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Your Parrotlet's Health You may ask any questions about your parrotlet's health in this forum.

Parrotlet Declining Health

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Old 12-24-2016, 07:25 AM   #1
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Unhappy Parrotlet Declining Health

Hi everyone,
I'm new as a member to the forum, though I've read through the posts for years and have found you to be so helpful and supportive.

I am reaching out regarding my parrotlet, Jadie. I adopted Jadie from a breeder back in 2008 and a year later added a little lineolated parakeet, Luella.

About 4 weeks ago, I noticed all the health signs that you are told to watch for when a bird is sick after returning from a weekend away. Jadie had lost her appetite and I could see her breathing. She was sitting low on a perch, puffed up. I made an appointment with the vet and brought her in. They x-rayed her and found her abdomen was so full of fluid it was pressing on her air sacs.

They drained the fluid and noticed it was full of bacteria. So put her on a round of antibiotics and followed up in two weeks. Jadie was so uncomfortable that day - I worked from home and it was heart breaking to her in distress. The following day I thought she looked like she was struggling to breathe so I brought her back in and took Luella because I was concerned about environmental causes. I just moved to a new apartment this summer and am figuring out its quirks. The room they are in is a bit drafty. I'm glad I brought Luella in because she had an infected preening gland on her back! So she got put on the same meds and I headed back home.

I did a full triage on the room they are in. I cleaned their cages, nice and fresh. I put them on an aloe detox, I got heat lamps and those expensive Avitech heating panels. I got fleece blankets to cover their cages. And I put draft tape on the windows. I got a little humidifier for the all the added heat to keep their skin healthy. And I religiously administered their meds.

I was away again for the two week follow up (I travel tooooo much for work) and my pet sitter took her in for a follow up xray and exam. There was some miscommunication because they didn't do the xray and took her off the medication. Which a different vet had advised me not to do!

I knew she wasn't back to 100% so I insisted on coming back in for an exam. They did another xray and found her abdomen was filling back up with fluid. So they put her back on the meds as she seemed to be responding to that.

Back up two years - an xray had shown an enlarged mass from another vet hospital and she had these solid white particles in her abdomen that threw the vet. He thought they were cuttlebone and I stopped providing it. Well her xrays over this whole ordeal still show these mystery white particles.

Well... I took her to the vet yesterday. I can see her abdomen filling back up with fluid and her breathing start to be more exaggerated. They did a blood test which showed irregular blood cells that the vet attributed to a chronic issue. She also had elevated glucose levels and something else that pointed to possible pancreas problems? Though the vet hasn't ruled out enlarged liver.

I am so upset because I leave Christmas day for three weeks in India. I don't want to leave my little animal family - I want to stay and protect everyone, but I feel so helpless.

On Monday, the day after Christmas, my lovely pet sitter is taking Jadie in for a barium test where they give her something to eat and her xrays will show better contrast (right now everything is masked by the swelling). I've also asked they drain the fluid again because I know it will just get worse.

We are still in the diagnostics phase and I'm concerned all these tests won't be fast enough. My pet sitter is good, but doesn't know the birds well enough to pick up on nuances in their behavior. I'm so worried she will decline and be uncomfortable and won't make it for my return.

The vet thinks it could be:
A mass, cancer
A disease from the chlamydia family that has been dormant (possibly introduced by Luella)
A raving infection

Though the white particles are still a mystery.

Has anyone had any issues like this before?

Last edited by PetiteJadie; 12-24-2016 at 07:28 AM..
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:03 AM   #2
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I'm so sorry to read about your birds health problems-----the respiratory system is so sensitive on birds. Seems like your vet was very thorough in diagnostics. Hopefully the birds will respond quickly to their meds. Best to you.
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:40 PM   #3
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I'm sorry to hear of your plight, how heart wrenching! I'd make sure all my bird's appointments were with the vet that knows what they are doing, other than that I don't know what to say, with such health issues basically we need to rely on the knowledge and skill of a good avian vet for diagnosis and treatment. I wish you the best of luck!
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:05 PM   #4
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So sorry to hear of Jadies declining health issues.
Find encouragement in that you are being a good parront in taking her to the vets.
Here's praying for a full and complete recovery, and two happy, healthy birdies!
"I hope that someday people can understand that Stanley is not "just a bird," but the very thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a human." Author Unknown (with poetic liberty)
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:35 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your birds' health problems. Sending good wishes your way.

