct?
Customer: Hello, my female cockatiel has watery dropping. She is actually feeding her two babies. She had four, but two of them died. I found some undigested seeds in nest box, too. I would like to know if I can give antibiotics to her. Chicks are less than 12 days old. Thank you
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the animal?
Customer: Hello, my female cockatiel has watery dropping. She is actually feeding her two babies. She had four, but two of them died. I found some undigested seeds in nest box, too. I would like to know if I can give antibiotics to her. Chicks are less than 12 days old. Thank you
JA: Where does the animal seem to hurt?
Customer: Not hurt. She has watery dropping
JA: OK. No obvious pain. What is the animal's name and age?
Customer: Janette and she is about two years old.
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I would need quick answer, please.
Submitted: 19 days ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 18 days ago.

I'm August Abbott Cert.Avian Specialist & behavior expert; owner BrokenBirds.org.

- Please note that we experts are not employees of Just Answer, but independent here. As such, we are not aware of when you posted your question and if there has been a delay, I’m truly sorry, this is the first I’ve seen this

. - I am not set up to make or take phone calls; if you receive such offers, please ignore. They are site generated and not from me. -- I am typing up for you right now; please be patient

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Do not give antibiotics.   ****  I'm typing up for you right now

Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 18 days ago.

Here is way more info than you asked for:

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First, the polyuria (watery droppings) is more likely due to a yeast/fungal or other infections that are not bacterial.

So if you give an antibiotic - you destroy the good bacteria necessary to fight off this infection (whatever it is) - and worst of all?  You are compromising the immune systems of the remaining chicks.

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Since we don't know why the first two died - there's a significant chance that mom is passing on something 'bad' (infection) and it would be prudent to get her into a vet for a fecal sample testing and perhaps an oral swab for tests and a culture.

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Where is dad in all this?

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The undigested food is rather normal in that this is what she's feeding the babies.  Some is apt to not quite make it in.

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You can try to address the polyuria right now by putting a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar - OR - natural lemon juice into the water source (1 tsp to 1 cup) and change it twice a day.

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Reduce any high sugar fruits (in case she's eating these) - such as grapes, melons , etc..

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Now then, antibiotics:  (continued below in a moment)

Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 18 days ago.

I avoid antibiotics at all costs, using only when absolutely necessary and here's why:

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Good bacteria far outnumber the 'bad' bacteria that causes infections and other trouble in or on any animal's body. There's a remarkable balance, a harmony of things working together in all animals and when we administer antibiotics we disrupt the balance. We not only kill the bad stuff, but plenty of the good bacteria will be reduced as well. This is why you'll often see stomach upset, constipation/diarrhea or other symptoms result when antibiotics are administered.

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Antibiotics can reduce the numbers of 'bad' bacteria in a matter of hours (or a few days) to the point where symptoms are no longer viewable. It's at this point many people will think the infection is gone and stopping the antibiotic is fine.

--- Instead, the bacteria (remarkably fast adapting) re-groups, but quite possibly with a resistance to the antibiotic you've been administering. Worse, they become immune.

--- The initial problem not only returns, but returns even worse than it started out to be and now it's harder to manage. It's not unusual for what might have been a relatively simple infection to end up a complicated mess that I've seen take months to get control over.

--- Also, while the good bacteria is destroyed (antibiotics don’t discriminate) the bird is open to yeast/fungal infections that are entirely different problems needing different medications. Antibiotics, in fact, are often given along with an antifungal or at least followed by a course of antifungal meds as necessary.

--- So, the bot***** *****ne - you need to first determine which kind of bacterial infection your companion may have ( a vet can probably use a fresh, less than 10 minute old dropping and/or a vent swab; I'd also recommend a mouth/throat swab too) and then prescribe the right antibiotic for a given amount of time. This will usually be 7 to 10 days, but might be longer depending on findings and circumstances.

***********************************************

Though specialized avian vets are ideal, any vet who sees a majority of birds or at least 1/3 of their practice consisting of birds is a good choice.

- Any pet store in your area that sells birds should have recommendations.

- Any vet in your area should be able to refer you to another vet who sees birds. -

https://birdline.co.uk/welfare/avian-vets/

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https://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803

- International

https://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803

-- Let me know how this goes, yes?