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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 08:21 AM Thread Starter


 
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Need advice on Psittacosis

I took my tiel to the normal vets in town over a month ago now where he had an antibiotic injection just in case of an infection because he had a seed husk in his eye, that night he started vomiting so I brought him inside to keep warm, he vomitted for a little over 24hours. When the antibiotics wore off he looked like he was getting better so I put his mate back in with him and he perked up and started his singing again. He was seperated in a room with another tiel and red collared lorikeet (we don't have many rooms in the house and they are small)

I decided to take him for an hour and half drive to an avian vet to be sure, because he would shiver when it got cold, has red, watery swollen eyes and a red nose. The vet said he would have been vomiting because the dosage he had was to much and that he looks like he has a sinus infection and worst case may be Psittacosis so they gave me a broad spectrum antibiotic for 7 days in his water and said if his eyes didn't get better to take him back in. So I took him back in he had a swab test done for it and came back negative. The vet said to leave him be and if he got worse to take him back again. So Yesterday I took him back and they said the symptoms are still pointing to Psittacosis and that from the colour of the urine part of his poop he has liver problems.

I now have some antibiotic for his water to treat him for 45 days and his mate. The vet didn't say to treat the others and that Lorikeets don't get it as easy, with the reading I've been doing birds can die without showing symptoms and stress from molting could trigger it, my other tiel in the same room is molting right now so I'm getting worried.

My question is should I give the tiel and lorikeet in the same room the treatment? Also I have tiels, galahs and a corella in aviaries outside, the corella being maybe 5 or more metres away from the others, should I treat them to?

Sorry for the really long post I'm just worried about them all and the vet didn't seem to be including the other birds. I'm worried that if I treat the others that the antibiotic might make them sick if he doesn't have it, I really would prefer to treat them all just in case so would appreciate any advice on it.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 09:18 AM


 
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Originally Posted by blueybluesky View Post
I took my tiel to the normal vets in town over a month ago now where he had an antibiotic injection just in case of an infection because he had a seed husk in his eye, that night he started vomiting so I brought him inside to keep warm, he vomitted for a little over 24hours. When the antibiotics wore off he looked like he was getting better so I put his mate back in with him and he perked up and started his singing again. He was seperated in a room with another tiel and red collared lorikeet (we don't have many rooms in the house and they are small)

I decided to take him for an hour and half drive to an avian vet to be sure, because he would shiver when it got cold, has red, watery swollen eyes and a red nose. The vet said he would have been vomiting because the dosage he had was to much and that he looks like he has a sinus infection and worst case may be Psittacosis so they gave me a broad spectrum antibiotic for 7 days in his water and said if his eyes didn't get better to take him back in. So I took him back in he had a swab test done for it and came back negative. The vet said to leave him be and if he got worse to take him back again. So Yesterday I took him back and they said the symptoms are still pointing to Psittacosis and that from the colour of the urine part of his poop he has liver problems.

I now have some antibiotic for his water to treat him for 45 days and his mate. The vet didn't say to treat the others and that Lorikeets don't get it as easy, with the reading I've been doing birds can die without showing symptoms and stress from molting could trigger it, my other tiel in the same room is molting right now so I'm getting worried.

My question is should I give the tiel and lorikeet in the same room the treatment? Also I have tiels, galahs and a corella in aviaries outside, the corella being maybe 5 or more metres away from the others, should I treat them to?

Sorry for the really long post I'm just worried about them all and the vet didn't seem to be including the other birds. I'm worried that if I treat the others that the antibiotic might make them sick if he doesn't have it, I really would prefer to treat them all just in case so would appreciate any advice on it.

Thanks in advance
First up take a selection of your birds back and demand that you see an avian vet and that you want a blood test done to test for antibodies to Psittacosis. A swab will only show positive IF the bird has it, and IF the bird is activly shedding the disease at the time the swab is taken. Birds can be carries of it and show no symptoms, then when they get stressed they start shedding it, then it affects them and they show symptoms.

The blood test is very simple and if the birds has antibodies to it it shows at some point it has been into contact with it and should be treated.

Treatment is very simple, it is normally doxycycline that is given for 45 days, either in the water or orally depending.

ANY bird can catch this, as can humans so you need to know 100% if this is what you have in your flock, and if so ALL birds that have been or can come into contact with the infected birds should be treated as infected and treated the same, with antibiotics and daily disinfection.
You want to get yourself checked as well, same treatment for humans normally doxycycline. It causes flu like symptoms in humans which if left untreated in humans and birds will kill.

If the Psittacosis is left long enough it will damage the liver as wel.

If your avian vet is refusing to do the test the please take your birds elsewhere! For their safety and health as much as yours.

I recently had Psittacosis in 3 rescues I took on which ended up with me on antibiotics aswell as a precaution.

It is treatable though
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 09:19 AM


 
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Oh and the antibiotic won't harm them if they don't actually have it, I treated 2 of mine as a precaution when I took in my last rescue as he couldn't be put into strict quarantine like the original two
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 04:36 PM


 
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Also when treating with Doxycycline you should remove all sources of calcium from the birds as it can prevent the uptake of the antibiotic. If treating the water you should use either glass or glazed ceramic containers for the treated water and it should be given fresh in the evening, heat and sunlight can deplete the strength of the antibiotic and as it is usually cooler overnight and no sun and the birds usually have their major drinking in the morning and evening they get the maximum effect of the drug.

