Vitamin A deficiency
Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:15 AM
The avian vet did bloodwork that came back fine. He said that the roof of her mouth looked pretty nasty, all slimy and a small abcess. He took cultures from those and we haven't gotten the results back yet. He also took x-rays. The only thing he found was in one of Lola's air sacs, at the end, it didn't look quite 'right' according to the vet. He said it could be something fungal, bacterial or scar tissue from a previous infection. He said he couldn't be 100% sure w/o doing a laproscopic exam and he didn't want to put Lola through that right now.
The vet's very strong opinion is that these issues stem from a severe Vit. A deficiency and that it can cause all sorts of problems. Right now Lola is on antibiotic drops in her eyes and nostrils twice a day. I also have to give her two shots a day of an antibiotic. We don't know how long she'll be on these meds, as we have to wait to see what the cultures show.
The vet gave Lola a Vit. A. shot what he said will be good for a couple of weeks. He said we have to feed her Vit. A rich foods. Here is my problem, and it seems like a BIG one right now. Lola is TERRIFIED of most foods. I'm not talking oh, she just wont' try them. I'm talking as in she squawk in terror and cram herself into the back corner of her cage, all because I might have put a tiny piece of chicken, sweet potato or squash in her bowl. I don't know what makes her like this. Our other birds might not like a new food and will be a little hesitant to try it, but Lola is absolutely terrified of any veggies or any kind of 'people' food. I have tried many veggies and other things cooked, raw, hidden in her Goldenfeast food mix, sliced, diced, minced...you name it, I've tried it. It all terrifies Lola.
The vet told me to try Harrisons as it has the Vit. A she needs. Lots of luck with that. He also told me to try taking seeds from the Goldenfeast mix and sprouting some familiar seeds, hoping that they would look enough like her 'normal' food that she would try them.
Today I made birdie bread that has peanut butter, one jar of Gerber sweet potatoes, one jar of Gerber squash, eggs w/the shells and Zupreen pellets in it. I cut it into little squares and all of the other birds wolfed theirs down. Lola took one look at her little piece, picked it up and flung it out of her bowl. So much for that.
Does anyone have ANY suggestions as to how I might be able to get something with Vit. A into this bird? She also has to put on weight, but I'm not sure what I can get her to eat.
I have no background on this bird at all. She has no band, so we don't even know for sure how old she is. My friend worked at a bird store and this lady came in with Lola (then named Paco) and told the people at the bird store if they didn't take Lola, she was on her way to the vet's to be put to sleep. Seems this lady has two macaws and according to her, Lola would get the two macaws going and the woman's boyfriend couldn't stand the noise, so he told the woman she had to get rid of Lola. When my friend heard this, she grabbed the carrier out of the woman's hands and said she would take her. We went to my friend's house to see the new bird and Lola just seemed to fall in love with me and came home with us. So I have no clue as to what health problems Lola has had in the past, how old she is or anything....I just know she is my sweet baby girl and I need to help her, but don't know how I'm going to get Vit. A. into her!
Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:49 AM
Poor bird, rotten previous owner!
Will that A.V. give ya a break and allow ya to bring Lola back for repetative Vit. A injections UNTIL she starts to eat better on her own? He should definitely do that for ya without charging more than the cost of the shot and maybe 1/2 price of an office visit IMO, at the most or a flat discounted fee for both visit & shot.
Otherwise, I suggest just continuing to put the Vit. A rich foods in there (may take MANY attempts) and maybe a teacher bird next door in another cage. Just make sure that Lola has no communicable diseases. Continue the pellets also. If ya knew how to crop feed ya could get the Vitamin A in that way but too risky if ya don't. Did he inject the Vit. A into a vein or a muscle or under the skin? I'm assuming into a vein but not sure.
I also suggest to keep Lola outside (if at all possible), fully flighted in a safe, weather resistant, comfy, long cage. If she doesn't have anything catchy and ya have or can get another Zon to keep out there with her, I personally would do that if all else fails. Cage/flight has too be big though and you may have to clip either bird if one turns out to be aggressive to the other. Clip only the aggressor of course (temporarily).....JMO for now.
