The Grey Roost
Baby~ the Miracle BirdIt all started one day Baby started plucking her feathers out. I wasn't knowledgeable back then like I am now. I got the phone book and the first vet that said specializes in exotics and birds, I made an appt. They ran all kinds of tests and couldn't find anything wrong with her, said to give her baths and come back if it didn't stop. It didn't stop so back I went, still nothing. Now my bird is almost bald and I open the phone book back up and pick another "bird vet" out of the phone book and they run her through a battery of tests again, high WBC put her on a general antibiotic she is loosing weight and "picky" now with her food. Go back to the same vet several more times as her condition worsens with still no answer. Thus comes phone book again and "bird vet" number 3 in my area. Same battery of tests but comes up with the diagnosis that she has a terminal form of avian gout after reviewing an X-ray that reveals strange mass growing all over her body.
I was told to go home, make her comfortable and he puts her on haldol and a med that increases her appetite. By this time she is refusing all food except warm mush that I hand feed her. I am completely devastated, and can barely function at work. Something doesn't seem right to me.
This is where I start to become educated. I start reading everything, every book, every topic on the net about parrots,diseases, health and diet. Gout just didn't make sense to me! It is also where I discover there is a thing called a Board Certified Avian Specialist, who is far above and beyond the normal "bird vet" I find in the phone book. There is one only, located hours from me at U.T. Veterinary Hospital.
The Vet is world renown for discovering the treatment for Aspergillosis. This is my last hope, and now my precious Baby is literally skin and bones refusing all food. Vacation day from work and off we go. The same battery of tests, they take X-rays and discover a strange web-like mass growing all over her internal organs. She is put to sleep to take a sample from one of her organs. She does not wake up from anesthesia and they have to bring her back not once but 3 times with cpr.
The sample in the lab comes back as Pasteurella Multocida. A form of bacteria that can be normal flora in human saliva, but can be deadly to birds. This starts her stay at U.T. Hospital where she is force fed and several types of antibiotics are tried, none with any success. The last resort is a medicine that is now illegal in the states but legal in Mexico, it is called Palmitate and My Unbelievable Board Certified Avian Specialist has a contact in Mexico and has some flown over (is this incredible or what?).
This finally starts to do the job. She has several relapses with the bacteria, but finally the Palmitate does the job for good. They finally let me take her home to finish her treatment and I have to wear special gloves just to administer the meds. Evidently this is some serous stuff. I think it causes cancer in humans.
Since the original life-threatening illness, her immune system is severely compromised and she just catches every imaginable bacterial infection that is just floating through the air. But the Pasteurella thank God has never returned.
So the moral of the story is... don't let your birds near
your saliva. I've always read it, I knew it, but I chose to ignore it and
share my food, but you better believe that girl never gets near my
mouth or my food. She is my million dollar miracle bird!
I will NEVER EVER share food, drinks, or kisses with my birds EVER again.
If you are kissing your bird on the lips and sharing your food- the danger
is lurking and it may very well happen to you. I hope this helps even one person
never go through what I went through. Sadly, it was all completely avoidable.
Never kiss your birds on the mouth, and Never let them eat or drink after you.