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Thread Description: My new cockatiel affected with liver disease, deformed feet, and deformed wings.

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation This is Allie.

Note: If you're a TC member, you've probably already seen this thread. I've started one here in case I can get more opinions, if anyone is interested in following Allie's progress, and so others encountering liver disease in the future can learn a little from here.

For the past month, I have been in contact with an ebay classifieds seller who lives in an area close to my hometown (about 5 hours from me). She was selling 4 cockatiels, one which was a whiteface female listed as crippled and untame.

I emailed the woman and asked what exactly was wrong with the hen..I was told that she had an overgrown beak, her wings wouldn't "close up", and that her feet don't straighten. The woman was very cooperative and was slow to reply to my emails, but she did answer all my questions when she got back to me.

From the questions I asked and the information she volunteered, this whiteface hen was at about a 2-4 out of 10 body weight, she could not balance very well, and did not like other birds too much. Once isolated for a picture of the bird's poop, the woman discovered that this cockatiel was a love; she did not like to be in her cage and was just content to sit on your shoulder. I explained that the bird sounded like she had liver issues and was told that "poor diet is her choice." Whether this is true or not, I do not know.

This is Allie:



Here are a few pictures of her feet, I think they are deformed from a genetic defect or a nutritional deficiency she had as a chick while developing:





Only 2 of her nails make contact with the bars while climbing, she mainly uses her beak to steady herself and also her wings. There are spots on her wings rubbed raw because of this.



She holds her wings like this all the time:



She has liver disease; her overgrown beak, the weight loss, and also these wispy feathers show this:


Here is a post by Susanne confirming this:
http://talkcockatiels.com/showpost.p...32&postcount=4


I will be taking her in to the vet next week and will pull the white feathers afterwards. I will have her beak trimmed (the former owner had trimmed it twice in the past month, and not to my consent), have a cbc run so I can check her liver enzymes and uric acid levels, and have them evaluate her overall condition. I'm also going to ask for an injacom injection because her skin and nares look like she may be Vit A deficient. She weighs 87 g and is thin.

Following the vet visit, I plan to give her Milk Thistle and Dandelion extract until I can get a prescription for Lactulose. I've already given her some benebac (she also had some seed in a few of her poos), and will start her on Brewer's yeast and Beta Carotene soon.

I named her Allie. It is her first name and she is estimated to be around 6 years old.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 02:09 PM


 
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Omg the poor girl... How sad to not even have a name... I am so glad you have found her.. She is so lucky to finally get some tender loving care... No matter how long she has left it is very heart warming to know she will be loved and treated with respect. Karma to you!
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 03:36 PM


 
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thats great to hear shes in good hands now, she looks pretty rough for wear

her front toenail on her right foot, the long toe, two of tsuka's toenails are like that. he's had them from birth, suspected either trauma or deficiency as well for him.


you can see the weird toenails on his right foot



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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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I know! When I went to pick her up the lady goes "So have you thought of a name for her?" And I took a step back and said "Does she already have a name?" She told me no, that she came from a breeder and that the breeder does not name their birds. The lady I bought her from bred birds as well, but had only had Allie for a year and did not breed her, thankfully. Could you imagine how much feeding babies would take from this bird? I honestly don't think she would survive caring for babies.

I'm really hoping she pulls through. I would hate to lose her to a condition that is 100% preventable.

On a good note, she pooped on me today and it was seed-free so I guess the benebac helped her GI upset. It's bright green in color though--another indicator for her liver problems.

P.S. If anyone here is from Austin, TX I would like opinions on avian vets around here. I've been to Westgate Pet and Bird Hospital with my other birds, but I'm trying Parmer Lane Pet Hospital in Cedar Park this time because of a bad experience I had with Krissi at Westgate.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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She definitely isn't queen of the beauty pagent (sp?), but I still think she's pretty. I've been trying to get some good pictures of her feet to post but when she sits, she kind of hunches over them and her feathers cover everything but her front 2 toes.

The woman I got her from said she thought she was "loved too much" in the nest. Her crest feathers in the front were plucked so much that they never grew back so she only has half a crest. When she's alert, it looks like a normal tiel's relaxed crest. I've got some more pictures I took today in normal lighting that I'll put up tonight when I get off work.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 04:23 PM



 
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Oh that poor girly. I really hope she pulls through for you! I think she's beautiful

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well there was seed in her poop last evening. >.< So I gave her the last half of the dose of the benebac..to her dismay (I had only given her 1/2 a dose because it stressed her out).

And here's those pictures I promised to post last night.

Note: We were in the car because Adrian wasn't at home and I didn't feel comfortable staying at his house by myself in case his mom showed up. I was not driving with her or taking pictures while driving. LOL.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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Poor dear. I wonder if perhaps she suffers from a form of dwarfism? We had an amazon who had bungled feet and bad wing/leg posture, and the vet said from either a genetic issue or deficiency in the nest her bones did not form properly, her thigh bones (femur) and prime wing bone (humerus) were stunted, they were too short. Her other bones were mostly formed correctly, but her toes were not quite right either, almost a tad too short and could not grasp well. she was very unsteady, but managed to get around very well once she got more comfortable and was on a good diet at the shop.

