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So a bit of history, one of my Cockatiels Smokey was a rescue and came from a home where his owners smoked heavily (his cage was stained yellow) and he has had always had breathing issues since I had him. It used to just be that he couldn't fly far without getting out of breath, but over the past 2/3 years he has had severe episodes on and off where his crop area bulges with every breath and he makes a loud clicking noise and wheezes when he breaths. I have had him to the avian vet a few times, he has had x-rays, poop samples taken and was kept in hospital in a nebuliser for around 3 days (which didn't help) he seems to get a little better every time he has antibiotics but it never lasts long. We also use Guardian Angel and a spray called Wheeze Eeze. The vet as told us it could be aspergillosis but that he would have to have a few tests to check for this, tests which are dangerous because it involves putting him to sleep whilst they do it (blood tests and crop samples) they have told me this could make it worse and he might not wake up, and that if it does come back as aspergillosis there isn't much that can be done.
Does this sound like aspergillosis and is it worth getting the tests done? I feel like I'm doing the wrong thing either way because both risk his health but the tests could kill him..
 

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heavy breathing

I am so sorry you and your cockatiel are going through this. I am wondering if his heavy breathing and stress are just from the years of being exposed to the cigarette smoke. Asper is a fungal disease. I guess it could be worsened by cigarette smoke but I don't know if that could cause it. Did the poop samples show anything? Are his droppings normal color? I know with raptors, asper cause cause greenish or yellow mutes.
I am sorry I can't be more help. I agree I'd be afraid to put him through the tests. It sounds as if they are risky enough, and his already stressed condition would make it harder on him. I am not in your situation, but I think I'd want to try supportive care and try to make him as comfortable as possible. My best to you.
 

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Poor little guy :( it's up to you but if your avian vet is experienced I would go ahead with the testing. Although risky, it could save his life. My cockatiel Honey has been put under before and the vet was very good and she was okay. I was super anxious about it (aware that she might not survive it) but it had to be done, she was on the brink of death. He didn't fully put her to sleep and put her under really gradually, just enough to give her an injection and stop the bleeding (she was attacked by one of my other 'tiels a few months ago, resulting in a serious leg wound that required emergency care), and he took her out of the anesthesia slowly too. He didn't fully seal the equipment that went over her head which lessened the risk of her overdosing on the gas and dying. If your little guy is really struggling and you're really worried I think doing the tests would be the best thing to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am so sorry you and your cockatiel are going through this. I am wondering if his heavy breathing and stress are just from the years of being exposed to the cigarette smoke. Asper is a fungal disease. I guess it could be worsened by cigarette smoke but I don't know if that could cause it. Did the poop samples show anything? Are his droppings normal color? I know with raptors, asper cause cause greenish or yellow mutes.
I am sorry I can't be more help. I agree I'd be afraid to put him through the tests. It sounds as if they are risky enough, and his already stressed condition would make it harder on him. I am not in your situation, but I think I'd want to try supportive care and try to make him as comfortable as possible. My best to you.
No everything came back clear every time. His poops are normal, a bit watery but they always have been. The vet said she thinks its Asper purely because it comes and goes, but she did say it could just be that his lungs are destroyed from the cigarette smoke :( I have a lot to think about I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Poor little guy :( it's up to you but if your avian vet is experienced I would go ahead with the testing. Although risky, it could save his life. My cockatiel Honey has been put under before and the vet was very good and she was okay. I was super anxious about it (aware that she might not survive it) but it had to be done, she was on the brink of death. He didn't fully put her to sleep and put her under really gradually, just enough to give her an injection and stop the bleeding (she was attacked by one of my other 'tiels a few months ago, resulting in a serious leg wound that required emergency care), and he took her out of the anesthesia slowly too. He didn't fully seal the equipment that went over her head which lessened the risk of her overdosing on the gas and dying. If your little guy is really struggling and you're really worried I think doing the tests would be the best thing to do.
The problem is I can't get to the avian vet anymore, for some reason there is barely any where I live, the closest one would be 3 bus rides, a train and a 20 minute walk away. My dad used to take us when we needed to go but he can't drive anymore. There is a vet close by who has experience with birds but she isn't an avian vet, and thats who would be doing it so I'm really not sure :( It sounds like you found an amazing avian vet!
 

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That's unfortunate. My new vet doesn't actually specialize in birds, but he is hugely experienced so he knew exactly how to handle my fragile girl.
 
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