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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 08:42 AM Thread Starter



 
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Darwin at the vets AGAIN

Honestly, sometimes I wonder how I cope with all of this, especially with Darwin! As you all know, he was treated for psittacosis for 6 weeks with antibiotics, a week in to that we thought he had a secondary illness which turned out to be aspergillosis so he had to be treated for 6 weeks with an anti-fungal. But NOW something else is wrong

I rushed Darwin to the vets after I noticed he had stripped one leg of all his pretty feathers and created a bald patch under his left wing. His right leg is starting to go like it too. But on top of that, he has feathers growing in the wrong direction. Last night was a real mess. I called in and had to rush over but I couldn't get a lift so I had to get the bus. The bus never turned up on time so I was waiting for almost an hour at the stop when I got a phone call asking me if I could meet my vet at the closer practice. Of course I was fine with that. I'd be there quicker! But then I got a voicemail saying it would be out of hours prices for everything and the consult would be 99! Well, with my discount it would be less but still! So I went anyways, not caring how much I'd end up paying and eventually got there just on time. There was no sign of my vet anywhere and I'd been sat there for about 2 hours when somebody comes over to me and says "he didn't know he was coming". I was offered to see another vet but I said no I wanted MY vet, my AVIAN vet to be exact. They offered me to hospitalize him for the night and give him emergency treatment but he really didn't need that and if it was stress related then it would only have made it worse so I got my carrier and waited around for buses again for a few hours to go home. Turns out there was a mix up with reception

Anyways, I had to take Darwin in today at 10AM. He spoke allllll the way there on the bus shouting "NO DAAAARWIN!" at every person who walked past him... embarrassed! We got there and my vet had a really good look at him, asked me loads of questions about his environment, cage, toys etc. and of course nothing has changed, he has plenty of toys, nothing new at the moment. We came to the decision to do blood work and test him for PBFD. I am BEGGING something good happens to me for once and that it ISN'T PBFD because I will be more than heart broken. Darwin is my baby. He was a good boy, let the vet take his feathers and take one huge blood sample from his jugular. He has also had blood work sent off for a complete blood count (CBC) to see if we can find anything underlying. I must of spent nearly an hour in there. He's also being put on metacam for 7 days as a bit of pain relief, cause he looks like he's in a bit of pain from the plucking

On the way home I stopped at the care home where that my nan manages and popped in to see her with him. Needless to say he thoroughly enjoyed all of the attention he got there from the staff. He's been so good today, even after being grabbed, jabbed and plucked he's still a loving little mess

Please keep Darwin in your thoughts, we should have some test results back by the end of next week fingers crossed

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 09:40 AM


 
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Oh Darwin... Why you worrying your Momma so much? I hope all turns out well with him Daisy he is a gorgeous little goof ball!
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 09:43 AM


 
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I hope he's ok.
All my tiels had suspected PhDs years ago.
I feed them carrot and carrot tops.
It sorted them out.
Vet still looking into why?!

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 10:58 AM
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Gutted for you is all I can say :-(

We thought Rooh had beak n feathers but thank goodness she just slow developer and very sensative.

Poor lad having all that blood taken though for the blood count etc. I managed to do mine from a toenail just for the disease test.

Got everything crossed!

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 11:25 AM Thread Starter



 
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Thank you all. My main concern is what will happen if he does have it?

I have been researching until my head hurts and have found that there are 2 strains, one of which can ONLY be found in lories and lorikeets. It says many birds recover well from this. I understand if he does have it that he will have to be completely isolated from my other birds, but there is no treatment right? I've read about a two part vaccination, but are we up to date with that here in the UK? I'm so worried about it. Apparently many birds are okay as long as their feathers are the only thing damaged but birds who have damaged nails and beaks should be euthanized. I'm so scared I'm going to have to have Darwin put down, will I? I am seriously hoping that he doesn't have it, but there are many indicators

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 11:48 AM


 
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Daisy, it could be a vit A deficiency.
Let's pray for that.
Same symptoms.
My tiels were really bad. I thought I'd lose the lot.
But I read somewhere about feeding carrot. And it was gone.
Blood tests were inconclusive.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 12:19 PM Thread Starter



 
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Interesting Kate. I'm trying to keep positive. Darwin has a LOT of fruits and veggies, mostly blended up because he STILL won't eat solids, except grapes

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 04:26 PM


 
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Daisy I have had 2 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos here that had Beak and Feather. The first one we didn't know he had it at first. He just had some missing tail feathers and as he had been grabbed by a dog the vet assumed that was the cause of the tail feathers damaged and missing. He was a wild bird that the people had taken to the vet. They could not keep him and I was asked to take him in as they knew I had birds. He was here for 6 months before he started the feather loss and around some of my other birds as well as birds I was hand raising. None and I repeat None of the birds I had ever got the disease. I had this bird for over 18 months. The other one was a mature bird that had the disease and again none of my birds ever got it. It is not as contagious as we are led to believe. I think it actually comes through the egg and that when birds are stressed it will appear. In the wild the stress is usually caused by lack of food supplies and at the time the first one came in we were in the middle of an extremely bad drough.