I do hope your little one pulls through for you It was very kind of you to take her in



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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 08:11 PM


 
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she is just so cute, she looks very sweet

i hope she gets better, i really do



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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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She is a cuddle bug, she sleeps a lot too which is good and bad. Usually sleeping a lot is a bad sign for birds, but it will actually help her liver heal with the extra rest.

She's so funny...as soon as you start stroking her cheeks her head S-L-O-W-L-Y dips down and she starts falling asleep.

And Jenny, I think her feet are deformed from malnutrition when she was a developing chick. Susanne (on the other forum) thinks her wings may be caused from laying too many eggs without a good calcium/vit D source...this could have caused her wing bones to hollow out and fracture--please keep in mind that all of Susanne's advice comes from first hand experience of breeding thousands of birds over the course of almost 20 years and that is why I have a lot of trust in her.

So everyone breeding here, please please please look at Allie and keep her in mind when you're deciding on foods and lighting for your hens.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 12:39 AM
 
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Oh, that poor little girl! So very glad she is in a home where she can get the proper care she needs There is just so much involved in breeding besides "putting them together" IMO.. Phoebe was vitamin A deficient when I got her. Apollo seemed fine, but the both got red palm fruit oil (sunshine factor), switched to Harrison's pellets, and get a high quality seed mix. It's AMAZING the difference it has made! I'm stil trying to convince them that veggies and fruits won't kill them though....lol! Good luck with your little sweetie!


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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 03:31 AM
 
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That poor little dear... so glad you got her!!



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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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I know I didn't update here, but Allie's poop didn't clear up within the 2 days of the benebac (which is usually the rule of thumb for the period of time it takes to clear up GI issues). It actually appeared to get worse. Well today, I am proud to say that Allie has a had day of seed-free poop! At first, when I rubbed it on a paper towel it was a bit solid like little balls but not visual seeds. And by the end of the day I can rub it onto a paper towel and there isn't any solid pieces in it; it is almost normal! I'm continuing to give her probiotics in her water (3 acidophilus capsules in 1 gal water--stored in the fridge) since you can't really overdo probiotics. I'll continue this until the gallon is gone and then continue to keep an eye on her poop. Yay!

I also gave her another bath today which she did not enjoy. She can't preen the area between her shoulders so I have to do it for her. Poor thing had little bits of poop and seed buried in her feathers from the other birds in the cage she was kept in (literally buried, I couldn't see it until I dug through).

She has an appointment with the new vet (fingers crossed we like him) on Thursday at 11 AM so I will update again afterwards.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 09:20 PM
 
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I'm so glad to hear her GI issue is improving, that's fantastic!! I hope the vet visit goes well



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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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Awww! I wish there were more people in the world like you, so caring! I hope Allie gets better!


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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Me too! We have already become very attached to one another, especially her to me. She tries to follow me around and such when I leave her in one part of the house to go grab a bite to eat. She has a vet appointment Thursday morning so I will try to update here afterwards.

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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 04:15 PM
 
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Well that's great!


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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 11:03 PM


 
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I bet she is one happy birdy now! She seems to get lots of love! I've never seen a cockatiel with her coloring.. Such a pretty bird.
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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 03:29 PM


 
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She looks so sweet.
Years ago my birds all looked like they had PBFD.
It was awful, then I read an article in parrots mad about vit A defiency and feeding carrot and carrot tops.
Well the difference was amazing, within a week the younger birds looked so healthy.
I'd suggest growing your own carrots and feeding the whole washed thing.
It should help with her deformities.
Sounds iffy I know but worth a try?

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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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She is a whiteface cockatiel, that is why she has no orange cheeks. if she was a male she would have a white head. That's why she is colored the way she is.

Also, I do think she is Vitamin A deficient so I've been sprinking beta carotene over her foods. Problem is, though, that the liver has to be functioning enough to synthesize the vitamin before it can be used in the body. She's getting vitamins without her even knowing it (since the only thing she'll eat is white millet).

And here is about her appointment this morning:

So, first...I love the vet. If you're in Austin or the surrounding areas, his name is Dr Campbell at Parmer Lane Pet Hospital in Cedar Park. He is very to the point and doesn't waste your money! My favorite kind of person..

So basically, I did the exam..told him what was wrong with her, showed him her preening gland, showed him the abnormal feathers on her back (he had never seen them before so I don't know if that pointed towards liver issues in his mind), I got lactulose for her, she got a beak trim, and he wrote a prescription for doxycycline in case she has chlamydia since she has been sneezing and is a little winded after flying. We didn't do any blood tests or diagnostic tests because he said that wouldn't change the course of treatment so it would just be a waste of pain/money. He told me that a chlamydia test is always "maybe positive"or "maybe negative" so there is no definite result even if we had tested her. But, it was all up to me. I could have gotten the blood work and chlamydia test if I really wanted it.

He told me that he recognizes the fact that most people who have a sick animal have done enough research that they know about as much as he does about the subject, and that he is there for us to bounce ideas off of as far as treatment goes. I had already been throwing my ideas out there and he was giving me feedback throughout the whole consultation.

And the best part was: THE BILL!!! My whole bill was $58.50. The beak trim was only $10 and the lactulose was $5. So the exam was $43.50. I think the doxycycline we got for Kirk a while back was around $30..if I want it, I just need to call and give him a pharmacy to send it to.

Anyways, aside from that all there is to do is give her liver support and turn her diet around. He mentioned Silymarin in addition to the lactulose, which is basically a mixture of milk thistle and dandelion.

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