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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! here I am again, asking for advice. Today early in the morning-while hand feeding my babies I noticed the signs of yeast. Even though I had and bred cockatiels for years I never had that problem. First thing I did- I phoned my vet,but he said he has no experience with crop flushing,well what to expect of him he is cat/dog vet and sadly-the best one I could find. Dont judge me harshly, I live in Mexico-developing country plus rather small city and when it comes to cockatiels,people are asking me what to do,because there is nowhere else to turn and I am asking here as my only source.. Anyway I run to medical supply store and got infants feeding tube and 20 cc syringe,educated myself on all Susanne Russo's articles I can find and attempted to flush crops-for 10 babies. I managed to get all liquid out but the hard part remained. I tried for 30 minutes solid on one poor chick-to manually squeeze the undigested seeds out via manual flushing. but just stressed the chick rather then got results. So this is what I do now- I add some "'Mother"'apple cider vinegar to parents water. As for babies-every few hours I suction all liquid out (it looks white) and when I can suction no more -refill with warm Gatorade with a pinch of baking soda in it. so far they all alive but my heart just breaks thinking of them. Poor little things. Their ages are between 5-12 days old and they are from 2 couples but they are all sick.
What I wanted to ask- had anyone ever manage to get the hard part (undigested see
seeds and so) out and what else can I do.. I sorry to bother anyone but I just feel so desperate,I guess last time I felt like that when my birds catched protozoan infection last summer. And Folks on this site had helped me a great deal
 

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Oh my god, stop, please stop what you're doing, never ever manually squeeze a bird's crop, let alone a baby bird, and I hate to think about what they went through while you were trying to stick tubes into their crops. I don't know what else to say except stop please, just stop...

You have to treat the yeast infection, not get the "solids" out. Even if you got the solids out the yeast will simply grow right back! It's a microbe, you cannot get it all out. The idea here is to treat the infection and break up the solid food that is in there so they digest it. Again, stop trying to get it out, just please stop. I'm surprised that you didn't kill any of them, especially the one you squeezed the **** out of for 30 minutes...Why? Don't be surprised if you lose that baby, my heart breaks for all of them but my god that little one you did that to...What would possess you to do that? I know you didn't see that anywhere...

Please go to the link I'm providing below and follow the detailed directions and illustrations for treating both the infection and the slow crop/crop stasis. Again, even if you got all the solids out of their crops the yeast infection would just cause it to happen again. And you need to give these treatments to the actual babies, not the parents! Follow the directions closely, they work. As a breeder of 20 years I can assure you that what you have been doing is nothing but torture, whether you meant well or not. Use your head please, I'm sorry, I don't mean to be nasty to you, but you had no business breeding baby birds. That's the entire reason this happened, because you bred birds without knowing anything about how to treat common issues that arise.

Most importantly and I'll stress this again, STOP TRYING TO FLUSH THEIR CROPS COMPLETELY, BOTH WITH TUBES AND BY SQUEEZING THE POOR BABIES! Do not stick anything else down into their crops at all please! No tubes, no nothing. You're lucky you didn't aspirate them and kill them instantly, lose a tube in their crops, puncture their crops, tear their crops, and make their infections much worse by introducing bacteria into them..
Just follow these directions, no more guessing about what an actual avian vet would do..


http://www.justcockatiels.net/sour-and-slow-crop-remedies.html

"Dance like nobody's watching..."
 

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By the way, the next time something goes wrong and you don't know what to do, try using GOOGLE before you torture and nearly kill the poor babies. I just Google searched "Baby bird with yeast infection in crop" and the link I gave you was the second result, along with 500,000 other pages with the same information and instructions! Use your head! Think first!

"Dance like nobody's watching..."
 

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Yeast is a fungus infection, and the "real" treatment for it is with prescription medication. Nystatin and flucanazole are frequently used to treat yeast infections in birds.

This article says at the bottom that nystatin can be added to handfeeding formula. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=15+1829&aid=3090 I have no idea what the dose would be however. Do you think that your dog and cat vet can look up this information successfully and help you get the medication? If not, you might be able to find an online vet who can advise you.
 

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The OP said they are already following Susanne's advice, and her advice does include flushing the crop. We have a sticky thread on how to do it right here in this group. I posted the thread about five years ago but it's all quotes from Susanne, because she's the expert in this area and I most definitely am not: http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=32584

Massaging the crop is part of the procedure.

