G.I. infection

Since the list seems to be pretty slow right now, I thought I’d share a case from my files.

This was a clutch of two of my Jardine’s who were starting to wean, were on two feedings, and were in a weaning cage. They were about eight or nine weeks old. On their own, in addition to formula twice a day, they were eating fruits and vegetables, pellets, and had just started to crack some seeds.

The day after feeding spinach greens (which I suspect must have been contaminated) the younger of the two began to produce large, mucosy, unformed droppings. The cage was a mess because they would walk in the droppings, and spread them all over the cage bars, dishes, and perches.

Here is an aside: I stopped using cage grates for Jardine’s and senegals about a year ago because they keep getting their wings caught in the grate. The last time I used a cage grate, I found a baby senegal lying spread-eagled on his back, with each wing through one set of bars on the grate and back up through another set. I couldn’t even begin to help him with one hand. I needed two hands to get in there…one to hold him, and the other to work each wing out. The door was too small for both of my arms to get through and still leave room to work, so I had to dismantle the cage.

I previously had found Jardine’s with one shoulder hooked through a bar, but never before had I seen both entire wings trapped like this. Jardine’s and Senegals like to play on their backs, so no more cage grates for them.

Anyway, back to the sick Jardine’s. Obviously this baby had a bacterial infection of the digestive tract. Because I caught it right away, the babies hadn’t lost any weight, and they were active..not acting sick. I knew I had time to use herbs. However, the plan was to monitor them very closely so that if they lost much weight or began to ‘go downhill’, I would take them to the vet for antibiotics.

Since they were in the cage together, I knew the older one would start to show symptoms shortly, so I treated them both. I varied the treatment slightly from day to day based on behavior and symptoms. Always when treating a bird, I keep flexibility in mind. If one thing isn’t working, I need to change. I also need to know my herbs and know how long it takes them to do their job and what changes I expect to see if they are working as they should.

First, I had to know how much to give them. Each baby was taking two and a half 10cc syringes of formula at each feeding. Together, that was 50cc.

This was the combination I used for day 1: In my mortar and pestle I ground and mixed: 1 capsule of garlic powder…for bacteria and yeast 1 capsule of slippery elm…to soothe the irritated digestive tract (very slimy and mucosy droppings) 1 capsule of probiotics…to improve digestive tract health

On the first day, I added the entire mixture to the 50cc prepared handfeeding formula for each of the two feedings, morning and evening. I also added a third feeding in the middle of the day because the youngest was begging for food. She stopped eating on her own.

This is a normal symptom of a bacterial infection. This also is part of being flexible. It would have been asking for trouble to expect the baby to stick to a weaning schedule when it was sick. When babies don’t eat on their own, I make up for it with formula. I never force wean.

On the second day, the older bird started to produce the large volume, mucosy, unformed droppings too. I expected this. I also noticed that after feeding, they would fluff, so I attached a heating panel to their cage.

Day two’s potion: 1 capsule garlic 1 capsule slippery elm 1 capsule probiotics 1 capsule echinacea…to boost the immune system and add synergy to the action of the garlic.

This was divided into two feedings. The afternoon feeding did not contain any herbs, just formula. Both birds were eagerly filling up with formula and were very hungry. They didn’t seem to mind the taste of the herbs.

I had to disinfect the cage, perches, dishes a couple of times a day. They were messing everything. I changed the cage paper several times a day. Droppings were still mucosy and unformed. The older one was more energetic than the younger, and was actually clinging to the cage bars and flapping his wings. The younger was crying to be cuddled and comforted, so I did that too. They weren’t paying much attention to their fruits and veggies but did eat some orange and apple.

Day three divided the following into two portions for the early and late feedings. 1 capsule garlic 1 capsule probiotics 1 capsule echinacea 1 capsule Nature’s Way Digestion formula (contains dandelion, barberry, gentain, beet, angelica, cayenne, and digestive enzymes: for protein, fats, cellulose, and carbohydrates.)

They were eating fruits and veggies well again, took some cheerios and pellets, and seemed interested in sunflower seeds. Both were energetic and causing trouble again. The older wouldn’t take as much formula. Droppings looked drier and weren’t so voluminous.

Day four: same ‘potion’ as day three. Droppings are back to normal. Still offered three feedings, but they didn’t take a full 25 cc per feeding. They lost a teeny bit of weight over the three days but ate well on their own and regained it over the next couple of days.

Gave last combination once a day for the next couple of days, but it didn’t seem necessary…just making sure.

Hope you found this interesting. gloria