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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter


 
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Bird Injury, Soft Food Diet Not Working

Yoda, cockatiel, was hurt rather badly a few days ago. The incident itself is not something I am interested in going into detail about. We've been to two vets, a local and then one of the only board certified bird specialists in San Diego. There is a significant fracture to her lower beak to one side, where there is physically a separation from that piece from the rest of the beak. There is a chance to patch it in the next few weeks, but he's worried if attempted now, it would seal in an infection. He recommended a heavily soft food diet, with which I am complying but having issues. I called the office earlier today but they're absolutely hectic at the moment, its an amazing clinic, so the doctor in question cannot get back to me for the next few hours.

The main issue is keeping her weight up, she's dropped about 15 grams since it happened, if the initial vets scale was accurate, I have doubts. Currently, she has available a softened bean/quinoa/veggie mash mixed with a little millet/hand feeding formula, warmed apple sauce, a dish of mashed fruit and a dish of water. The water she is drinking just fine when awake, otherwise she barely picks at food or sleeps. She takes the oral meds amazingly as well but when hand fed formula, it sits in and around her mouth. Dangerous for both aspiration and infection to the fractured part of jaw that I absolutely must keep clean.

For anyone who has had an injury when hand feeding is absolutely necessary, how did you go about it? She is a hand tame baby, but not sure if physically hand fed at all. The fractured piece is not used whatsoever when she picks apart millet, and seed is the only thing she is interested in, despite the injury. I am familiar with hand feeding, but not with an unwilling participant, so 'force feeding' is not something that I will even consider.

Specifically in the situation with a beak issue, is seed actually detrimental to health/the wound or is soft food just supposed to be easier to get down?

Again, I have an incredibly well qualified vet that is going to get in contact with me soon, I'm just seeking out additional options until then from anyone whos dealt with something similar.



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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 02:36 PM



 
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The only thing I would consider doing, which is not pleasant, is getting a crop needle and forcing some food into her crop It's not nice and I've had to do it with some birds at the vets when I was working there but if it has to be done it has to be done. It's something I think a vet would have to teach you too. I'm so sorry to hear you're having trouble with her, poor thing. I hope she makes a speedy recovery

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 02:46 PM Thread Starter


 
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If thats whats really necessary, I'll take as many trips to the vet as possible in order to properly experience it and learn as much as I can before ever even considering attempting myself. You're right, if it has to be done, it has to be done. I'm mostly just worried shes so interested in millet as an only food source, if it could possibly be aggravating the problem itself. Obviously, the regular diet can be reintroduced later, she could pig out on millet for all I care if it means shes maintaining weight for the next few days but whether its actually harmful to the fracture is different.

She's been incredible considering, the vet was amazed that she was still so willing to give him a solid nip to let him know she didn't appreciate being man handled despite it all. She uses her beak as if nothing was wrong, but it definitely is causing her some pain. We have an oral pain medication once daily, an oral antibiotic and a topical antibiotic spray twice daily otherwise.



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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 03:16 PM


 
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Quote:
The fractured piece is not used whatsoever when she picks apart millet, and seed is the only thing she is interested in, despite the injury.
You could try to offer her soaked seeds. If she is not famillar with the awesome soft food you offer thath could be a chance.
Unfortunately parrots need such a long time to accept new food.

Yuki, Paulchen and I send all good wishes to you for a quick recovery.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 03:22 PM Thread Starter


 
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Thank you both so much for your responses. I tried thoroughly soaked pellets and didn't get much of response, but I'll definitely try to soak some seeds now to try and soften them, and I know we still have fresh seeds to sprout for the 'tiels. Will attempt that as well to hopefully help with future interest in other foods as she recovers.

Funny thing is, I just switched to a new seed mix and there is hardly any millet/small type filler seeds at all D: Like the one time I actually need those seed types. Have a strainer and going through all the mix I can to pick out anything small and easily edible.



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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 03:36 PM


 
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You could also buy rearing food with egg.


Or maybe she likes grapes sliced in small pieces.
Does Yoda have a tiel partner?
My Paulchen fed his friend Janosch when he was ill and didn't eat enough.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 03:52 PM Thread Starter


 
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I'll try additional soft fruit whole, the fruit chop/mash she had decidedly rejected but it was worth the attempt.

