Adventure to Northview, Part 2!

I knew as soon as I came home on Friday that Taylor’s yeast infection had returned.  We have been battling this stupid yeast now for several months, and it was time to return to the vet yet again and try something else.  We also decided to take Jules, because he has had very runny poop for quite some time now.  We never took him before because it was so touch and go; one day he would be perfectly fine, the next he would have runny poop, and then he would be fine again.  We also knew that he liked drinking a lot of water and eating wetter foods, so we thought that could be the cause of his mushy droppings.  But, we figured just to be safe we’d take him in with Taylor and have him checked out.  So we made an appointment and yesterday we went on another adventure.  

The thing I hate most about Northview is getting there.  I have to drive from the south hills, through Pittsburgh, into the north hills.  I have to drive on busy highways with evil drivers and people who want to  run me off the road.  Let me admit now, I am not a very good confident driver.  I have never driven to Northview without crying on either the way there or back.  I always feel so bad for Taylor.  I’ll start screaming and crying and saying we are going to die, and he starts talking back from his carrier in a little voice “Pretty bird.  Pretty Pretty. ” and he always says it like a question, like he doesn’t know if he’s a pretty bird or not.  He always tries to make his mama feel better lol.  

So, we got to Northview in, I don’t know how, one piece.  I have a lot of trouble finding someone who can see my birds and actually know what they are talking about, but Dr. Pleban is a saint.  She’s very sweet and soft spoken and gentle with them, and she’s always seems to know what she’s talking about, which is more than I can say for many of the other places I’ve gone to.  A few tests later and we had our results.  

Both Taylor and Jules have a bacterial infection in their gut that is resulting in the smelly, nasty poop.  It’s not something that will make them really, really sick, but it makes a mess out of their feces.  We’re guessing Taylor got it from Jules, because on his last visit he had a clean stool test.  However, its only transmitted through feces, so that means that Taylor had to eat some of Jules’s poop.  Yuck!  Good thing everyone has their own cage so it won’t spread to anyone else.  Taylor also had another yeast infection.  She said that he doesn’t have as much yeast as last time, which means that our boiling water and probiotics were helping, just not enough.  She also said that due to how flabby and flacid his crop looks and feels, she believes that he has a mechanical  problem where his muscles are not fully functional in his crop. She said she has treated another cockatiel with the same condition and feels that it is something that goes along with his handicap.  Taylor is now on a maintenance medication that he will have to take for the rest of his life.    

When we went to check out, I felt like we were taking a pharmacy with us.  We have four different types of medication.  Taylor has three of them, and Jules only has one.  Both are on a medicine for the bacterial infection.  Taylor also has his medicine to get rid of his yeast infection, and then he also has his maintenance medication.  When we left, Lance had sticker shock; we paid more in our visit yesterday than we did for both birds put together.  I was well prepared; to date, Taylor has cost me roughly $500 in health costs.  He was a $40 cockatiel.  

Lance and I came home and bleached everything.  We bleached every cage, every toy, every food and water dish.  We literally bleached and cleaned for three hours.  We shouldn’t have any other outbreaks in the bacterial infection.  Most likely, Taylor picked up bacteria from a toy that Jules had had and hadn’t been washed recently or drinking out of the same water when they were out playing.  The vet also said that Taylor was probably the perfect target for the bacteria because his immune system is weaker than the other birds because of the yeast infection.  She said because white face is such a recessive gene, even though its beautiful, it can also come with other health risks, such as a compromised immune system.  We still don’t know where Jules got sick from initially, but he could have had it since we brought him home.  

So, now our babies are on the mend and everyone should be good and healthy!  



When It Rains, It Pours

Taylors Swollen Crop

 Taylor has been hanging at the bottom of his cage lately.  I figured it was because I put some new perches in his cage and usually Taylor retreats to the bottom to hiss at them and hate them until he gets used to them.  Today I noticed that he wasnt eating very much and most of his pellets from last night were untouched.  I pulled him out of the cage and discovered that his crop was extremely swollen, almost as if it hasn’t drained.  When you touch it, it feels like the crop is filled with air and if you push hard enough, it causes him to throw up whatever is in his crop.

This happened once before, but it seemed to fix itself within a few days. 

So, tomorrow I’ll be making an appointment to take Taylor to the vet.  I’m hoping to get him in Tuesday morning.  I’m not exceptionally scared for his life, as this did happen before, and he seems to be fine otherwise.  He was eating some seed right before I pulled him out to put him in the hospital box, and he’s now sitting quite smugly in his little box.

Taylor loves my hospital box treatment.  A small Rubbermaid container with holes filled with a deep layer of fluffy carefresh.  The whole box is placed so half is on a heating mat, and pellets and seeds are both offered around the clock as well as herbs and millet.  And hospital birds are on at least a half dose treatment of marvel aid to start with, if not a full dose.   I also check them much more frequently and monitor them more closely than they do when in a cage.

When Taylor gets put in the hospital box, he immediately snuggles down in the carefresh and promptly goes to sleep.  There is no hissing or bitching or biting as he often does in the cage.  It’s like offering him a hotel room.  So, needless to say, he is enjoying himself right now.

Taylors problem with his crop could easily be linked to having his handicap.  He could have other internal problems that we don’t know about.  However, with such a lack in knowledge of avian medicine in my area, at least to whom I’ve found, I cannot seem to find anyone who knows how to fix him.  I’m going to make an appointment at Northview Veterinarian Hospital, which was recommended to me by a blog reader 🙂  Thank you very much!

Unfortunately, it looks like Erin’s appointment is going to have to wait.  I don’t have enough money to take two birds right now, and while feather picking may be ugly and destructive to the bird, it isn’t at the moment, life threatening.  Taylors condition, however, may be.  Plus, Erin’s condition has been improving dramatically with my headstrong and aggressive approach to her picking.  Her vest has been allowing her feathers on the center of her chest to grow back, and I’ve been using Cease under her wings and keeping her out of the cage for long periods of time.  Her number of pin feathers has doubled since I’ve been home and under one wing is almost fully feathered.  The other one is still a problem, but with all the time she’s been out of the cage she’s been doing better with it. 

Taylor is currently sitting very happily in the hospital box chewing on some bedding with his crown high in the air and looking rather content.  I’m hoping as before, this isn’t anything life threatening.  However, I’m also almost hoping that Tay is still showing symptoms when I take him, because it does me no good to take a bird who looks perfectly healthy and then everyone thinks I’m making stuff up.  Through my research, I haven’t found much about a swollen or slow empty crop in adult birds.  However, I have added oregano and thyme to Taylors food mix, which is supposed to boost the immune system and have anti diarrhea properties. 

Taylor, content in his hospital box