Posted 16 October 2004 - 01:48 PM
Our male Mex. red-headed 'zon Jackie is in a cage fairly near her and he has been chowing down on sweet potato and mini pumpkins lately. Lola just ignores him. I don't know how to crop feed, but I do have a syringe our cat vet gave me to squirt meds into the cats mouth. It's still in it's original package, as the odd cat actually liked the tast of the medicine! So, if I could find out how much Vit. A. rich food it would take each day to keep Lola supplied, I could always take baby food like squash and sweet potato and give it to her via the syringe.
As for keeping Lola outside, that isn't doable, as we live in southern NH and it is starting to get rather cold outside. Supposed to have our second frost tomorrow night. Late spring/summer/early fall would the only time we would be able to put her outside. And then we would have to make sure that absolutely no mosquitos could get in, as we have West Nile Virus around here and in northern Mass they had two people die of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. She doesn't really like our other 'zon Jackie. He came from a bad previous home too and he is..well, we think he is insane. He's like the crazy uncle the family doesn't talk about, LOL.
I found out that Lola's previous owner does websites and I found out a website she worked on. At the bottom it listed her as the webmaster, so I took a chance and wrote to her, explaining the problem and asking if she could share ANY information about Lola. I don't think I'll hear back from her, but it was worth a shot!
As for Lola being wild caught, I never thought about that. She doesn't have a band, so we don't even know how old she is. The vet said she could be 10 or she could be 42, there's not really any way of telling. Would be nice to have an idea!
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep trying Vit. A. rich foods and see what happens!
Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:03 PM
that you can sprinkle on the foods the bird does eat.
This is what I do for my Ekkie. When he gets fed his morning moist food meal (like Crazy Corn's "Kung Foo Yum")
I measure out a little and sprinkle it over the warm food.
95% of it gets eaten.
Have you tried these types of cook n serve birdy foods with Lola?
They might work.
If not, you should be able sprinkle the supplement on
whatever food Lola will eat, even if you need to moisten
it with a few drops of water first.
Or, maybe you could dissolve the powdered supplement into
a teaspoon of water and feed it to her that way through a syringe.
Your vet should have suggested these powdered supplement options.
Is he an Avian vet?
Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:56 PM
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness!
Let's send PDD the way of polio and smallpox!
Every contribution helps make this dream a reality.
Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:43 PM
Savvy & Joanie make a great recommendation that slipped my mind at the time I was making the other suggestions to ya. What a team we have here.
Now, as far as the outdoor flight goes, I would still construct one for her. I would make all the sides solid & roof too. I would have a double bottom on the cage to protect the feet from predators and ya can construct the bottom with a tray to collect dropped food & waste while keeping the mosquitoes out at the same time. The roof should be flat sheet metal and the cage should face the east to catch the morning sun somewhat. Ya can have ajustable vent holes near the top (strategically placed) also lined with mosquitoe netting/wire. I would have the front made of clear polycarbonate also with another section cut out for sunbathing with mosquitoe netting/wire and a perch right next to that area so Lola can perch there when she likes to soak up some beneficial natural sunlight daily. I would attach the whole flight :(minimum size IMO & IME) to be 7-7&1/2' long x 3-3&1/2' deepx 4' tall, to the wall of my home on the outside of a window at least 3-4' off the ground. That way you can access the cage from inside to change food and water and to bring in Lola for human interaction as need be...........
The way I suggested to construct the cage would provide a safe and warm/comfy enclosure for Lola to watch the scenery and be able to fly and keep really fit which will naturally improve appetite and better assimilation of vitamins from her food. If in freezing days, the inside temp. cannot be warmed up enough naturally or at night with a properly installed heater, then ya can simply bring her/them in until the weather improves. Ya may even add a large nestbox which she may take a liking to as her place of solitude and refuge if she feels a need.
This type of flight cage IMO should by constructed by everyone (whether in a cold or warm climate - with variations of course as needed) for their beloved feathered buddies and the expense should not be made an excuse by anyone IMO as we should provide our birds with the best & most natural housing possible......I will say again: "where there is a will, there is a way".
