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C.C. from st. louis MO asks: Dr. Rob, I have four young Lady Gouldian finches. (not for breeding, just enjoyment) My male silver is about 4 months old. Ever since I got him, he has the peculiar habit of picking at his vent -- and at one time actually caused bleeding. (several drops !!). I follow your web site and have ordered several products. (I started your Moult Programme about two weeks ago and they are doing well). I also have your book. I did spray all of them with S-76 and it did seem to help (him) for a while. Should I repeat that treatment? I am not sure what to do for him. None of the birds have wet vents and at night they rest quietly. He also bobs and bobs his hind quarters frequently while doing the above behavior. Any suggestions? I am not sure exactly what I am dealing with. All others appear healthy and happy. In fact, other than the above, Silver appears very healthy as well. Thanks in advance. CC.
Hello CC, This symptom that you describe occurs with Thrush, anaerobic bacteria and tapeworms. A dropping sample, microscopic examination would help determine the exact cause. In the meantime try Mycostatin to test for Thrush and GT wormer (Worm Out Gel)for tapeworms and flagyl for anaerobes. Use each treatment separately. All the Best, Rob

Jan from Alabama asks: Hello Dr. Rob, I appreciate your time. I have two gouldians that died this week. One appeared to have 'gone light', the other had no signs of illness or weight loss. Upon examining my other goulds, I noticed yellowish large droppings. I have had the birds recently treated (preventative maintenance) with Scatt and then Wormout Gel, followed by regular water. I have now tried erythromycin to try to firm up their feces. I still have one Gould that is very light; his breast bone is so sharp that he has sliced his skin down the length of the bone. I separated him out to a hospital cage, and now have noticed blood in his dark feces. The feces is somewhat formed, dark brownish-red (appears like dark clotted blood) with fresh blood wicking outwards on the paper towel. What should I do for him now? Thanks again for your valuable time and assistance.
Yellowish large droppings are usually an indication of Campylobacter or cochlosoma if the vent is stained yellow. If the erythromycin didn't help, and you were using at a theraputic dose, then I would suggest that you try a medication containing ronidazole for Cochlosoma. See page 267 of my Gouldian Book for more details. All the Best, Rob

James Rees from Sydney, Australia asks: Rob, I recently obtained a pair of star finches. They have started breeding already but the male has developed a problem. He used to sing stridently and melodiously however more recently he has developed a cough/sneeze and now when he tries to sing no sound comes from his beak. Every attempt to sing results in a little fit of sneezing where he goes "psst, psst, psst" a couple of times and then swallows down the phlegm or whatever it was he coughed up. Otherwise though he appears fine with a clean vent and quite active. Can you tell what is wrong with him and what I should do? Thanks alot mate,
This is most likely a fungal or thrush infection. Try KD for 3 days in the drinking water a see what response it has. Assess your feeding and soft food hygiene. Rob

Kristen E. Martin from Alambama asks: Hello Dr. Rob, Thank you for your prompt reply. There's not a bird vet anywhere near me, but I'll try to find one in my state. My budgie is going on 6 years old, not 5, my mistake. And yes, I do let him out of his cage, but he's always with me. I think it's iodine defiency. He shows the symptons of thyroid disease or whatever it's called. Also, I have a ringed turtledove. The place where I bought it says to feed it cracked corn, but that doesn't sound very healthy. Is there anything with nutrition that I can feed it?
Hello Kristan, Look out for trichomoniasis if the dove is near the budgie. Try using ronidasole (Ronivet-S) for your ill budgie if the birds come in contact with each other.

