Baby cockatiel aspergillosis

Reggies_mum

Registered
Hello,

Can anyone advise on treating aspergillosis in cockatiels?
We have a beautiful cinnamon baby (the people at the aviary think he's a he, but obviously not sure yet). He came to us aged 6 weeks and within 3 days developed wheezing/laboured breathing. The vet said it was likely aspergillosis and admitted him for 2 days to have oxygen therapy. He was discharged and the vet prescribed a week of meds: antibiotic in drinking water, and loxicom and sporanox (antifungal) both given orally via syringe. Also nebulizing him 3 times a day with F10 solution.

After a week, the wheeze was still happening so on vet's advice we are continuing the meds for another 2 weeks and the nebulising for a month. Nearing halfway through the 2 weeks and the wheezing is still happening, though not all the time. He will have a day of being fine and then start in the evening. Sometimes it seems worse after the nebulizer and sometimes better. His nose seems to be blocked some times as well. He fights with the syringe so this could possibly be from getting meds up his nose.

Is there anything else besides the meds that we could give him?

He gets really miserable when the wheezing is bad, but other times he seems fine - eating well, playing with his toys, climbing round his cage, and doing some beak grinding and dozing. He's mostly very silent but has started doing the odd squawk to attract our attention, a few times a day. He'll eat from a millet spray if I hold it in the cage but otherwise very shy and hisses at my hand. Is it normal for him to be so quiet?

Any tips on taming him? I feel bad for him stuck in his cage all day but he's very mistrustful. Understandable I guess, since we've had to catch him twice a day and put nasty medicine down him! The millet is working but how much of that should he having? He's eating a seed mix which we got from the aviary and chomps on his cuttle fish, but won't touch anything else (we've tried kale, apple and banana). Should we be giving any supplements?

Sorry so many questions! Any advice you can offer would be very gratefully received.
 

Yellowchickenparrot

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Hello and welcome, I'm afraid I don't have much experience with cockatiels but we have members with them who can advise about health and diet, hopefully they will spot the post and help answer your questions. Just a thought but are you aware of the many house hold products and cooking equipment that can cause birds terrible problems with their breathing.
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Hi and welcome to the forum
Do we take it as a given that your vet is an avian vet rather than a general vet?
Follow his instructions plus make sure everything is really lean all the time use F10SC to disinfect everything (it needs diluting as that is the veterinary strength straight from the bottle) Tiels can be little beggars when it comes to getting them to try something my lot like dandelion leaf, they get to have a go at those Florettes Crispy salad stuff as well as the baby leaf stuff and like that a lot, a slice of apple also goes down really well. But mine have learned from each other so if the place that bred your tiel didn't feed fresh greens likely hood is your little ones doesn't recognise them.
For training well health has to come first so once little one becomes healthy and doesn't need meds then do the training in the meantime there is not a lot you can do to lessen the impact as such since you have to give the meds.
You could interact and start teaching little one some tunes etc and try and find that one very special thing that your little one loves beyond all sense and reason to find what is going to be your training treat in the future perhaps its a little piece of broken up cashew or perhaps its a tiny bit of sunflower seed,
Millet wise … your birdies isn't well so if it likes millet fine let it eat millet lets not be lessening things at the moment that keep your little one going at full steam as illness does take its toll. Diet can be sorted later down the line when little one is fit and well again. You could perhaps try sprouting a little to tempt him into munching it.
Will tag Roz she is brilliant with training and know she has also dealt with wheezy birdies @Roz
Ameia is also a total whizz when it comes to nursing birdies with illness @CaptainHowdy
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Hello and welcome, the fungus aspergilloses is an air bourn fungus and is present every where, your bird is young and you have only had him three days, so I have to say if your bird dose have asper's there is a better likelihood that it was infected before he came to you. Asper's takes time to build up and affect a bird, My worry is could it be something in your home that is causing breathing problems to your bird, there is a list of things that are in most homes that can be dangerous to our feathered friends, even perfume and most chemicals.

can you take your bird into the garden during the day to see if he improves.

regular changing of water and good storage of food is essential

trying not to stress your bird as a bird that gets stressed will most likely be prone to the fungus and its affects to the birds health.