Edited to add: the end part of Susanne's instructions mentions an antibiotic called Keflex. Antibiotics are helpful with bacterial infections, but yeast is a fungus not a bacterium, and antibiotics are not effective against it.
 

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This line from the sticky thread article might be particularly relevant:
[If the formula is coming out] but it still feels like there is something in the crop this could be yeast building up on the inside wall of the crop thickening the skin.
She doesn't say what to do about it in that thread however. Here's a different sticky thread with links to several of her other articles on crop problems: http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=27514 Hopefully all the links still work. It's possible that you might find an answer there.
 

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Oh my god, stop, please stop what you're doing, never ever manually squeeze a bird's crop, let alone a baby bird, and I hate to think about what they went through while you were trying to stick tubes into their crops. I don't know what else to say except stop please, just stop...
I'm curious what you're basing this advice on? Flushing the crop is a legitimate medical procedure used to treat digestive problems, and it is not painful if performed correctly. Putting a tube into the crop to deliver food and/or medication is the safest way to treat this kind of problem, and does not carry a risk of aspiration (unless the tube is put down the airway instead, which is hard if not impossible to do) because it goes directly into the crop, which has no connection to the lungs.

It also appears that you didn't read the full article you recommended/linked, since it includes a description of the same procedure you're calling torture.

Unfortunately all I can really recommend to the OP at this point is to try to work with a vet who can give you the prescription medications tielfan already suggested. Failing that, the actions already taken seem to be the most appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tielfan, thank you very much for your advice-not only to me but to so many others on that site. I have seeing all the info on the links already and not just today, but I do regullary read info about cockatiels since education is never ending prosess. I do not know why EllenD is blaming me,if yo do google search or watch videos "how to" it says everywhere that crop must be completely emptied before proceeding with remediesBdv all babies are alive and dont look as bloated as they use to. I can get any medicine I need without prescription.But what I do know about fungus is that baking soda its number one enemy,better then any antifungal since fungus just cant develop resistance to it. Since condition of babies improved slightly since morning, I allow myself a tiny ray of hope.. I started this tread to know more about other bird owners experience with flushing, cause even Susanne's articles dont cover everything
 

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Thanks, I'm glad I could help. I think maybe EllenD didn't realize that the webpage she sent you to belongs to the same person whose advice you are already following.

Compared to the US, Mexico is like the Land of Opportunity in terms of being able to get medications without a major hassle. So there's a good chance that you could get nystatin or fluconazole if you wanted to. The problem is figuring out how much to give. There might not be anyone here who can answer that question for you, but there are some very experienced breeders on the National Cockatiel Society Facebook page who probably can: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1497247917251218/

The problem is that they have a strict rule against giving medical advice in public, to protect themselves from liability if someone loses a bird as a result of the advice. But you might get an answer if you post there, say you realize that the group rules don't allow a public answer, and ask whether anyone can give you advice in a PM. It's worth a try if you're interested in going this route. Tell them what you're already doing and ask whether you need to give antifungal medication too. At best you might get some useful advice and at worst they'll delete your thread. Don't tell them I sent you lol, they might not appreciate me trying to bend their rules.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tielfan,thanks again. Babies are definitely better now, today in the morning I''ve found empty crops. I guess constant vigilance and early intervention is what makes a difference in life or death of the bird, on the other hand I am no longer scared to do tube feedings and in a future this may come handy to help feed sick adult birds if needed. And of course, I am entirely grateful to Sussane Russo for her great articles,which I am sure had helped thousands
 

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If the babies are doing better then you may not need additional medication. Home remedies might not always be enough for advanced cases but there are times when they can work.

You mentioned earlier that you were adding "'Mother"'apple cider vinegar to the parents' water. Adding vinegar every single day is probably not desirable, but adding an appropriate amount once or twice a week might be helpful in preventing crop infections. Any kind of vinegar is expected to have the same results though, and there are other substances (like lemon juice and chili pepper) that would probably work just as well. Apple cider vinegar is vastly overhyped, and there's not a significant difference between it and ordinary distilled white vinegar. I have an article on claims versus reality at http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/nutrition-acv.html
 

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I reacted the way that I did because #1 the OP admitted he had no idea what he was doing and had never attempted to do a crop flushing before, and had no instruction. Sorry but if that's the case he shouldn't be attempting to do it. #2 because he said he spent 30 minutes manually "squeezing" a baby bird's crop, which he admitted "stressed him out", I bet it did. That was the part that horrified me. I'm sorry but I'm sticking to my guns on this one, there are things that you just shouldn't attempt if you have no idea what you're doing, or the correct equipment/supplies to do it.

