Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:07 pm Post subject: Please help, I love my Kak
Hi, I have been searching the web for information. Ican't believe my bird is so unusual I can not find help. Rickie is not walking on his legs. The vet said it is possible he has a tumor. Several months ago he was vomiting food so as to feed a male cockatiel in his cage. I am wondering if this was the start of all his problems. He was a very active bird and then he stopped his acrobats and sat quietly on his perch. He worried us so we took him to the vet where the vet said his droppings might be a bit watery. He put him on antibiotics and has been on them since(now psittivet). No change for the good. He has lost his ability to stand properly on a perch even though he can slightly grip my finger. He looks bright and will eat well. He drags himself where he wishes to go but he essentially has lost his mobility. He tries to flutter off and winds up on his back (sorry) like a breakdancer. I often find him in the morning laying on his back. He doesn't look like he frets. I want to know what anyone thinks because I have been nursing him for over two months now. Even though I don't have to hand feed him I often give him treats, like corn and carrots mushed. Please, he is one of our favourites but I do not want to prolonghis life if I am abusing him- he does NOT look like he is in pain.
Depending on what state in Australia you are in I would seek the help of one of the avian vets. There are good vets in every capital city and you can find their location in the back of the birdkeeper magazine.
The illness you describe is unfortunately common in Kakariki. I believe it is a form of defiency in Kakariki and is bought on when both cocks and hens come into breeding condition. I have had several birds suddenly become crippled when about to mate and to date we have never been able to have the problem properly diagnosed. All of our birds have died within 24 hours of falling ill so it would be beneficial to find out from an avian vet as to what the cause is.
is unfortunately common in Kakariki. I believe it is a form of defiency in Kakariki and is bought on when both cocks and hens come into breeding condition.
We dont havw any mutations or breeding options in NZ.such symtoms in Wilds here, either in our birds or others.
Possible a problem If only overseas, maybe something with inbreeding/mutations or hybrids???
I am sure it is not a natural weakness of Kakariki...In general I have found kakariki far stronger, tollerant than most other parrot species. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
I wold be concerned about the possibility of calcium deficiency, viral polioencephalomalacia, kidney disease or heavy metal or plant poisoning in this bird. In a word she needs further investigation. If your local vet is unwilling to do this you can request a referral to an avian vet. The sooner you do this the better.
Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:53 am Post subject: thankyou for your replies
Rickie has been under the care of my avian vet, in Austral NSW- one of the top vets in the country. He has treated him with antibiotics from the start, the normal ones, sorry I will get the names if you like. When they did not help and Rickies right leg problem became more evident (Rickie was dragging it a bit at first, now both legs are affected) Jim started him on psittivet and told me it might be a tumor.
Then, he suggested Rickie wouldn't be around for long.. Rickie on the other hand has been strong - he has pulled himself along with his beak up to his dishes and to his water when I haven't been there to help him. I often find him lying on his back and still (not paralysed) where he seems to be resting up to continue what he is doing. I have him in a Kleenexbox with his seeds in cup on one end and his fuit vegies on the other end. His water is delivered in a Water buddie container (it has a brass valve type nipple) . I have him in a smaller cage with a heating pad up on one end so he can choose his warmth. I take him out at least twice a day and give him Bachs Flowers, - I did give him Sandoz Calcium until I was warned it could hurt his kidneys over a long period. When the sun is good (it is winter here and rainy-) I put him on the window sill to get direct sun.
I give him gentle massage to hopefully help his nervous stimulation and help him balance on my finger. I feed him some of his vegies all the time I have him out. When he seems to have enough of all of this I put him back in his cage. He does not want to stand on his own wanting to let his legs lay limp. He can still pull them up and he can grip, he just want to. He is still receiving the psttivet in the water, It will be 45 day July 1. I put all of my birds on it because I am frightened psitticosis might be lurking somewhere. The only sick bird (besides Rickie) I have has a swollen eye (sinitus?)and she has been isolated much earlier and never has been near Rickie.
We virtually have ruled out most diseases with the antibiotic treatments. IMO. I am at wits end. If any one can help by having a similar experience please let me know.
I think the vet you are refering to is Jim Gill. If so your bird is in the best possible hands. One of the young hens we took to our avian vet was in the same position and he could find no physical evidence of what the problem actually was. Reluctantly we had the bird put down and autopsied in the hope of finding an answer.
The autopsy revealed that the spinal cord had in fact crumbled at the base. This young hen had lost all support of her legs and spent the last few days in a sling. The vet indicated that after pathology tests were done the particular disease was a common occurence in dogs and cats but not in birds. In the larger animals it affects the jaw area, but in Kakariki it attacks the spine for some reason. The cause is bought about through parasites found in dirt floors etc. We use suspended aviaries and it was therefore concluded that perhaps the original problem had been passed on by the parents or that it may in fact be a genetic inheritance. The problem only occurs when affected birds come into breeding condition. It does affect both cocks and hens.
Without naming anyone I have a feeling that there is a link between this problem and a certain large breeder of Kakariki here in Australia. Every bird we have lost to this problem has been traced back to his bloodlines and I think it is a genetic defeciency bought about by inbreeding. I think Steptoe is correct in his post and unfortunately with such a large number of suspect birds in Australia this problem will be around for some time.
