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fire bird

My Trip To Dr Rob Marshall

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Hi, I have a flock of 26 budgies, 10 ringnecks, alexandrines and a few pet birds and chinese silkies. I have been breeding birds for many years and we just had a nasty turn of weather. Well my luck ran out and a couple of my birds started showing some mild respiritory symptoms. In a panic I took my 2 lorrikeets to my local vet who has a special interest in birds and he prescribed doxy for 2 weeks. No tests at that stage. Then it started hitting the budgies. My wonderfull neighbours decided to start burning off before their holiday (we are on acerage on the nsw south coast its perfectly legal here) and of course that did not help matters.

 

I have a young chic I have been handraising which is just on 10 weeks old now, the last one before winter (normally it does not get very cold where I am so breeding runs right up till almost June usually) sadly his parents refused to feed him and I took over and have been raising him from 3 days old. He was doing great however, he had also picked up the bug.

So Saturday I made the 4 hours trip by bus, train and then car from Nowra to Carlingford in Sydney to see Dr Rob Marshall, who was highly recomended to me by some friends who use his heath programes for the poultry. I knew he was a budgie expert and lover and has written books about them. So I left home at 4am with my baby cuddled up inside a hand knitted beanie in a soft little bag/sling, spare cage, and another 10 month old cock with a little staining above his cere and occasional sneezing. It was a risk taking them on such a long trip and leaving so early in the cold, but I had them well padded and wrapped up in towls and blankets and it was a case of... take the risk and see the best I can and find out what the problem is now while it is mild, rather than wait and see. The doxy was not working, in fact after a week and a half more birds had wet foreheads.

 

I arrived up there mid morning, and he was wonderfull. Best vet I have ever seen, obviously loves budgies, very gentle, and he diagnosed for now a strep or staph infection and showed me what he was seeing under the microscope on a screen, pointing out the nasties and explaining it all. He also gave me a gift, something really neat... and helpfull. I dont think I should say since he probably dosnt give this away often. It was expensive to see him, but he is running a number of tests and prescribed a different antibiotic. He is testing for chlamidiosis also, and I will get the full results tuesday. He also gave me one of his products quick gel, an energy vitamin supplement to give them a boost... and after 24 hours they are bouncing off the walls... and wont shut up... they have gone from quiet to hyper. All the birds are getting the same treatment sick or not since it seems to be spreading very easily. I have 4 in quarantine downstairs, 2 more were wet around the cere last night.

 

Please think good thoughts for all my feathered friends that they will respond quickly and get well fast. We are going to work out a health care programe to keep them in top shape and get ready for next season.

 

I will let you all know how my little bub goes. He is the most worrying right now, being a weanling.

 

I used to be on here as crystal feather a few years ago, I lost my old log in details for that account and changed my email twice. I will put some pics of my birds up this week if anyone would like to see.

 

:)

Sarah.

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Good luck Sarah, you obviously care a lot to go to so much trouble, your birds are sure lucky to have you.

All good thoughts going your way from Melbourne for healthy recovery for all!

Robyn

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Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I dont think you could have gone to anyone with more expertise than Dr Marshall. Good luck and I wish a speedy recovery for all your babies :)

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I really nice to see someone with such dedication to their animals. Good on you.

 

Can I ask, how much is a trip to Dr Marshall? Just curious as I'm in Sydney too.

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Hi Sarah. Only good, positive vibes going your way......really hoping all comes good with your whole flock. Please. yes keep us updated on everyone but especially the little fella. I love good news stories!!! :)

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Thanks guys :) Unfortunately one of my best hens developed a wheeze last night and wet cere, she had only been on moxyT 12 - 24 hours at that stage so she was already 'getting' it have just spent 4 hours down stairs cleaning, disinfecting, scrubbing like a mad woman. I moved her down last night with her mate he seems fine, he is actually in great shape so he stands a good chance, his cere is a lovely deep blue and he is very active. I opted though to split them up and keep her on her own, risky because it will stress them more, but the risk of him getting it would have increased by the day with him feeding her. They can see and talk to each other but there are a few meters between the cages now so they are not sharing so many germs. I didn't really know what else to do with them, fingers crossed she recovers and he stays healthy.

 

The baby is cracking more seed today, one thing with him though is administering his medicine is easy I just mix it straight into his formula and he takes the full dose.

 

Some of the others, their feathers were a little dryers today and no sneezing. So that is promising... tomorrow test results come back. I think I might still send the vet some more dropping samples next pay day for more tests since he only had 2 birds to go on, I will ask him if it is needed.

 

Um, his fees are not the highest I have ever paid, but he is going to cost more than your average vet... you are paying for his specialist knowledge and experience I knew that when I chose to go to him. His consult was $77 for 2 birds but he was not in a rush and I had plenty of time to discuss everything with him. The moxyT was $44 the tests are where the costs are. But having close to 100 birds at home at risk it really is worth it for me.

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thanks for that, fire bird.

 

I hope everything goes well for you and your birds.

 

Best of luck.