You could put your turtle dove onto my Health Programmes along with the cracked corn and he should do very well. All the best, Rob Rob----- Original Message -----

Kristen E. Martin from Alambama asks: I have a male budgie, Kirby, who is now going on 5-years-old. He has become listless and fluffed up. It seemed to happen overnight. He eats a regular budgie seed mix, lots of greens and some bread crust at times. He also has water-soluble vitamins in his drinking tube. What could I be doing wrong? Why is his health failing so fast?
Hello Kristen, Your budgie may have any number of things going on, but being a 5 year old, a sudden illness must be food or an environmental change. Do you allow him out of his cage? Could he have gotten into anything in your home that would have been harmful. You need to have a vet check for a few things. Sudden illness may be heavy metal poisoning, blocked gizzard, trichomoniasis, strep or other bacterial problem. All the Best, Rob

Danielle from ohio asks: Dr. Rob. Thanks of the info but Im sorry to say I do not know what aspergillosis or what a strep infection are in birds. Could you give me a breif description of the two and how birds get these conditions. And are they both contages? Thanks for your time.
Hello Danielle, I think this could be a serious problem. I'm thinking maybe aspergillosis or a strep infection. These birds do not drink much water so treatment is difficult in water. I wish you the best with them, Rob

Michael Costanzo from Collins, Ohio asks: FOLLOW UP on budgie hen. She laid an egg about 3 hours after I posted about her. She laid another one the next day. She seems to be done and is about back to normal. She is a much loved pet and gets lots of fly time out of her cage. I raised her from a 2 week old chick and at weaning time I introduced her to spray millet and finch seed mix. She picked out eating the japanese millet and that is the food she ate for a long time. She finally decided that canary seed is good too, along with dried birds greens. (veggies and alfalfa, celery leaves, spinach, and some dried fruits.) I was real happy she finally started to eat the birdie greens. She will not eat white millet like most budgies eat. Anyway, she seems okay except for some sinus trouble and she sneezes a lot. She also has a tremble to her wings when she is resting. I think it is a vitamin A problem so I got her the DufoPlus and Ioford. Will this correct the trouble? I know that the sinus and sneezing is Vit A, but is the tremble in the wings part of it too? How long will it take for the DufoPlus and Ioford take to correct the Vit A trouble? Are these enough to make her healthy and keep her that way as far as diet goes? I want her to live a long happy life! Thanks, Michael COstanzo
Hello Michael, I am happy to hear that your Budgie hen is now doing okay. Her tremors are more than likely a mineral/energy depletion. She also needs Turbobooster, E-Powder and F-Vite coated on and added to her seed mix. See my web page on cockatiels excessive egg laying. ( Rob

Stuart Culp from 32 Chateau Dr., Whitesboro, NY 13492 asks: Several months ago we treated our female Gouldian finch with a regimen of S76 for Scaley Face Disease. (See our letter to you) Most of the scabby material fell off her beak after a month or so, so we think the treatment was successful, but some of the material is still on her beak. We did another regimen of S76 just to make sure, but it didn't make any difference. How long does it take for a beak to clear up under these conditions?
Hello Stuart, There may be permanent damage done by the mite, so sometimes scar tissue may remain. REPEAT TREATMENTS WITH S76 EACH MONTH plus TurboBooster/E-Powder and F-Vite each day for one month. Look at feather and feet quality as well as a sign of good health and the indication that mite is no longer present. All the Best, Rob

Michael Costanzo from Collins, Ohio asks: I have a 2 year old budgie hen. Today she is a bit fluffed and her droppings are huge but mostly formed, light green in color, clear watery stuff around the formed part. She is also displaying a bit of labored breathing with some tail dipping. I have been giving her dried birdy greens. I also have been giving her some bird Herb Salad™ that I got from She is also been broody, working on a nest in her cage. Now I know that the droppings can get huge when they are nesting but this looks different because of the light green color. One time I saw her squirt the clear fluid with bits of the dropping in it. I naver saw her do this before. I have her on eletrolytes and bac-trim right now. If she isn't better by tomorrow morning I will be trying to find a vet. Last time I needed a vet no one in my area would mess with birds. I will be putting some heat on her when I get done with this post. SHe is still fairly active puttering aroud her little nest area. Please help! Michael Costanzo
Hello Michael, She is about to lay eggs. She needs crop feeding with handrearing mix or add calcium to water. It may already be egg-binding. THIS MAY BE AN EMERGENCY, Rob

jan armstrong from south korea asks: Dear Dr. Rob, One of my little gouldian's crashed into a wall and is now blind. Is it possible that her sight will return? What should I be doing for her other than making her a small cage she can negotiate around? Thank you. Jan Armstrong
Hello Jan, It may be temporary blindness if the optic nerve is just bruised, permament if the retina detached. TLC is the best you can do for now. All the Best, Rob