If ya still won't do that then the next best thing is a similar setup inside (near a well sealed window) with proper F.S. Lighting, on a timer (IME).
Posted 16 October 2004 - 07:59 PM
Lola won't even look at anything like Beak Appetit or scrambled eggs. Those fall into the 'too scary to deal with catagory'.
Savvy, the vet is avian board certified. I just don't think he realizes how tough it is going to be to get Vit. A. into Lola. He suggested spirulina from the pet store or health food store. Where do you get the powdered Vit. A supplement? Because I do have a syringe I could get it into her mouth with. I just would need to know how much and how often.
I went to www.neebs.org (the New England Exotic Bird Sanctuary) this morning and ordered their sprouting mix. Dr. M. said that sprouts would be awesome for Lola, highly nutritious and high in Vit. A. He felt that barely sprouted seeds would look enough like the seeds in her Goldenfeast mixes that she would eat them.
I don't know...I feel so helpless. I just wish I could look Lola in her beautiful eyes and tell her what she and I need to do and have her do it! All of our other birds chow down on and would sell their souls for mashed winter squash and sweet potato. It just terrifies Lola.
I wrote to her former owner last night and haven't heard anything back. I guess I'm not really expecting to, but it would be nice. I only asked her if she could tell us how old Lola is and also if she had any respiratory problems in the past.
Right now it's just a matter of getting Lola better, getting Vit. A. rich foods into her and putting weight on her. Right now she is only 282 grams. Shoot, our white-eyed conure almost weighs that. Dr. M. said one bright spot is the fact that usually people bring him obese 'zons, where as I need to put weight on my girl. I need to contact him and ask him what I might try to accomplish that. Can't be any of those terrifying foods, LOL.....
Joel, the flight sounds good. My hubby is very handy and even built a beautiful workshop for our bird toy business in the backyard. Had to get PLENTY of permits for that! Unfortunately, in this town you need a permit to, well, to put it bluntly, take a crap. We have an acre of land with a new mobile home on it (yes, I guess we are northern rednecks, as we live in a mobile home and my hubby drives a pick-up, a 2002 Chevy Silvarado!) We wanted to add a small addition for a custom built birdroom onto the mobile home. But could we? Oh no the town says. No additions or glass sun rooms of any kind can be put onto a mobile home, because they have to stay mobile. Yeah, like we could back our pick-up up to it and take off during the night. We had even approached the town about putting in a basement. Oh no, it's a mobile home and it's got to stay mobile. They're just prejudiced against mobile homes, because they can't soak us for as much property taxes as the $500,000 homes going up around town. Heck, we pay $1100a year in property taxes, JUST on the mobile home, then another $1800 in property taxes for the land. So for $2900 a year in property taxes we can't do anything. And for that money, we don't even have city sewer or garbage pickup. We're on a well/septic sytem and have to pay to have trash pickup. Oh, I better go before I really get steaming!
Posted 16 October 2004 - 08:37 PM
I get my vitamin A supplement directly from my avian Vet.
It's like getting a prescription from him.
It comes in a 2.5 oz container, with a teeny measuring spoon.
I'll try and post a picture of it here...
It's called Living World "PRIME", vitamin supplement concentrate powder.
I don't remember exactly, but I don't think it's very expensive.
I got this last script on April 15th, and it's now October 16, and I still have
about 4-6 days worth left. So it goes a long way.
I seriously think you'd be better off with the powder supplement, no matter how you need to get it into Lola. Because if she is that vitamin A deficient, (and it sounds like she is!) trying to get her caught up to speed with only veggies will take too long. Especially since she's not a hearty eater willing to try new things. Call your vet and ask him about the Prime supplement.
Posted 16 October 2004 - 09:33 PM
I know ya love Lola but sometimes (hate to say it) it is better to give her up to someone who can provide her outdoor full flighted living quarters that I'll guarantee ya will benefit her in the long run (IME)....Just a thought......Good luck with whatever ya decide.
