Swollen cheek on Cockatoo

My Umbrella Cockatoo has a swelling on the left side of her face just behind her beak. One of the vets at our regular practice, not an Avian expert, (our Avian Vet was out that day and was since murdered two days ago) explored the area under sedation (the bird was sedated, not the vet) and aspirated a fair amount of pus from the area with a syringe but found no foreign material.

We started her on the proper doseages of Bactrin and MetaCam and also 2 drops of Gent in her left nare BID. We did this for a week and altho all of the nare meds just ran down her beak (she has very tiny nares) we continued all of it and she seemed to get better. The swelling went down to a barely noticeable bump and she started being her normal crazy loveable self.

A couple of days after stopping the meds (2 days ago) she started looking lethargic again and having difficulty eating so I started her back on the Metacam. She seemed to perk up a little but today the swelling is back and she can't eat, so I started the ABs again, but not the Gent to the nare. Any ideas what this might be before I start looking for a new Avian Vet (hard to find here).
Thanks so much

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Mar 01, 2010
Gypsy
by: Cezanne

BTW, the Ben & Jerry's Banana Split Ice Cream has fudge chips in it that she knows she's not supposed to eat...so we share :)

Keep your fingers crossed for our little girl.

Mar 01, 2010
Gypsy's Progress
by: Cezanne

Gypsy ended up in surgery a few days after my last post. She had a sinus abscess and Dr Loudis (our new AVIAN vet) said he had never encountered an abscess that smelled so badly. It was an anerobic that grew an abundant culture of Wolinella (weird, only found in human dental pulp infections and cow's rumen) after three days. She's been on Amoxcillin since and will be for probably a few more weeks. She's doing okay and has started putting weight on again. The surgical incision has healed and she's back on the Metacam but drinking a lot of water so I'm not so worried about the effects on the kidneys, keeping the swelling down the pain relief is more important right now.

She must have had some bony involvement because she is still unwilling to open her beak very wide (Dr. is able to open it so there's no permanent damage) and is on mostly soft foods and a little Ben & Jerry's Banana Split to put some fat back on although she is starting to nibble on her pellets again.

This past weekend was the best we've seen her; she actually made her way out to the living room, raised her crest and flapped her wings again to be picked up, something she hasn't done in over a month. She's also trying to 'talk'. She's still pretty weak and can't hold her wings up for very long but she's making progress.

Jan 22, 2010
Gypsy
by: Cezanne

Spoke with Avian vet yesterday, after looking at the sensitivities on the culture, she decided to start her on Cipro last night, she's had two doses. She wants to see if this more agressive AB will clear the infection in a few days and if not then they'll go in surgically. I've been cooking spagetti noodles (her favorite food) for her and mashing up her regular pellet mixed with a little orange juice. She'll eat the spagetti like crazy even though she can barely open her little beak.

Thanks for the info on the Metacam! I was concerned about that myself. I will stop that today. She's going to be seen tomorrow at the vet's office for a recheck so I will keep you abreast of our findings. Thank you so much for the suggestions and advice. C

Jan 22, 2010
Cockatoo with swelling
by: The Avian Vet

Please keep in mind that I have not had the advantage of examining your bird, but it sounds like an abscess (probably in the sinuses) that was not completely cleaned out and the antibiotics were stopped too soon. This may need to be done surgically.

My recommendation is to take an x-ray of the affected area to be sure there is no bone involvement because infection can spread and affect the bone in chronic cases. It would also be beneficial to do several nasal flushes using an antibiotic solution. I recommend that you find another avian veterinarian. This problem is life threatening and will not go away with just antibiotics.

Dr B

Jan 21, 2010
Swollen cheek on Cockatoo
by: Linda

STOP THE METACAM AS THIS IS JUST A PAIN MED AND HER LIVER IS ALREADY UNDER SIEGE AS IT IS.

Find a new Avian Vet immediately and never take your bird to a regular dog and cat vet as they make matters worse instead of better. For one thing, this infection needs to be treated with a specific antibiotic. What you just used DID NOT WORK, AND BY GIVING HER MORE OF IT YOU ARE HURTING THE BIRD INSTEAD OF HELPING HER. All antibiotics leave the system in 48 hours, and if this round had worked, the infection should be cleared up. It will also take these meds or new ones 48 hours to kick in, so new Avian vet may wish to give her an injection. In fact, for stubborn infections, sometimes injections have to be given instead of oral meds. Have new Avian Vet show you how to do this if it is necessary because giving injections to birds is a very delicate operation.

Please find another Avian vet as you don't have any time to lose with this situation. Once she goes off her feed, she will die in a short time thereafter unless you are handfeeding baby parrot handfeeding formula heated to proper temp. No, she won't like it, and YES, it will keep her alive until proper meds kick in and take this infection down. You'll need to ask new Avian Vet how much of the formula how many times a day as I don't know how large your Too is. For Amazon size birds, a 50cc syringe several times a day works.

I can't believe your other Avian vet was murdered, good Lord what a mess!!!

So, to sum up, stop with the pain meds as they are going straight into her liver. Get another Avian Vet onboard quickly. If you have to drive a ways, that's what you'll have to do because this infection is taking your bird down and quickly.

Let us know how this is going, and there is a link on this site about how to find Avian Vet.

Linda

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