Scott Settle-Chesser from Maui Hawaii asks: Aloha Dr. Rob, I have a non moulted juv mutation Gould (white body/ yellow/purple chest) that is exhibiting an odd behaviour. He is sits on his perch and stares at the sky. when he flys it is rapid and uncoordinated. Difficulty landing, some what like an albatross! He is in a flight aviary with brothers and sisters who are fine. Eats fresh greens, millet, fortified egg food and seed daily. water is fortified with Ca periodically, Energize, saniclens and KD water cleanser (all on a schedule, not all at once). Also in the cage are a few zebras and breeding a spice finch pair. There is fresh air, shade and sun on the cage. Any help would be great. Scott
Hello Scott, I'm afraid that it is difficult for me to identify this problem. Possibilities would be Paramyxovirus, stress, or a mutation weakness. I am sorry that I can't be of more help with this problem. Rob

Diana Moore from Moorpark, Ventura County, California, USA asks: I have a long standing problem which has taken 5 birds in a large indoor aviary. I got one bird and foolishly believed it was healthy and put it in the flock. Now I only use quarantine. Anyway, I now have your book. I have treated for airsac mites and my vet had me use nystatin and baytril (sorry for spelling) My birds still (some more than others) yawn, two have dry areas around eyes, they are somewhat puffy and a new bird starts the yawn and possible throat irritation within a few hours. I think it is a virus or coccidiosis? I just finished with S76. They itch also. What now? I will buy whatever might help. THANK YOU! I so what them healthy. I Have 3 Goulds left, two pair cordon bleu (blue head), one large green singer (canary size)in separate cage and two black hooded nuns. The nuns were a gift, I put them in the hospital cage, 3 weeks and fine, moved them into the same room as the aviary (8x10') and they started to yawn already. Thanks for your answer, sorry this is so long. Diana
Hello Diane, I believe that the problem may be fungal spores in your bird room or some other air-bourne irritant. TAKE ALL BIRDS AND REMOVE FROM SUSPECT AREA. It may be food or water contamination in that area but it definitely sounds like an inhalant because eyes are involved. Check the filter on a/c heat system. It could be a staph contaminant from this system. Monitor the birds in isolation. If they recover, place them back into the room to see effect. All the Best, Rob

James Rees from Sydney, Australia asks: Dr Rob, I have been breeding gouldians in an aviary in my backyard for a couple of years, but I never have a great deal of success. I always lose a few babies and those that fledge cannot fly for several days and are not fully developed when they leave the nest. I feed them seeding grasses every day to try to provide them with enough protein to feed growing babies, I also provide cuttle bone, grit, eggshell, charcoal, seed mix, and a bit of egg and biscuit mix but they wont take much of this. I dunno what Im doing wrong, every now and then I will get one adult bird fluff up, get a dirty vent, and spend all the time sleeping until they die or eventually, but rarely, get better. they are housed in an aviary with a dirt floor and lots of shrubs and native grasses. The aviary is about 1 third covered at the south east side as this is where the prevalent cold winds blow from in Sydney Australia. Another reoccuring problem I encounter is that a certain percentage of the young I breed develop deformed beaks in the nest. The lower mandible is longer than the upper mandible in these birds? Are you able to explain to me how this problem occurs? The problem seems worse when less protein is offerred during the breeding season. My latest problem is that one of my cock gouldians has just fallen ill in the manner mentioned above, I am worried that this may be an illness I could have introduced with four new gouldians I purchased from a breeder and introduced to the aviary last week. The real problem is that this cock currently has a clutch of eggs in a nestbox in the aviary and I am worried that he will be unable to care for the eggs and will pass on his illness to the youngsters when they hatch. Any ideas on what I should do? Another thing you should know is that there are also king quail and diamond doves in the aviary however there are only a small number and they seem compatible with the goulds. I also have to admit that I have been neglectful in that I have not been worming my birds, but I do not know if I should worm them now that the breeding season has begun? As you can see my situation is a bit of a mess and any recommendations to help me get my gouldians healthy would be really appreciated. Thanks mate, James Rees
Hello James, The quail and doves and dirt floor may be an issue. I would recommend you have dropping analsyis performed to identify your problems. To assit with this, call the office and visit me in helping you enjoy your Gouldians again. Rob