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No news from the vet yet, but it's early and it was a long weekend. All still alive and kicking noone is any worse, a few seem better. I have not heard any sneezing since yesterday in the morning, some still have wetness over cere but some could be residual staining from a few days ago, I will have a good look later with the led torch and a cotton bud or tissue and see if any moisture is comming away or if it is dry there. A lot of them are fairly tame and don't mind me handling them for a short time, I have not touched them however all weekend so as not to add any stress and avoid the extra risk of spreading germs. I was up until 3am last night cleaning, I might have OCD... if my OCD helps my birds so be it lol. I might be overly paranoid but I can't help it, I have never had any of my parrot birds sick before it is a new experience and I am terrified. I have seen far sicker birds in pet stores completely ignored but any level of ill health is worrying. I have a horrid guilty feeling I have done something wrong a long the way for them to get sick maybe I forgot to wash my hands one day, or mucked up quarantine on a new bird, or didnt change my clothes after going to a pet store. Was the seed contaminated... did they get in a draft one night... but all I can do now is what Im doing can't change the past. But can learn from it and I have Rob Marshalls book, you start reading that book and cannot put it down, which is maybe not good at night because it is over 400 pages.... lol

 

Update later when I know more. Thanks guys, I feel better having a place to talk about it where people don't think I am nuts and actually care.

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Consult fee of $77 for two birds is very reasonable indeed. Hope all goes well for your birds.

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Results were not ready yet today, they said to call again thursday.

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Must seem like a long wait when you're anxious. Fingers crossed.

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Yes that price for 2 birds is very reasonable for an Dr like him, the one i go to is about the same price.

good luck with your birds, at least they have a fighting chance.

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Well sad news, actually quite horrific I cant think of a word that describes it right now. I went to check on the 2 in quarantine downstairs... its a closed room, brick walls window open a crack for air, lights on, there is a desk I have the cock birds cage on, clean white desk, about 3-4 inches from the wall. I came in and saw him laying on the bottom of the cage. I hadn't been home long, so was the first I had been in there in many hours. He was so alive when I left him, he wasn't even sick, quite the opposite he was in peak condition, I only quarantined him because his mate was sick.

Well he was covered in blood, the cage covered in blood, his mate in distress accross the room. I only set that cage up last night and went over it with a fine tooth comb, no sharp anything anywhere.used that cage for years. It looks like it came from his chest and his leg, like little puncture... like maybe a rat. There is a toilet in there and pipe in the ceiling with a crack next to it. Thats the only thing I can think of, how it got to him on the desk up there, its all slippery sides. He was my very best bird, he was show material I only ever got one chic from him, and its one thats sick. Im gutted I just don't believe it, Ive had him years.

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Oh my God! I don't know what to say. What on earth could have happened?

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I wish I knew, if I catch whatever did this ..... it will not be around very long. We live in the bush, its too cold for reptiles, it had to have been an acrobatic rodent of some kind.

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Some good news now, after all that horror evening my 24 budgies and 5 ringnecks up on our veranda seem to be getting better. Well I was out there for 2 hours earlier and they had their night covers on I was working on a new suspended cage, a big one for the veranda I did not hear a single sneeze, cough or funny wheeze out of any cage. They were all sleeping peacefully not a sound. This MoxyT must be good stuff :D The baby is also doing well, almost bouncing off the walls today he has become a little energizer battery on that quickgel stuff.

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Well sad news, actually quite horrific I cant think of a word that describes it right now. I went to check on the 2 in quarantine downstairs... its a closed room, brick walls window open a crack for air, lights on, there is a desk I have the cock birds cage on, clean white desk, about 3-4 inches from the wall. I came in and saw him laying on the bottom of the cage. I hadn't been home long, so was the first I had been in there in many hours. He was so alive when I left him, he wasn't even sick, quite the opposite he was in peak condition, I only quarantined him because his mate was sick.

Well he was covered in blood, the cage covered in blood, his mate in distress accross the room. I only set that cage up last night and went over it with a fine tooth comb, no sharp anything anywhere.used that cage for years. It looks like it came from his chest and his leg, like little puncture... like maybe a rat. There is a toilet in there and pipe in the ceiling with a crack next to it. Thats the only thing I can think of, how it got to him on the desk up there, its all slippery sides. He was my very best bird, he was show material I only ever got one chic from him, and its one thats sick. Im gutted I just don't believe it, Ive had him years.

Rats and mice can climb up walls, especially brick ones. And they can leap quite a way.

The injuries to the bird is exactly what a rat would do.

Sorry for your loss :(

Edited by **KAZ**

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Sorry fire bird. :( Rats certainly can climb - anything!!! We constantly have trouble with them in our floor-space about 3 metres above the ground. Get rid of one lot, have a little peace and another moves in.

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The traps are out nothing caught yet, they are sneaky little (swearwords) we had a plague of them 2 years ago it was ***. The laundry is on the reno list to be tiled when I get time if that ever happens. Most of the birds are now looking like they are on the mend and all on the same meds so I have moved them all back to the veranda my marema sheepdog guards the birds with her life lol she actually is terrified of sheep she took to bird gaurding like a natural.

