Metronidazole for gas and bubbles in droppings?

by Darci
(Winnipeg, Canada.)

I'm writing once again about my 5 year old Sun Conure. I seen a board certified vet last week and nothing was found to be wrong according to fecal tests, blood test, physical exam and eye stains. She was unable to do additional x-rays (some were done in April) because my bird was very stress and did not look well so she didn't want to take the risk.

She suggested to address the gas sound when droppings are expelled and bubbles in the droppings to cut the fruit out of her diet for a few days to see if it improves. If not she may try her on metronidazole to see if that helps. I am concerned about administering antibiotics as I don't want to cause any harm to my bird if they are not absolutely necessary.

Are there any known side effects to this medication or is there anything else you would suggest to treat the gas/bubbles? PCRs were done in April from Giardia and Clostridia, both of which were negative. She only eats Harrison's HP Fine and Harrison's Birdie Bread otherwise, along with limited fruit and veg.

She has also lost some weight (about 15g since December) but the vets can't figure out why. Would it be worth trying Harrison's Avian Enzyme for this issue? Also I was diagnosed with Strep Throat and was concerned about her being affected by this as I realize it is a bacterial infection, not a virus which I know birds can't catch from us. I am washing my hands frequently and not letting her near my mouth or sharing food with her to prevent any transmission of the bacteria.

Thanks for any help!

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Aug 28, 2009
Sick Birdy
by: Linda

Darci, I'm back to see how your bird is doing. I read what Dr. B had to say, and his advice is sound. The tests he recommended are good ones. Feeding her just the pellets for a while is also sound advice.

Let us know, when you can, how things are going as we are all very upset over your bird being so sick with no relief in sight. You are in our hearts and our prayers, and we're interested to see how this turns out. I know you just want it over and done with--I sympathize with that as it is difficult to watch a loved one suffer this way.

We'll be looking for news in near future.


Aug 26, 2009
Metronisazole for birds
by: The Vet

Metronidazole is a safe drug when used as directed. It is a sound option and a good recommendation from your veterinarian. You should take away ALL foods except her pellets. For 3-5 days and see if he droppings change. If no, then try the metronidazole.

You should also consider doing x-rays and contrast films to see if there is an internal problem causing this. Usually it is something in the diet. The weight loss is significant. You should continue looking for the cause.

The Avizyme may be helpful, but try pellets only for a few days. Then you can try adding the Avizyme. It is possible to spread strep to your bird. Do not kiss your bird and always wash your hands.

Dr B

Aug 25, 2009
by: Linda

Hi, I'm back, and before you give this drug to your bird, you need to ask vet WHY they are prescribing it. It has some nasty side effects in dogs and cats, and one of them is more digestive upset, so not sure why vet wants to use this drug. It is commonly used for aneorobic parasitic infection like Giardia and such.

The following link will give you more information:

BEFORE using this drug, ask vet if proper tests have been done to diagnose one of these parasitic problems. If not, this drug may do more harm than good, and your bird is already suffering from digestive upsets. It is usually used in conjunction with other antibiotics when one of these parasitic infections has been diagnosed. So, please talk with vet about this. Print out the information you find at the site I gave you, so you can discuss this. I'm not one to say okay, give my bird any old thing you have in the house, so be careful here. I think why they may be wanting to use this drug is that they have used a lot of others with no success. In Giardia for instance, it is contracted via contaminated food or water and will not die with regular type antibiotic therapy. Just find out what tests they can do to nail down a diagnosis. I just feel they may be shooting in the dark, and this will hurt your bird. You need a diagnosis if it's Giardia.


Aug 24, 2009
Your Poor Bird
by: Linda

I remember you writing in a while back and have been wondering about your bird's health. Sounds like it is still not good.

I will have to look up the Metronidazole drug to see what it's for, and I will, but I suggest you cut out ALL fruit and veggies until you can get to the bottom of this mess. It is NOT any of the Harrisons products, so if something external is making her sick, you have a few possibilities. One is the fruit and veggies. If fed too much of either, they develop gas and indigestion that hurts them badly. Birds only need small amounts of either fruit or veggies a few times a week. They need NO table food or other human food of any kind. So, if you have been feeding her more than 10% fruit and/or veggies, that is too much. A few times a week and small amounts at that is enough. Also, make sure all fruit and vegs are organically grown to avoid any pesticide or fertilizer residue. Actually these chemicals become a part of the plants not just on them.

The other thing could be drinking water. Have you had it tested for contaminants? We have an under the sink Culligan reverse osmosis filtering system as our water is filthy, and they add more Cholorine to cover up the filth. They also add Fluoride to the water, and this will kill your bird. Fluoride stays in the soft tissues and is not excreted so it is a known carcinogen (why they insist on putting it in our water, I have not a clue). We also have hard limestone water, so the Culligan makes it fit to drink for us and the birds and dogs. If you have a well, you must get a reverse osmosis filtering system on it as ground water is polluted across the planet.

As for your illness, please buy those throw-away masks you use to paint or stain or whatever and use them when you are playing with bird, feeding and water bird and cleaning her cage. Your very breath can give her the infection. I had to do that when I had psittacosis, and my bird had just plain pneumonia. Vet said to mask up when cleaning and feeding birds. I almost died from the mess, and all my birds were fine. The one with pneumonia was a "throw-away" bird in a store where I worked. She cost us a fortune to keep her alive. She did well after a year or so of concentrated effort and more money. That store is where I got the psittacosis from a sick bird owner insisted on keeping on display. Half of his birds died from being infected with this deadly disease.

Anyway, I'm very concerned about you and bird, so leave off all fruits and veggies until further notice not just for a few days. Make sure your water is clean. If you buy bottled for bird, you are most likely getting just what is coming out of your faucet and you cannot use distilled as birds need some minerals and the distilled water will hurt her. You can boil drinking water until you have it tested. Companies like Culligan will test your water for contaminents and lead and such.

Keep us posted, and you are in prayers still.Will get back about the drug.


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