She flocks calls a lot for the cockatiel and they all accept her very well. I bring out Bird when she started getting frantic and flock calling. When she can see him, she calms down immediately but he himself is very solitary and is not a fan of any other birds, the others are untame. I'll start bringing him out again more to see if she perks up and gets more interested in eating.

Thank you guys for the options. Even if they don't work in this situation, it so helpful to have ideas that I would not have thought of personally. Just thank you. This is terrifying to go through.



I'm curious, could mixing a bit of hand feed formula into her water help at all? Its the only thing she drinks with gusto. Or would that just be considered contaminated water? I replace it a few times a day at this point so nothing would sit there for long, but I'm wondering if a little extra calories in the water would help at all even in the smallest way.



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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 09:56 AM



 
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Will she not accept any hand feeding formula or anything along those lines from a bowl? Poor girl. Sometimes our options are so limited and there's usually some sod's law going on!

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 06:39 PM Thread Starter


 
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She picked at peanut butter on wheat toast but otherwise, every soft food options been ignored. Hand feeding results in the food sitting in and around her mouth, I can try to clean it all I can but still really concerned about possible food particles causing an infection in the fracture. Thats what needs to be avoided most at this point.

I got a call back from the vet last night and he suggested a few things, none of which have worked. I double checked to see if seed was allowable, I was really concerned it would be harmful, but he said if she is physically choosing to eat seed over softer options, its something I can allow. Its the calories thats important. So I still have the bean/quinoa/veggie mash in daily, and the dish of apple sauce, but the absolute only thing she wants to eat is bird seed. She was more willing with other foods before, but right now, I could care less about a healthy diet.

With that allowance, she's actually gone up 3 grams today. Without hand feeding or any specific aid on my part. I cannot even begin to explain how relieved I am, she's lost so much in the past few days. Still a rough road ahead, but at least she's keeping that weight up. Hopefully, she continues to gain a few grams in the next couple days.



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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 11:59 PM
 
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Oh no! I don't have any suggestions for you, but I know how much you love your birds. At least she has the best care to take care of her. Positive news she gained some of the weight back!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 12:24 PM


 
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So then we hope she will eat a lot of her favorite seeds to win weight again.
She will make it, Lindsay, believe in her!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 01:42 PM



 
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I'm so sorry you're having to go through all of this stress, I know how hard it can be How's the beak looking now? And is she all good in herself?

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 06:20 PM Thread Starter


 
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I've been weighing first thing in the morning at her lowest then where she ends up in the evening, hasn't really been super necessary beyond. She's been increasing weight the past few days, back up to 75 grams this morning on an 'empty tank' from 62-65 a few days ago. Still insists on eating seed despite access to plenty of soft food options that would be far easier to eat, but she's a rebel. She's still on pain meds each morning, and should be stopping the oral antibiotic in a next few days. Check up to figure out what to do about the beak fracture is in another week and a half.

One foot was a bit injured and the other wasn't, both fine on x Ray. But she seems to not want to put any pressure on the 'healthy' foot. Avian vet is out til Monday but I left a few questions with the vet tech. Otherwise, she's much more alert and hungry lately. Starting to get frustrated a bit more with her hospital cage, which I like to see as an improvement.

The worst part about any of this is when she bows her head for scritches. Very first day this had all happened, she did just that and I was bawling. The back of her head and neck took a lot of damage, scratches simply don't work. It's heart breaking to see this little bird asking for just that little bit of comfort, and not being able to help. We've worked out an area towards her cheek/under the chin, but it's far from her favorite place. :/ This is such a difficult situation for all of us, but Yoda is pulling through so much better than any of us could have originally hoped. Thank you guys again for the support.



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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 10:23 AM



 
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Poor girly. At least she's starting to improve! Let's hope she just keeps getting better

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 02:49 PM


 
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Your post tells me she's improving, and that's fine.
It's hard for her to sit in the sick cage alone without scritches from her partner.
But you can ask the vet how long it takes until you can put her back.
Yoda, please go on, you'll make it.
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