I think you have something there. Yes it is Jim Gill, I worry about names because I do not want to give wrong impressions if I get upset.. I think you may understand that part. Jim hasn't seen him in two weeks now. I do not know if I should take Rickie back in or not- guess I should.
Rickie was rescued from my kids playground in Macquarie Fields about three years ago so I have no idea about the breeder. At the time we rang and left notices at the vets offices in our area. Rickie was regurgitating food for his male cockatiel cage mate last October - about 8 months ago. This is the only indication of any hormonal upset. I do not overly worm my birds -once every six months and every time I get any new birds in the cages- which is rare. My inside birds are in large metal cages which are scrubbed regularly- at least once a month. I could understand it being genetic because of the right foot being splayed since I received him. Jim said the sickness or tumor could have exagerated the problem.
Rickie seems to be breathing heavier today, I thought I might have had him too warm but it seems the same even in a cooler position. Did your Kak's seem to be "bright" even though they were not good? This has me stumped- I do not know if I am hurting him by keeping him going. Would an antiinflammatory help then? (in your opinion?) thanks
That is probably the must frustrating part to this illness. The birds remain alert and their diet seems unaffected. Unfortunately, we have not found a miracle cure and sadly we have resigned ourselves to having birds with these symptoms put down. We dont think it is fair on what is essentially a very free spirited bird to have to live this way. I must stress that is our choice and it is never an easy decision to make.
The vet we use is also highly qualified in avian species and he simply has no explanation as to why this occurs in some birds and not others. That is why I suspect it is a problem that has been inherited. We have found that Aspygilosis can also be transmitted from parent birds to young chicks and so it is possible this works in a similar fashion. The connection to birds showing signs when in mating condition could be due to added stress, but at this stage it is pretty much guess work on our part.
As the spine crumbles it affects the nervous system as well as internal organs. The legions your vet is refering to form on the base of the spine as the bone becomes powdery. Perhaps you could ring him and inform him of what has been written on here on the chance that he is familar with the disease and may have some further suggestions.
Good luck with whatever decision you ultimately decide upon.
I've been watching this thread with lots of interest.
I've had problems since getting my first kaki (charlie) in June last year. We got her a mate (sydney) and they started breeding......Four eggs......but then one morning he died suddenly (sorry to cause panic in the comunity thinking it was the capsicums), the eggs were non fertile so were removed and charlie went back to normal. We then got another male (sydney 2) they got into mating and four eggs later .....he died !! .
Of the four eggs one hatched......the chick also died after about two weeks .
Charlie has been ok throughout no sign of illness. We then got another male and yes they got into breeding routine.....then after about two weeks he suddenly went lame in one leg, then the other, now just like yours he drags himself round and can do very little for himself. I took him to the vets and he gave him anti-inflamatories and a check up, he said he should improve within two weeks....that was four weeks ago!! there has been no change exept he got a bit worse. He suggested it could be a hereditary disease and he may not survive. I think it will be kinder to have him put down than to let a bird that was previously so funny and mischievous continue to suffer in this way.
I think that is the final answer hard as it may be and that is in my own opinion now the kindest option.
Hi, I have looked for the disease you mentioned and all I can find is Aspergillus, the funus borne disease- is this the one, I didn't think so. I think you are correct with the symptoms that mine has. i gave him some Ibuprofen for two days 2xa day. He has been more active, still pulling himself along, so the damage has been done. I have a call into Jim, but he hasn't returned it yet. I told the receptionist it wasn't urgent, so I do not know if he received it yet. I will probably let Rickie go soon as I talk to him. I do not hold any hope for him now.
-John V, Rickie proggressively was less and less active. He didn't lose his ability to perch until after the first 3 weels of me noticing something was really wrong. Then he lost control of the right leg- dragging it and not wanting to grip. He would hold himself to the side of his cage with his beak and crawl up the side pulling himself along. He ate his food ok, and drank ok.
I put him in the box as I descibed only last week because he kept falling to is back. Everyday I expect to find him gone but he has always been just resting, blinks at me and I put him back into the box near his water and food. I have taken out while I prepare the rest of my 'families' food and let him sit in the sun and watch me do my thing. He seems to be happier with the attention. It is so sad, and I really was hoping there was something I could do. good luck with your Kak's I hope you will keep in touch.
I let Jack out last night but he could no longer fly, it was so sad to see him falling around the floor no longer running around. When he tried to fly he just flipped on his back. He went to sleep at night with his body against the side and holding on with his beak. he regularly fell off his perch during the night only to drag himself back again using his beak. His beak was wearing away inside were he gripped the cage bars and it had cracked both sides, this i decided was enough and he must be in pain of some sort, although he was eating as normal as possible and drinking ok. He was perfectly healthy to look at but when he moved he just fell about. I had him put down today rather than prolong his suffering.
Dear JohnV, you are very brave to make this decision. Like I said, it is probably Rickie's last day. He hasn't flown in weeks. It makes me so angry not to get a correct diagnosis in the beginning. I know it is hard, I still wonder what the name of this is. Are you going to get an autopsie? If you do can you please let us know what happens? I am still waiting for my vet's phone call. =lease let us know how you are.
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