The vet doing the studies on Beak and Feather says that particularly Rainbow Lorikeets in the wild nearly all are infected. I have never found this. His studies were not based on birds in captivity and I had lots of Rainbows at the time. I found that a young bird if it had a tail for the first 6 to 12 months of its life it was a miracle or it was on its own. I watched them playing, and they play rough. How can you have a tail when you are being dragged along the bottom of the cage upside down by the tail. All the birds tails grew back by the time they were 12 months old, and never showed any other symptoms of any disease. Lorikeets don't get the beak deformaties from the disease. Usually only the cockatoo family get the beak deformaties from it. The cockatoos don't live a long life as the strain with them also causes organ problems. But this does not seem to be the case with Lorikeets.

The feathers growing in the wrong direction may just be misplaced feathers caused by Darwin pulling his own feathers and he has twisted them. I often see one of my birds of any species with a feather sticking up because the shaft has become twisted, if it is a tame bird I just turn it around the right way and it goes straight back into place.

Beak and Feather usually strikes within the first few months of life and definitely before 6 months.

Try not to worry too much I think Darwin will be fine. Probably just stress. All the medications he has been on would be enough to do that. I know it has done it to me as I have just had over a month of tests because of stress and medications. It caused enough problems to look like I may have been having severe heart problems. Just got the clearance yesterday that my heart is fine.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 04:34 PM Thread Starter



 
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Thank you so much for all the information Kate! I feel a lot better. He has had the unusual feathers since I had him. A tail that breaks like glass, feathers that aren't twisted but are actually growing out in weird ways an some pretty odd flights but other than that he's been okay. There seems to be much more I need to know about it, but I've never had to deal with it or even think about it. I've never seen a bird with it while working at my avian vets but I've seen a case of psittacosis almost every day! Again, thank you, I would write more in return but I'm half asleep and on my phone so it's a bit hard

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When I was getting Rooh tested it didn't seem that contagious it was just the fact that young and weak die and the stronger ones survive but you can't ever cure it x

From what Kate says and what I remember... Fingers crossed Darwin is clear x

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 05:30 PM
 
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I am sending you my best wishes for Darwin's speedy recovery, Daisy.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 03:15 AM Thread Starter



 
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Thank you guys

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 08:15 AM Thread Starter



 
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Okay so I'm trying to get my head around this whole possibility of PBFD. The information that Kate has given me is fantastic and has helped me a great deal in reducing my stress about all of this! What I am struggling to understand is that Darwin could have had this now for some time, most likely since when I had him due to the unusual feathers right? I've had him around many of my birds since I have had him these last 7 months almost (I can't believe I've only had him for such a short period of time!) and I do not believe that any of them have been affected by it. I have recently lost a fair few birds here, I had lost some of the black cheeked lovebirds who were going to be transported to my grandparents not long after their antibiotics had finished to live as a breeding colony as they had previously done before they were sent to me. I had a necropsy done on one of the black cheeked lovebirds that had to be euthanized before the others had passed away and although he showed no traces of psittacosis he did show that he had internal bleeding in his lower intestinal tract. Morris had passed away a day or 2 before that lovebird had and I had his necropsy done on the same day. He too had intestinal bleeding but did show that he had psittacosis. Now I was told neither birds had any food in them, and hadn't for a while... that to me is extremely unusual as I had seen both of them eating (scoffing a spray millet too!). This lower instestinal bleeding wouldn't have had anything to do with PBFD would it?

Also, as Kate stated, she has had birds with PBFD that have not spread it to her others and said the disease isn't as contagious as we are lead to believe. Now, I've been reading and reading and reading as much as humanly possible and nearly every article I've read have basically told me it is a death sentence. There is little information on the strain only found in lories however the breeder I got Darwin from is a lory-only breeder. I believe he breeds dusky, black capped and different subspecies of rainbow lorikeet. He has many birds and is a very reputable breeder who has written articles for magazines on the care of lories/lorikeets. Kate (sorry I keep talking about you like you're not here ) also said that birds could possibly be passing it to their young when in the egg and that birds only begin to show symptoms once they start to become stressed. To me, that makes perfect sense, and could actually be spot on if he does come back positive for PBFD