Posted 17 October 2004 - 01:24 AM
I agree with Joel when it comes to lighting. They NEED it to absord D and A vitamins. If you don't have the space or money for the long tube lights, then please get a Full spectrum bulb from a pet store and hang it directly over her cage. You can get clip on aluminum lamps for about $6 in Home Depot. They also have Daylight bulbs there, which is another natural lighting device. They are $9 a piece. Certainly you can afford that for lighting her cage.
I would also add either butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin to every single thing you feed her. Bake some bird muffins and put them in there. Try it also in pancakes or corncakes. If you eat it and then offer it to her from your fingers, she just may surprise you. Good luck
4 BG macws: Dreamer, The Fabulous Margarita, Mia and Sailor
1 Greenwing: Eenie
1 Severe Macaw: Chi Chi
1 Yellow Nape Amazon: Taco
1 Timneh African Grey: Radar
1 Quaker: Tilde
Posted 17 October 2004 - 01:54 PM
Savvy, I will talk to the Dr. about that supplement. I think I have actually seen it at a local bird supply store, but will have to check.
Outlaw, Lola will eat nothing of that sort, even if she sees me eating it. I wondered what her background was, I was able to trackdown her former owner and here is the reply I got:
Paco (now Lola)has always had respirtory issues since I got her. I got her in Orlando Florida from a breeder who took on some birds from a woman who's husband had commited suicide (the birds were her husbands, she hated birds). She was housed with Yellow Nape amazon when I bought her from the breeder, and she appeared to have been mistreated. It took me years litteraly to get her to play with toys. She never liked finger food, and she would rather starve than eat it. She is old, I had her for about 10 yrs.....and I imagine she is approaching 20+ now. The reason I gave her away was she disrupted my whole household with loud non stop screaming, and caused such distruption with my other birds (3 Macaws). Unless she was held or talked to constantly she would scream. She never had eye problems that I know of, but was treated for upper respitory twice in the 10 yrs I had her. She was screened (blood) and it was a vitamin dificiency. Mainly due to her eating habits..... so I expected that it would happened again. She needs supplements in her food daily including her water.
Posted 17 October 2004 - 09:01 PM
What is the CRI rating # of your vita light(s)?
What is the Kelvin rating of your lights? How long is the fixture and how long is the cage?
How many light tubes are ya burning at once?
Where is the light fixture located? How many inches away from the cage and is it above or on the side of cage?
Does the light fixture have a downward reflector?
How long have you been burning those exact tubes you are using now?
Does the light fixture have a magnetic or electronic ballast?
How long do you keep them on continuously?
Are they on an automatic timer?
Posted 18 October 2004 - 05:42 AM
The info below is for all birds.
Candida, a yeast, commonly infects the mucous membranes of the mouth, crop and intestinal tract of Pionus. It occurs commonly in hand-fed chicks in which lesions may be absent in the mouth but cause gut infections with no obvious lesions. It may be easily diagnosed by examination of a stained smear of the feces of the bird. In adult Pionus, it is a common secondary invader following antibiotic therapy or may be associated with sour food or Vitamin A deficiency. Most cases respond to oral Nystatin preparations that are commonly used to treat thrush in human babies. More severe infections may require treatment with more powerful antifungal drugs or chemicals.
The possibilities of Canidiasis, in conjunction with bacterial infections, should always be considered in any digestive disorder in juvenile Pionus. Slow clearing of the crop may be the first sign and if the condition is not promptly treated, it could result in sour crop, crop binding and death. While low numbers of Candida are a normal finding in the gut, they can proliferate in the face of antibiotics, stress, or other disease. Any juvenile bird, which is treated with antibiotics, should have received Nystatin for the duration of the antibiotic therapy and for several days after the cessation of therapy. In a very small bird, a few drops are placed in the beak following each feeding for 1 to 2 weeks. Nystatin is very safe, acts on contact with the yeast and is not absorbed from the gut.
Nystatin works in some cases but it has to come into contact with the yeast/fungus to kill it that is why fluconozole or intraconozole is best for treatment as well as a broad spectrum antibiotic for any underlying bacterial infection.
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