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Glad the dog worked out to be good for guarding, if not rounding....:P . Keep trying with the trap (peanut butter and carrot works for us mostly) but still so sad about the cock you lost. Hope the little chick is under marema guard and makes it out the other side.

 

We get white-tailed rats which some-one in their infinite wisedom decided needed to be protected. They are huge, bold and will try to chew through a roller door. We have had two chew through a trap and escape, so I am not surprised where a rat can get to or what it can get up to. I would add a bucket of water to the trap............but that's probably best left unsaid.:wacko:

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little baby is in a weaning cage in the kitchen where its warm and I can watch him.

 

More good and bad news. Bad news first, they were looking good this morning and by tonight had the sniffles back again + some new birds with it, so tomorrow I pray the results are in and he has the right meds for it cos so far doxy and the moxyT don't seem to be kicking it. It isn't a real bad sickness, they look fine apart from drippy nostrils my chickens used to get this sort of thing in fact it presents exactly the same. One vet told me virus... because antibiotics never worked, it would hang around and go through the flock bit by bit over a couple of months and eventually go again. But he already found streptococis and he thinks that is the main problem and thats what the MoxyT is for, the strep needed a major stress to get in though and none have been breeding I can only look at the terrible weather as the stresser and the neighbours fire obsession. By the time they get back from holiday though the fire season will be almost over.

the good news is I finished a new cage today, it's big, it is the size of 6 of the large size long breeding cages stacked 2 high and 3 long I am changing to cabnets in spring and recyling my old cages into a few BIG ones. It is like a suspended type aviary on the back deck. Boys have a bachelor pad and the hens getting theres soon, I like to give them a break from the boys out of breeding season. Its chock full of eucalyptus branches, wattle and seeding grass and the boys are in heaven.

Edited by fire bird

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Results are in, not good.

 

primary cause of infection is golden staph

 

underlying low grade psittacosis.

 

Baby has yeast.

 

I cannot imagine where they got golden staph! So I have to go to my local vet today and he will phone dr Rob and we will sort it out. Back on Doxy the psittavet is too weak, and they didn't drink enough.

Apparanty doxy also does golden staph. God that scares me more than psittacosis... its hard to kill with disinfectants.

 

Edit, spoke to my local bird vet again, he is calling Dr Rob to get the details.

 

It looks like we have worked out how all this broke out now. It's my fault.... and I will share it in case others make the same mistake.

 

Well first is the bad weather which is out of my control unfortunately constant low barametric pressure and moist air very bad. Plus its is cold. So because it was cold I have been covering the cages/flights at night with blankets. The bug bred on the blankets which were damp from the moist air and basically the dust etc all caught up under them over night... they just breathed in too much.

 

So instructions are no covers max air flow and just hang some plastic like a painters drop sheet on the open side of the deck at night to block the wind or a bit of newspaper if it gets really windy or cold and throw it in the morning but only on the side facing out. I had always used blankets, because its what my grandma did, and other breeders I know do so I just did it and didn't even think...

 

They havn't been drinking enough, Dr Rob is going to send me his double strength doxy next week so I will have to use psittavet till I can that from him and get creative about getting it into them. They are a fussy bunch. What about mixing it into the seed with some oil or soaking some apple in the doxy solution? Too many to crop feed them all.

Edited by fire bird

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fire bird get a cheep match stick blind they are in a Holland blind form and roll up and down ventilated and keeps out drafts

also when giving your birds water take it away for the day and over night then return with medication next morning first thing stand and watch the birds flock down to drink works every time then every day take water at around 3pm then return fresh new medicated water in morning around 8 or 9 am do this daily they will drink it they will realize if they want a drink they best do it before its taken or have to wait till its back birds are bit smarter than people give credit

 

this should see them drinking it

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Umm just a question? What BUG was it that bred in the blankets?

 

Only asking as I can understand a fungal infection from blankets but golden (antibiotic resistant) staph??? Very very surprised. Firstly it has to have come from somewhere. Golden staph is staph aureus and resistant staph strains mainly proliferate in hospitals - anyone been near a hospital lately. Usually S. aureus is readily treated with antibiotics it's not until you get the MRSA strains that the problems occur.

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Nope noones been to a hospital. Stumped on where it came from. They are up in a ventilated area with wire floors, cages cleaned often. Any soft food I take out after a few hours, I clean the water containers every day. The neighbours have a septic system leaking but it is nowhere near the birds. I wash my hands so often I have dry skin and splits, we get the blankets from the op shop. The bug must have been in one of the birds and I think what the vet means is one bird got sick the bug spread and because the cages are covered in material at night it made it so much easier to spread. Everything here is damp at the moment. I havn't brought a new bird in ages. It started during the heavy rain, it has been raining every day, for a week, we had a couple of dine weeks but before that it rained every day for weeks, the place flooded twice, downstairs we had flooded out, germ paradise.

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