If you miss one day on the medication you need to start the 45 days all over again. Make up the drug fresh each day and do not make it in advance and store in the fridge.

Personally I would treat all your birds to be on the safe side, especially if you have handled the sick bird before feeding/cleaning other birds and the birds in the aviary. Many people tend to feel sorry for the sick bird and feed and medicate it first and then do all the others. In fact it should be the other way around. Take care of all the healthy birds first and then treat the sick bird or birds.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 05:15 AM Thread Starter


 
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Thanks guys, the antibiotic the vet gave me is Psittavet.
and thanks Kate for the info, the vet did mention to take away calcium and grit but didn't say any of the other tips and I have been doing the sick one first so will definately change that now, is stainless steel bowls ok to use for it?

The vet only told me to treat the sick one and his mate but because he has been around the others while having symptoms I'd rather be on the safe side and treat them all. Would I use the same measurements for them all including the galahs.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 04:44 PM


 
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Stainless steel is fine for giving medication but I don't use them at all mainly because if it is a hot day the steel will heat up and make the water warm which the birds don't like. Metal is more likely for this than is glass and ceramic.

Yes use the same measurements as it goies on the birds size as to how much it drinks, birds don't usually drink huge amounts of water. Also use the smallest containers you have for the medication so that you don't waste it. All other water sources should be removed this will include any water on and in fruit and vegetables. If they get enough fluid through them they will not take the medication or not enough of the medication.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 08:29 PM
 
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I had an outbreak of psittacosis in my flock a few years back, traced to one female tiel. I used Avian Biotech (in Florida) to do the subsequent blood work. Nice thing is that they are confidential. Because I am in CA, the vet was obligated to notify the CDC. They quarantined my home for six weeks and did multiple inspections. The doxycycline is hard on the birds, and I lost quite a few from it.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 11:57 PM Thread Starter


 
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The weather is still a bit cold here so the bowls shouldn't heat up which is good.

PeggyB I'm sorry that you lost some of yours, that would have been horrible. That also reminds me should I give them some probiotic in their food while they are on the antibiotic, I know it probably wont help heaps but was hoping it might keep the good flora up more than if they didn't have it at all.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 04:28 PM



 
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I too have suffered losses from psittacosis. Unfortunately, I've had two outbreaks of the awful disease so far. The first all started with a single female cockatiel too. She appeared in fine health. On both occasions I had to treat my entire flock for 45 days with retesting after 3 months
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 04:58 PM


 
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I don't think the probiotic will do much good while they are undergoing treatment as the antibiotic will kill off all bacteria in the gut, both good and bad. But after they have finished treatment it is great to help put the good bacteria back. You might give them something like Spark which may help with the stress.

Psittacosis can be particularly difficult to eradicate if the disease is deep in the cells and often a second course is necessary.

Unfortunately doxycycline is pretty much the only treatment for psittacosis, over here there is only one other antibiotic and it is called the antibiotic of last resort and we don't want to give that to birds (or anything else for that matter) as after that there will be no treatment at all that birds are not immune to. This has been caused by the overuse of antibiotics with everything including humans. Many breeders mainly budgie and cockatiel breeders especially would put birds on a 2 week course of psittavet with new arrivals or just prior to breeding season, supposedly to make sure they are fully healthy prior to breeding or during quarantine. This is a really silly idea and in the bird clubs we are trying to stamp this practice out. All it does is build up a tolerance to the antibiotic and if it is really needed it just isn't going to work. Also diseases become tolerant of the antibiotics and will mutate to cope with the antibiotic so that the normal antibiotics for the disease just are not effective anymore. I rarely if ever use any antibiotics in my aviaries, but if I do need them at least they may be effective with my birds. Happily I rarely if ever get a sick bird. The biggest problem I have with my birds are predatory birds.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 06:00 PM


 
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Too True Kate and very well put.

Far too many think giving medications as a precautionary measure is the right thing to do. Which is not right for the very reasons you have stated.
One should only ever medicate when there is a known reason.
Resistance is a real worry.


A tribute to my lost ones. RIP.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 07:58 AM Thread Starter


 
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I'm sorry about your loses to Daisy, I can't imagine how horrible that would be. I'm lucky so far that I haven't had sick birds before except for this one now and at least he's still eating for now. He still wakes me up early in the morning with his car alarm sound to
Does any one know how far through the course of antibiotic I should notice some improvement.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 04:43 PM


 
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It varies from bird to bird and how bad the infection is.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 06:15 AM Thread Starter


 
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Just thought I would come back in case anyone was interested. He's now on day 17 of his treatments but doesn't look like he has improved, but hasn't gotten worse either. I guess it's going to take a while.
Also I will definately be continuing treatment with the others as I think my lorikeet has been sneezing more than usual and I think been doing some heavy breathing, I could be over thinking it but would rather be safe.
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