From Susanne Russo

Droppings DO tell alot. As far as myself..it is my most used *visual diagnostic*

Most dropping info. on the internet and books is basic and not very detailed. For instance when I do give a medication and if within the next 2-3 droppings I see a change in color of the urates (usually yellow to pale green) I *know* that dosage was too strong. It is also hitting the liver. If the urates change texture to gritty or chalky looking the meds. are interfering/damaging the kidneys….

Okay…I am working with a cockatiel right now that I found down on the floor of the flight, with paralysis of the legs. This one is my fault as far as the condition. I suspected zinc poisoning last week, and due to one thing or another I did not pull the bird. He’s in a large 14′ x 6′ flight with almost 40 other cockatiels.

I brought him in the house and immediately SubQ warm Lactated Ringers into him, and some B-complex. The first droppings took about an hour to pass and were very thin chalky and yellow, no solids, little liquid. The next droppings were still chalky and discolored but also contained a slight bit of blood, no solids. The next droppings were very scant and dark black-green, little urates, little fluid. Now the blood could’ve been from the digestive tract or the kidneys. The condition of the droppings tells me that this bird has not had any food or water in over 24+ hours. Right now I’m on my second round of SubQ Ringers. This is (above) in the space of 3 1/2 hours. My main goal is to right now get fluids into the bird and get the digestive (by subcutaneous methods) tract moving. The most recent droppings are showing a slightly lighter dark green, and increased solids, a little more fluid, urates still discolored yellow, but the texture is improving.

That’s where I’m at now. Once I get better solids and urates I will start the CaEDTA, and also tube feed a thin mixture of Slippery Elm, gentian, and cornsilk into the bird for a feeding or 2, then start feeding more solids….etc.

Somehow we have to have a good description of how the *Various* types of birds dropping look in the *normal state.* This also would look slightly different between a pelleted or seed eating bird. From there what to look for as diagnostic of the condition in the illness state. This is where good photo’s would be a asset

<<<So I think the owners of diseased birds ought to have a procedure to follow to get info on droppings. Clean the floor. Put down waxed paper. Monitor all the droppings and make some notes for those of us on AHH to make a decision. It would be ideal to direct them to pictures of NORMAL and they can key off that for their description. >>>

Bird owners should keep a small file that charts the frequency, color, and amount of droppings, and variances per feeding time and food fed in the *normal* state. This can be done over a period of two days…and filed away. It is good reference for when the owner starts to see a change in the bird.

The same can be done as far as good accurate color photo’s of the bird in the healthy state. Again for comparison. When a bird gets sick the feather colors will have a subtle change. A dark bird will go slightly paler in feather color and have a slightly duller look. A white or light colored bird will get more of a yellow suffusion, and either get a satiny look if there is something critically wrong…or a dull powdery look if it is minor. There is also a change to the eyes when a bird is ill. Same with the tissue around the eye and tongue will get paler with anemia. Beak colors will change with illness. The focus is to know and record all the signs of the bird while healthy. If the person is a single pet owner, and new to birds this is difficult. They need to actively go out and look at the same species from reputable people with healthy birds…and learn, learn, learn, about the type of bird you own.

Just some more thoughts….


Diarrhea Here is an article that you may find interesting. It mentions using pomegranate skin for diarrhea. http://www.ayurvedic.org/diarrhea.html Regards, Linda Urine

The watery part of the stool appears clear when it is wet, but after it dries on the newspaper, it appears light yellow, or light green off and on. (she does shred newpaper all the time for nesting, could that be a problem?) I suppose you could say that it could be run off from the solid part of the stool, but I do not know for sure. The solid part seems firm tho.

The other birds have more changes in their stools, more bases on changes in what they have eaten. For the most part, they are normal looking.

Now that I think of it, there was a time where the lovebirds droppings were puffy whitish, but that went away. I can only presume it is her liver, but I have no idea what could be causing it.

She is offered a wide variety of fresh foods, plus scenic pellets, and a natural seed mix. She does not eat much of the fresh food tho. She was on zupreme pellets (colored ones ) before I switched to the scenic.

Sounds like she may benefit from dandelion greens when they come into season.

As I said before, she doesn’t seem sick at all, just laid 2 eggs, and is full of p____ and vinegar.

Will visit the web page. Thanks, Sandy

Now, don’t quote me on this, but I thought I read that yellow or green tinged urine could indicate kidney problems. I know for sure that liver disease does effect the urate (white) portion of the droppings once it is advanced enough. http://www.veterinarylibrary.com/
reference/newsletter/avianexaminer/content/ 0078.htm This article alludes to the fact that colored urine may be from liver problems. It also discusses Ultra Clear Plus, a product we have discussed on the list before.

The only references I could find in Dr McCluggage’s book that relate to what you’ve mentioned are: p.55 “Larger amounts of urates in the droppings could indicate a kidney disease.” p 94 (under the heading: Signs of Illness) “There might be a yellow or yellow-green color change to the urine.” Unfortunately, he doesn’t elaborate in either case. He does mention using many things that can help the liver and kidneys.

I certainly think if what you are seeing is a symptom of dis-ease, you have caught it in it’s early stages. That’s why it is not yet effecting her activity level, appetite, etc. Taking a good look at her diet compared to the diet of wild lovebirds, her environment, giving her supplements to support what you determine the problem might be, or contacting a holistic vet or other qualified individual may be beneficial. I could list everything Dr McCluggage suggests in his book, but I certainly wouldn’t know where to tell you to begin, because you have to consider many other things about the patient & you need someone qualified to do that. You wouldn’t want to make the problem worse or try out different treatments, hoping one will work, while the problem progresses.

Also, most newspapers are printed with soy inks, but some are not. It is my understanding that the soy ink is relatively safe (according to conventional vets), but other inks aren’t. The colored portion of the newspapers usually contain very harmful substances. You might want to call your local newspaper just to ask what kind of ink they use. Leanne