Seeking advice for sick gouldian finch

Is your finch sick or not well? Find out why.
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Grautier
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Joined: 18 Oct 2020, 22:00
Location: Spain

Hi,
I hope you are all ok over there in Australia, here it is us again.

The finch is not better; with sunny weather I let him stay in the aviary, the rest of the time he is indoors.
Today I noted a necrosis on his left foot, the third toe is halfway black. He doesn't like to perch, he mostly stays on the cage floor now. Eats and drinks normaly, feathers are perfect. Perhaps a bit strong deep breathing, mostly when asleep, but it might be that I am biased. As he still gets vitamins every other day, I wonder if that is an adverse reaction, a kind of overdosis of some vitamin?
Any advice to what to do with the necrosing toe?
Thanks.
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finchbreeder
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Location: Midwest of West. Aust. Coast
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Perhaps go to 1 week on 1 week off with the vitamins, as he has not got better with them. The toe will probably drop off.
How are your other birds all doing? If they are all good, then you are doing fine, just got a weak one with the Gouldian cock.
LML
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Rod_L
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Maybe he was bitten by something, perhaps a spider. That might explain his ill health and the rotting toe. Time to find a bird vet and find out why the toe is dying. If it is a spider bite, the bird could lose his foot, then leg, then die.
death to all cats & ants
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finchbreeder
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I had a Cuban hen who was bitten on the foot by a mosquito, the foot went black and died. It did not spread beyond the foot. I cut the foot off with sharp nail clippers, she lived another 3 1/2yrs.
LML
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Grautier
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Quick update.
As temperatures are higher now, the gouldian male is outside again, in a cabinet style cage inside the aviary. As he is still unable to fly and since he lost one toe doesn't like to move much, he stays in the cage while two entrances are open. As all other birds in the aviary have chosen this cage as their preferent feeding place, he has company , eat-mates (if that is a word at all), and enjoys being outside in real sun or shade.
Don't think he'll live long, though he is gradually moulting and looks fine. One drop of vitamins every third day, alternating with one drop vinegar and just plain water.
Thanks for all advice and ideas! This is a nice place to be!
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finchbreeder
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Location: Midwest of West.Aust.Coast

Glad to hear that he now has regular visitors over for lunch. :thumbup: :thumbup:
LML
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BrettB
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Hello Grautier,

I have been following this thread.
Let us start with what it is not. It is not a vitamin deft (that would come on slowly), it is unlikely to be a poisoning (would affect multiple birds)
Whilst it could be a bacterial infection, I think it is unlikely (they usually die quickly or recover fully)

So we have a condition that came on suddenly, improved slowly but left your bird with severe balance issues

My best guess would be head trauma, he may continue to recover or the brain damage may be permanent
I also considered a condition called stargazing/ twirling (there are some videos on the internet). This is a condition of unknown cause that has no treatment, but occasionally the birds do recover.
I doubt any treatment is worthwhile, just continue your excellent supportive care
He may continue to improve, but I suspect he will never fly normally.

Cheers
Brett
"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are ." Anais Nin
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Rod_L
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If the bird is moulting, give it the vitamin supplement every day or at least every second day. Moulting takes a lot of energy from the bird so a good diet and supplements are necessary at this time.
death to all cats & ants
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Grautier
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Thanks, Brett, that is precisely how I think. A trauma can always be, just like an injury. As far as I have seen wild bird colliding with a window they are dead directly or recover in a few minutes and fly away.
There are always things that can scare the birds. Young hawks and cats they know by now, but of course they still panik a bit. And a sudden strong wind does it as well. Let it happen in the night (lots of street light, though) and there is a real opportunity for a bad trauma.
I got back to keeping birds not so long ago, so none of them has died of age so far. I'm not really sure about the age of this male gouldian. But I believe a bird wouldn't lose the ability to fly when older. They would be frail, weak, but the flight instinct would be there. Unless they are severely ill. Which gets us back to the trauma.
I hope I've found a good solution for now. He isn't being bullied, has company and lives outdoor.
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Grautier
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Thanks, Rod. I've read a lot about gouldians often going through a heavy, energy consuming moult and the pics in the net indeed show that. None of my birds has been moulting in that way, neither the gouldians, seemingly it goes very smooth, face and chest, wings and tail. This year was the first time one owl finch lost all but two tail feathers at once (I can't rule out a fight, cause this bird is pushy, but I never found the feathers), but two weeks later all 12 tail feathers were back there.
They get seeding grasses most of the year, so I hope their vitamin and protein needs are met.
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