Obviously the correct treatment for a yeast infection is a prescription medication, as I clearly stated to the OP, he needs to treat the yeast infection because it is the cause of the slow crop, and trying to clean all of the solids out of the crop without treating the source of the infection is pointless. That being said, the OP had already started off by saying he lived in rural Mexico with no access to proper medical care, a proper vet, or prescriptions. He had already gone to a general vet and even though they knew the babies had yeast infections in their crops they did not prescribe an antifungal. Why? I have absolutely no idea, you would think that would be the first thing they would do, but they didn't. So I thought the best thing to do was to try to treat the infections naturally with apple cider vinegar, Alka Seltzer, etc., which is why I linked the article I did, it also had other links to many different "home remedies" to try. And while I hate advising "home remedies" I was under the impression that prescriptions were not available. If I had thought that the OP could go and pick up some Nystatin, or better yet some oral Diflucan I would have advised him to do so, but I didn't think his babies had much time to mess around, and thought it best to get them started with the natural treatments that I have had success with in the past. I still think this.

I'm well aware of the other articles attached describing "massaging the crop", I have read these slides many times and have advised people to use them. However, first of all if the OP had actually read the advice of the author, who is an authority on avian health, she advises right from the start to not attempt anything you aren't comfortable with, especially on a baby. Plus he did not have properly sized crop tubes. So was it a good idea for him to repetitively insert both the wrong size and wrong type of tubes down into baby bird crops? No, absolutely not. And as he stated in his original post it wasn't working. I stand by instructing him to stop attempting to do constant crop flushes over and over again on young, small baby birds without proper crop tubes and the proper solutions. I also stand by telling him to treat the infection first because that is what is causing the slow crops or crop stasis to begin with. And as far as "manually squeezing" a baby's crop for 30 minutes straight, yes, I told him to please just stop. Tell me I'm wrong for doing that...he himself stated the baby was stressed. Once again, I'm well educated in avian medicine/animal medicine in general, I have a master's degree in animal health science and I bred birds for over 20 years. I do most of my own veterinary testing, treatments, and vaccines myself at home for my dogs, birds, and bearded dragons, under outside guidance of my certified avian vet and my general vet. I keep a lot of prescription medications and supplements on hand, as well as vaccinations for my dogs. I have the ability to do culture and sensitivities with antibiotic discs, I do basic microscopy like fecal smears, and I plate swabs from crop flushes. So obviously if I thought that the OP had Nystatin laying around I would have mentioned that.

I realize that the OP was trying to do whatever he could to save his baby birds, and I do apologize for freaking out the way I did. But I stand behind the advice I gave him 100%, as he was not familiar with what he was trying to do at all and he did not have the proper supplies at home to do crop flushes. I've seen people come to forums in a huge panic because their baby birds stopped eating, their crops stopped emptying, so they found those exact instructions for doing crop flushes, but unfortunately they had no experience with doing them at all, they ignored the instructions about using the appropriate sized crop tubes, so they went and bought the closest thing they could find, and now part of whatever they used as a crop tube was lost in one of their baby's crops. Iced seen that post on forums several times. I've also seen the result of a ruptured crop (this was an adult Quaker parrot, not a baby) that occurred because the person was frantically trying to massage the crop to elicit natural contractions and they massaged the crop way too hard. That adult Quaker died, and I can link the forum thread to it so you can maybe better understand why I freaked out after the OP said he had been doing this to a baby's crop for 30 minutes straight.