FRANK GALLUCCI from 3 HOMESTEAD ST OTTAWA,ON,K2E 7N9 asks: Good day Dr Rob, First of all I would like to congrat you on your new book. I ordered it through Loraine and I received in Ottawa, Canada in exactly 2 wks. My question is what can I tell my brother in law about the problem he has with his gouldians.Some of his birds are growing blister like patches on the pad of their feet. He sanded all perches and disinfected them also. The both of us don't know where to go from here. It is affecting their way of life. And ours obviously. Any Idea's will be greatly appreciated frank gallucci
Hello Frank, Most common cause of this problem which is called Pododermtatitis or bumble foot, is perches that are too hard (use soft wood perches) or the wrong size or shape. Any dirt on feet may cause birds to pick at their feet excessively and they becoem infected with Staph. Nutritional deficiencies also harm the skin integrity making infection and damage more likley. Treatment for this bird(s) 1. Wrap perches in "vetwrap" a rubberised bandage (see a vet) to soften perches. 2. BATH in KD DAILY IF POSSIBLE. THE BIRD WILL STAND IN THE BATH AND HAVE A KD FOOT SOAK, automatically 3. Put the birds onto TurboBooster, E-Powder and F-Vite on their seed daily 4. Moxi-t or(Amtyl)in drnking water for 4 days 5. Reassess in 3 weeks. Foot injuries are very depressing for birds All the Best, Rob

Andrea Verdick from Oak Park, CA asks: Hi Dr. Rob, I've had a pair of Gouldians for 6 months who started getting sick about 4 months ago. Symptoms are: clicking, sneezing, extending their neck as if to clear their throat, and fluffing up. They have been treated as follows: Ivermectin shot (the male only, because at the time he was the only one sick), and Vetsulid in their drinking water. After a few weeks, they were both put on Baytril in the drinking water. Four weeks ago, I started Laraine's program of treatment, i.e., Guardian Angel for 4 days; S76 for 2 days, Amytl for 7 days, and repeating the S76 for 2 days for 2 consecutive weeks. It has been a week since the last S76 and they are still exhibiting the same symptoms. Any suggestions? Also, they were losing a lot of their feathers every few weeks. It would seem like they were eating something when they would pick at their feathers; is that possible, or is that normal preening? I don't know what typical preening is, but it seemed like they were doing it a lot. I have had a red heat lamp on them for the past few months and wondered if they suffer from dry skin? They are on a store bought seed mixture for finches that contains vitamins. They don't eat fresh veggies or egg when I put it in their cage. This is a lot of info, I appreciate your feedback. Thank you.
Hello Andrea, Neck stretching = a sore throat. Possible causes are a thrush infection, a strep infection, or mites with a secondary infection. It is most likely related to the food they are eating as no response from your treatments would indicate a thrush or fungal toxin or insecticde on feed. In other words they are constantly being re-exposed to these same toxins by eating the seed. Fungal problems will also cause excessive picking, so this would be the first thing to investigate. Also, a Vitamin A deficiency may look like this. All the Best, Rob

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