Aspergilloses can be a killer so well done in seeking early treatment, I do not know what tests your vet has done or the results he/she found.
as breathing difficulties can be a sign of other problems in younger birds. have you contacted the Breeder? as I said if it is aspers there is no way the fungus can get into your bird and multiply to a point to affect your bird in three days
 

dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
:welcome: sorry to hear this. Good advice given, do let us know how he gets on.:thumbsup:
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
that was my thoughts CaptianHowdy, psittacosis can be treated, and can give the same affects in breathing the cockatiels are prone to getting it and there has been in the past bad outbreaks in aviaries in the north. but also cases around the country. is your vet an avian vet, I will advise that you get your bird checked for psittacosis,
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Going back to your introduction and the questions you asked, introducing any new thing can take time and patients is the main thing to have, work on getting him used to you, slowly approach him, talk to him gently, never move fast near him and keep your hands down lower than your bird. apart from that I will not advice training at the moment as you do not want to stress him more than you need to. applying medication dose not help trust but it is vital at the moment, one you have got him back to fitness then you can start the training,
 

Reggies_mum

Registered
Thank you so much for the warm welcome and advice. In my haste, I didn't even mention that his name is Reggie (the vet knows him as Cinnamon as we were still mulling over the name and had to make something up in a hurry:) .

Michael Reynolds, thank you for the information about aspergillosis. DizzyBlue, yes, vet is an avian vet. The only test done so far is a poo sample analysis to check for Chlamydia. Is that the same as psittacosis? We should have the results tomorrow or Friday.

I have been thinking the cause might be a chemical or other irritant in the house, especially as the wheezing comes and goes. Have been trying to keep the room well ventilated, hoovering, not using teflon pans, have banned sprays. We cover him at night with a cotton duvet cover, and wondering if it could be the washing powder. At the same time, we have two budgies about a year old who are in good health. Keeping them in a separate room but close enough as the house is small.

Speaking to the vet tomorrow, and will ask for more tests. Reggie had a wheezy day but then a good evening now sleeping peacefully with no noise.

Thanks again so much.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
with breathing problems I have a small nebuliser I can use that relaxes the bird and aids the breathing, you could take Reggie to the bath room and run a hot shower so the air is moist please let us know the results, if it is psittacosis you must inform the breeder as other birds in his aviary may be infected or he may sell the birds to other keepers, and spread it further, you should keep Reggie away from your budgies until the results are back.
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Great that you have an avian vet :) if he's tested for aspers and its come back as that then make sure you follow his every direction.
I know its hard but its the best thing for the little un to get better and through it all.
 

dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Good point re the washing powder/fabric softener. Perhaps also only cover 3/4 of the cage not fully cover it at night.
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
It is the same as psittacosis however a faecal sample can give false negatives. I would only ever get them tested by blood sample.

It is shed in 10 day cycles so you could miss the day it is shed on. And that's assuming they are actively shedding at the time.

Psittacosis can be scary but it is treatable- I've gone through it with 3 of my rescues.

If the test comes back negative I would request a blood sample done to double check.
 

Reggies_mum

Registered
Hello, very happy to update that Reggie is doing much better. I've waited a bit to be sure, but now on day 5 of no wheezing! And getting cheekier and noiser by the day. Faecal test came back yesterday, with negative result. The vet confirmed that it can be a false negative, but as Reggie's responding well, she has recommended we continue with the medication and defer blood tests for the moment. He's off the loxicom and just having Sporanox once a day and antibiotic in his drinking water. Which means only catching him once a day. Good thing as he has been getting craftier and craftier about it - almost as though he looks forward to giving us the run around :) Also nebulising twice a day now instead of three times, and will reduce that to once a day in two weeks time if he keeps improving.

Early doors yet, but at least he's enjoying life more.
 

Roz

Regular Member
Have you tried feeding him raw or cooked carrot (maybe grated)? Or mashed sweet potato? Beta carotene (precursor to Vit A) helps with the immune system and mucus membranes. My Ollie has Aspergillosis and used to be Vit A deficient when I got him. 9 years later he seems a lot better. I still nebulize him nightly for about 20 minutes. He used to be nebulized multiple times through the day and he has been on Sporanox.

When your little one has finished his antibiotics, be sure to build up his good bacteria again by putting probiotics in his water. This one is excellent and has been recommended by all the vets I have been to. It is also tasteless and colourless in water which is a huge plus! But only start after he is finished with his antibiotics:

 

Reggies_mum

Registered
Just to update on Reggie's progress - he is doing much, much better. Has now been off meds for a week, and down to nebuliser once a day. With no wheezing at all. He has become very vocal and chatty. Will take seeds from my fingers through the bars, and will sit up and shout for me to come and feed him. I've also started putting my hand into the cage to hold out a seed or a little bit of cashew. He's a bit wary at first, gives a little hiss, but seems reassured when I tell him it's okay and will then come and take it. Taking it very slowly and letting him decide what he wants to do.

@Roz, thank you so much for the tip about Avipro. He's been having it in his water since he stopped the antibiotic and it's definitely helped. He's so much brighter and happier overall. Have been trying with grated carrot and sweet potato but he remains suspicious of any food but seeds. I hope your Ollie is doing well. It sounds as though he has come through a lot.

Will post a picture of Reggie as soon as he's confident to come out. And just to thank you all again for the advice and support.
 
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