I am very passionate about the welfare of animals, especially birds and reptiles, and yes I occasionally get upset. For that I am sorry, I should have taken a deep breath and counted to ten before replying. But I stand 100% behind the advice I gave the OP, and I especially stand behind telling him to stop doing crop flushes without the proper equipment or more importantly without any idea what he was doing. The last thing in the world I want would be for the OP to kill one of his baby birds, like the one whose crop he squeezed for 30 minutes, and to feel responsible for that. I wouldn't wish that upon my worst enemy because it's an awful feeling that you never fully get over. I grew up in a bird breeding family on my mom's side, both my grandmother and my mom bred English and American budgies, cockatiels, parrotlets, etc. And my mom bred and hand-raised my very first pet, an American budgie,, and gave him to me as a baby when I was 6 years old. I "helped" my mom hand-feed my budgie and his siblings from 2 weeks old, and I actually seriously started training with my mom at the age of 13, and started breeding English budgies on my own at 16. My mom gave me 2 of her proven pairs and bought me another pair, and all 3 of my pairs had successful clutches the first season I had them. I pulled the chicks at 3 weeks and hand-raised them, everything went great. The second round of 3 clutches everything was going great as well, I was making a little money, I loved it and wanted to go to college for veterinary medicine. Then while hand-feeding a 4 week old baby budgie I aspirated him and he died in my hands within 30 seconds of doing it. It was the only time I ever had anything like that happen in 20 years of breeding birds. I'm now 37 years old and I still think about killing that parakeet chick every time I pick up a pipette to feed a baby. So that's what I didn't want the OP to have to deal with if God forbid he killed one of his chicks by attempting what he was.

"Dance like nobody's watching..."
 

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the author, who is an authority on avian health
Actually Susanne doesn't have any medical/veterinary training, or a strong understanding of biology or any other kind of science. She's a very experienced cockatiel breeder who has put an exceptional amount of time and effort into helping others and passing along the benefits of her experience. Her advice on dealing with crop problems in babies and breeding issues in general is the most detailed and extensive on the internet, and is frequently the most useful information you're going to find anywhere. Some of her beliefs on sexing and split signs are controversial. Some of her recommendations for home remedies are iffy too (like homeopathy and colloidal silver). But a lot of it seems to be pretty sound, and I haven't heard much complaint about her "taking care of babies" articles.

But she doesn't have the kind of credentials that would qualify her as an authority on avian health. She's just one of the many knowledgeable and dedicated amateurs providing free advice on the internet. Enigma has a PhD in human medicine, and I would consider her to be a more authoritative source when it comes to medications and at least some medical procedures. But I wouldn't call her an actual authority on avian health either, since that's not where her training is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
EllenD,thanks, I am sure you meant well and I do feel the pain you felt for poor baby chicks. I am the same way-cant stand abuse to animals either. I do not live in rural Mexico- I live close to San Diego border and famous TJ. However once you cross from US you can forget about proper "'exotic pets"care and do feel yourself completely helpless since you know more about cockatiels then your vet. For example when I enter a petshop here, I often see cockatiels with dirty water and sunflower seeds only -to eat,when I see this - I never stay quiet either and do ask the shop owners how would they like to eat mayonnaise every day for breakfast,dinner and supper. And always do feel the strong urge to buy them all and rescue them from there.BDW, I am not "'He"' I am a woman, 32 y.o. and interestly I have a 6 y.o. daughter whom I recently gave her personal pet-white-marginated pearl cockatiel Goldie, we have raised her together As for babies - I no longer do crop flushes,they are doing better. Ofcourse -it is risky to attempt crop flush- without experience or someone to show you,however I do use my head and wouldnt squeeze baby to death I did everything slowly,carefully and according to instructions. But when you see bloated crop full of sour food-the choice is this-you leave it like that-the baby will die,you attempt to flush and do something wrong-the baby will die,but its like "'you cant kill a dead baby'' so I did try to help the best I could,once again we all should use common sense and if someone recommends you to clip wings for example it doest mean to grab a pair of scissors and chop the wings off, I did my research,watched videos on youtube and got best equipment I could,there is absolutely no way the feeding tube may get lost (it is very well attached to syringe ) Anyway,whatever I did did seem to help, I am watching them closely now, I think the key here is early detection and prevention. Thank you for your support and time and best off all-to you
 

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Don't worry ninfatiel, to me at least it was clear from the start that you were doing all that you could to educate yourself, make the right choice, and do the best job that anyone could possibly do in such a difficult situation.

I'm fortunate to live in a place where competent bird vets are available, but if I was in your position I would have done the same thing you did - and I would have been terrified! There are obviously risks in trying to do a procedure like this without training or experience, but there were worse risks in not trying to do it. When life forces us into difficult situations we have to make difficult choices.
 

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Tielfan,thanks again. Babies are definitely better now, today in the morning I''ve found empty crops. I guess constant vigilance and early intervention is what makes a difference in life or death of the bird, on the other hand I am no longer scared to do tube feedings and in a future this may come handy to help feed sick adult birds if needed. And of course, I am entirely grateful to Sussane Russo for her great articles,which I am sure had helped thousands
I have the same problem with my baby tiel too. Can u suggest me how did u cure this yeast infection?
 
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