If a young sparrow, mynah chick or any other species, or adolescent/adult mountain dove, this is often eyeworms (can be found in all species).
1. Lift eyelid high and observe for squiggly worms or squeeze a couple drops of saline solution (for contact lenses) in eye and the salt will bring worms to surface.
2. Treat with one drop Ivermectin solution (diluted in water) in each eye. Worms should disappear within 24 hours.
3. If eyes are badly damaged, treat bird with triple antibiotic eye ointment (like Vetropolycin (Dr. Myatt sells it)) twice a day for 10-14 days.
If adult mint dove or any other species, it can be caused by upper respiratory infection:
1. Treat with Baytril twice a day for 10-14 days and use eye ointment described above.
2. In mint doves, Trich often goes up into the sinuses and seems to affect the eyes, so it is advisable to also treat with metronidazole and nystatin 2x per day for 14 days.
When using eye ointment, just the smallest dab is adequate. Squeeze a little extra on a Kleenex after finished if using on another bird.
If the eye is swollen shut, do not attempt to pry it open at least the first 24 hours, because the bird will be very stressed.
1. Put the bird on Baytril twice a day for 10-14 days.
2. Gently squeeze sterile saline solution on eye, even if it appears swollen shut as some might seep in.
3. As eye opens over the next few days, or as you can gently separate the lids to check for damage, stop flushing and switch to putting small dab of Vetropolycin in eye twice a day until it gets better. You can also use gentamicin eye drops 4 times per day instead of the ointment; be sure to get eye drops without steroids (Dexamethasone).
Use the smallest dab necessary that will spread out over eye. Do not cross contaminate another bird's eyes; wipe a little off the end of the tube before using on a different bird.
Wet feathers around ear opening usually indicate drainage from an ear infection, also look for the hole being slightly enlarged compared to the other one. Other symptoms are odor in the ear or whitish/yellowish substance in the ear.
1. Treat with Baytril 10-14 days, 2x per day or until cleared up, no longer than 14 days.
2. If symptoms do not clear up, or get worse, continue Baytril and add one drop Gentamicin eye drops without steroids, 2x per day.
Pox birds often have the lesions inside the ears. As lesions dry and turn dark yellow or black, they can be pulled off so ears can drain better. Keep bird on Baytril until lesions are mostly gone and ears are clear.
Trichomoniasis has many different appearances in birds:
-White cheesy-like spots in mouth, at corners, on roof of mouth, in throat; bird may have seeds or debris in mouth or spilling out if throat is getting blocked with debris buildup from Trichomoniasis.
-Swelling in throat or crop, redness on outside of throat sometimes (javas have been known to get it in their crops), hard patch of whitish skin on crop is usually debris from Trichomoniasis- do not pick at it or crop will open.
-Bleeding in mouth seen in pigeons, clean out with Q-tip rolling through mouth to keep airway open, but do not go further back in the throat or bird will stress.
-Slight swelling around one or both eyes - common in zebras and mourning doves.
-Red bump pushing out on tender skin around beak, side of mouth. Sometimes Trichomoniasis gets capsulated inside bump and medication needs to go longer than 2 weeks.
-Small debris accumulation at corners of mouth or excess saliva in mouth is also sign of infection.
1. Treat with metronidazole 2x per day for 14 days.
2. If debris in mouth, do nothing if bird is very sick and until bird's energy returns. Once bird is stable and stronger, use a Q-tip to clean out mouth (roll across debris area to dislodge) up to three times per day. Do not over stress the bird by trying to get it all out at once. One, two or three times with the Q-tip is enough each day.
3. Wash hands carefully before handling other birds.
4. Trichomoniasis can be transmitted via saliva and feces, so treat all birds living in same cage/container.
5. If lump in throat, massage gently once or twice a day to dislodge.
Trichomoniasis can push the beak out of alignment, so we end up with unreleaseable birds that have scissor beaks or lose part of their beak to the infection. Very deep food dishes help scissor beak birds to be able to eat on their own but check frequently that the bird is eating enough and not losing weight. Beaks need to be trimmed about once a month because they will not naturally keep trimmed.
Give us a call to speak with an experienced rehabber.