DOH: 3/18/2016
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:49 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone for your encouragement. It was nice to be home today. I had Jadie and Luella out of their cages and with me for about three hours today. It was wonderful to spend so much time with them. Jadie's appetite is down a bit - but I got her eating some carrots and pomegranates. And I saw her drinking water.

I hope that Christmas is peaceful and uneventful. Monday she'll be at the vet and I can't wait to hear good news. I'm upset with leaving tomorrow for a couple of weeks. It will be hard to be away. I'll post updates as I can.

I hope you each have a wonderful Christmas. Thanks again for your support.
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:49 PM   #7
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Merry Christmas to you, sending good vibes. If you don't find what you're looking for here , this forum has an amazing wealth of knowledge and you might be able to do a search of their forums and find what you're looking for (alternately, post!)
They're all really helpful over there too, and when people can't find something on a parrotlet specific board this is the one that's recommended often.
Sending lots of good vibes to your adorable babies, I hope everything turns out ok!
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:59 PM   #8
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Awe, Poor Jadie. Your taking such good care of her. I wish there were something I could say to help but it seems like your doing everything you can.

My only thought was to check if there is something in the cage she may be chewing on that could make her sick? Another bird here was chewing on one of those "safety Pumice" perches (turns out NOT so safe) and he became very ill from ingesting the particles. Does not sound the same but its the only thing I can think of to check for anything similar?

My other thought was to be careful with heat lamps. Depending on the bulb they can be coated with something similar to PTFE/PFOA substance and become toxic. I just read this recently, I imagine you would have had problems already but thought I would mention it.

Merry Christmas! I hope your trip goes well and that the birds do well also.

"In his hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:10

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Old 12-25-2016, 12:04 AM   #9
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OMG. I see that you have a lot on your mind! The white specs could possibly be ulcers. Sometimes well developed ulcers will appear whitish in x-rays inside of the human throat. Sometimes the doctor can see the little white ulcers lining the inside of the throat just by shining a light on them and using no x-rays at all. The Doctor then uses a long Q-tip, dips it in silver nitrate, then touches the ulcer and it kills the ulcer straight away! I'm not saying that Jadie has these particular type of ulcers, but some ulcers show up white, so maybe the doctors need to think about this. Just a suggestion....

I worry that you are going away for over 2 weeks. The person or persons who are going to take care of a sick bird needs to know how to handle the bird. Warmth is one of the best things you could offer your little one. Keep them warm and keep the water clean all the time. Feed sick birds with softer foods, along with seeds or pellets, but keep it simple.

Do some research yourself, about sick birds. Please have a good Holiday season. Send us pic's. You and yours are in my prayers.

David and Bogie, the parrotlet.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:46 PM   #10
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Hey everyone,
I was so happy to return from Christmas to a happy bird. The vet took her off of the Doxycycline the day I got back and she appeared active. I still was tip-toeing on eggshells though because you never know... and we've been through so much already. But then her breathing started getting strong again. One day it would be labored, the next it wouldn't. Her mind tricks led us back to the vet.

Keeping in mind that this has been going on for over two months now, they are now thinking she never had Chlamydia which was enlarging her liver, etc. He now thinks that she has been reproductively charged, which caused her immune system to go down, which invited injection with her body not able to fight infection. So we treated the infection and now we are moving on to treating the cause. The whole theory around her labored breathing is that her air sacs are being compromised by an enlarged uterus.

I did find it strange that he now thinks Chlamydia was never in her system. Although she had the enlarged liver and responded to the Doxycycline...

Last week she had an injection to tamper down her reproductive system. I forget the name, but it's once a month for three months. So two more injections are due between now and the end of March.

However, her poops are still abnormal. And today she has a puffed posture and wasn't as vocal. She still ate her breakfast but her breathing is labored. In my opinion she isn't showing signs of being reproductively active - no nest-making activities, no head wobbles... And her liver was enlarged from an x-ray back in early 2016. Could she be fighting an infection for over a year and reproductively hyperactive for even longer?

I'm so frustrated. I feel like we have done everything! Except the one that that will make her better. She is only going on 9 in April - far too young to be fighting all of this!

She has a varied, healthy diet (I know the list of foods to avoid by heart). I can't think of any toys that would be making her additionally sick. I am going to clean the cage tonight and freshen things up. Maybe that will help.

But I'm so frustrated. I just want to her to 100%. I worry the vet is clueless and I'm still worried my other fid, Luella, may get whatever it is that Jadie is fighting.

Last edited by PetiteJadie; 02-01-2017 at 01:52 PM..
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