As you all know, I'm awaiting his test results. One of the nurses spun his blood sample for his Avian Health 2 test (Full Blood Count, Total Protein, Albumin, AST, CK, Uric Acid, Total Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Ionised Calcium, Bile Acids, Amylase, Cholesterol, Triglycerides) and so he has to go back in on Wednesday when I go to work there for another blood test to get more from him. Poor thing is going to look like an empty sack of feathers soon! Once I get his results, if the do come back positive, I will be retesting 90 days later as well as having a heart attack

I will go and get some photos of his abnormal feathers so you can all see where I am coming from with them, and how they aren't just twisted

EDIT: I have some photos for you, but as there's a lot, you'd be best just going to the album https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...8066361&type=1 you might not be able to see the weird growing feathers, but just ask on the photo if you have to

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie

Last edited by catalinadee; 05-18-2013 at 09:42 AM.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 11:10 AM
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I cant remember which sites I used myself but they said although there is no cure birds can live with it, albeit with some abnormalities, and the ones who die are either very young or weak which is why they can't cope and live with the disease as their immune system isn't good enough.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 11:42 AM


 
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Everything I've ever read on it says to never introduce new birds to them unless they are also PBFD positive as it is contagious and birds don't necessarily show symptoms till they are stressed.

Ask the island parrot sanctuary as they have that grey with it and they could probably tell you about it.

Also try calling the breeder up as though you want to buy some birds and just casually ask about testing and ask if he tests for it. If he does and only breeds from negative stock there is surely little chance of Darwin having it and if he does it shouldn't have come from his stock.

Can you link me to the info on the lorikeets only strain. I did a fair bit of reading for when I tested my guys but didn't look into lories.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 08:38 PM


 
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Daisy, the plucking could be due to him having Giardia (one of our Cockatiels was plucking in the same spots, and turned out he had Giardia after running a few tests) - the picking pattern for Giardia usually involves the underside of the wings, shoulder, chest, insides of the thighs, but the most affected areas are the flank and legs. The good news is, if it was Giardia, it is treatable.

I am however not sure about the abnormal feathers, sorry.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 09:14 PM


 
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Daisy I truly hope it is not PBFD. You certainly have been having a very bad run with your birds. My thoughts and prays are with you and Darwin.
I did a fair bit of study on this horror when a mate got a young SC2 and it had one crest feather that was wrong.
My understanding is that it does not cross species readily.
In saying that it can be transmitted by pooh dust and parents give it to their young in the nest.
Some of the wild flocks in Aussy have large numbers infected.
The big problem from what I found was that PBFD weakens the immune system and opens the bird up to other illness's
Sometimes Lorikeets with it are called runners as they cannot fly.
And some birds can carry it and not pass it on or even test positive, and then they get stressed for some reason and up pops PBFD.

It has been documented from way back in the late 18 hundreds and as far as I know there is no total cure.
But in saying that some birds have been known to recover from it? These maybe the ones that carry it without shedding it. I do not know!
I do know it has turned up here in Auckland in our wild Karariki on at least two islands in the Hauraki Gulf.
As I said I truly hope this is not what Darwin has in either form. Which I actually thought there were three types?


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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 02:48 PM Thread Starter



 
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Thank you all. I'm still trying to find the few articles I had found on the types of PBFD but I can't currently see them ANYWHERE! I will have to keeping looking, it was interesting for sure. I didn't know there were 3 strains, however I think another name for it is circovirus, unless that is another one

Renae, I have been considering Giardia for a little while now, especially with his flanks and legs... I am taking him back in on Wednesday and I will have to mention it to Toby. I'd rather deal with that than PBFD

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 05:03 PM


 
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The vet here in Oz that is doing all the research on Beak and Feather, who is also the vet that trains most of the Avian Vets in New South Wales. He has admitted that with Lorikeets it is not usually fatal and the birds literally outgrow it. But as I said he never really studied birds that were aviary bred and just playing rough. It was because of him that the Rainbow Lorikeet stayed on the restricted bird licence for just over 12 months longer than it should. He then stated that nearly all the wild population had it so there was no point in keeping them on the licence.

It also doesn't appear to be fatal in Lorikeets. The birds that have the biggest issue with it are the Cockatoo family. Particularly Sulphurs. Many of the deaths with them are caused by the deformities in the beak, and the fact that in the wild the birds cannot fly, so they cannot obtain food or water. The 2 Cockatoos that I had here did not have severe beak deformities and it may have been the cold that did them in. It is extremely difficult to keep a jacket on them as they tend to chew them off. And if they are not tame, difficult to get them on.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 01:36 AM


 
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Oh dear, I just had visions of a person trying to jacket w non co-operative too.
What an experience!

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