baby macaw with possible inner ear infection

Hi, I have a baby B & G macaw that rears its head to the left, and is slightly off balance. I have an appointment for Tuesday with our avian vet, is this something that can be treated with antibiotics (batril) and is there something that I should do for him until my appointmen? A friend had a grey baby that had similar symtems and she finally took it to her vet when it was about 9 weeks old and antibiotics didn't really help but my baby is not even three weeks old yet. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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May 02, 2009
My baby Macaw
by: Anonymous

Hi, this is my baby macaw and I have been raising them for 16 years, this is the first baby that I have ever had with this type of problem. I use the state of the art brooders and use the top of the line formulas. I have probably raised close to a thousand babies over the last 16 years, many of them were macaw babies. I work very closely with our avian vet and all of our babies recieve vaccinations for poly and such at age 7 and 9 weeks and all come with health certificates. I am just concerned with this one as I have never encountered this situation and I had a friend recently that had a grey baby with exact symptoms but by the time she had it to the vet there was not much hope for it. I do have an appointment on Tuesday with our vet and I will let everyone know how the baby is doing. thank you all for your comments.

May 02, 2009
B&G baby
by: The Vet

Antibiotics probably will not help. Is this the first baby you have ever handfed?

The symptoms you describe can be caused by many different things in babies: pain from a crop burn, subcutaneous injection of formula, too hot or too cold in the brooder, infection (in the brain), weakness from not getting enough to eat....... Make sure bird is being fed enough, keep him on heat, and see you veterinarian as soon as possible.

Dr B

May 01, 2009
Your Baby Macaw
by: Linda

Firstly, though I'm not an "expert" on birds and not a vet, I have raised my share of baby birds of all species.

Your baby macaw is, I assume, being syringe-fed 3-4 times a day or more if he still appears to be hungry. The breeder should have shown you how to do this properly. If not, please have vet show you how. You also need to make sure that the hand-feeding formula is pure (no preservatives or other dangerous chemicals in it mixed with "clean" water, tap water is fine if your water department reports say it is safe though fluoride is dangerous for you too) We used to use RoudyBush and that has been many years ago.

The other very important thing about the large birds like the Macaws and Cockatoos is that they should not be completely weaned until around 9 months of age. Mothers, in the wild, continue to supplement their babies until they are 9 months to a year old.

As for the head jerking, this can possibly be a symptom of a very serious disorder and hopefully your trip to the vet is not too far in the future. It does not take very long for a baby to become very, very ill. Explain all symptoms to vet very clearly as he/she will want to do several types of tests including tests for communicable diseases like Psittacosis which are passed to humans through dried particles of feces being inhaled. I've had it, and it can be a killer if misdiagnosed.Newcastles Disease is another killer, and presents with neurological symptoms you describe. In case of Newcastles Disease, proper authorities have to be notified as it will wipe out bird populations in an area and entire state if proper quarantine is not observed. Your vet will report to them if it is found in your bird.

I certainly hope your bird does not have either of the above problems.

Just be clear about all symptoms with your vet so they will do the proper tests. The two I mentioned have special tests that have to be done before they can be properly diagnosed.

Good Luck and God Bless.


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