Help! Female zebra finch leaning to right, lethargic

Is your finch sick or not well? Find out why.
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LVFInch
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One of our female zebra finches, "Gurl," has become sick. She has been sick for about the last 10 days.

It started with her becoming less active and not really standing at all when perched, but more like settling low into a brooding position. At first we suspected a bound egg, but she laid a new egg during the first night after we put her into the hospital cage. She hasn't laid any new eggs since.

Now, about a week later, while perched, she is in a more extreme brooding position, almost resembling a water balloon an invisible hand is trying to press flat. At the same time, she is leaning heavily to the right and slightly forward. Her wings droop down.

She gets up very occasionally to eat or drink. We are feeding her pelleted food mixed with finely chopped vegetables and sprinkled with a vitamin supplement.

In her water, we have mixed in the 4 in 1 powder pictured here (https://maps.app.goo.gl/uRKb6jVPu5Zh4AvA7).

Earlier today, she had a ~1.5 inch long strand of feces hanging from her vent. It stayed attached to her for several jumps as she hopped between perches while we changed her water.

We pulled her out a bit ago. We checked and cleaned her vent. It had a dried up dag of poop stuck to it. We removed that and checked again for a bound egg just in case. Didn't see any indication of that.

We also checked her legs for injury to see if that might be causing her to lean. Her legs looked fine.

We also gave her some liquid calcium from a syringe. She drank that. But while she was drinking it, a clear liquid bubbled back out of her beak. I'm not sure if that was the liquid calcium or might ban indication of a respirator infection. We then listened to her breathing and could her the clicking sound indicating something wrong.

We have the temperature in the hospital cage set to about 90 F/ 32 C.

That's all I can think of right now. Would very much appreciate any insight or advice you all can offer.
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finchbreeder
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Have you recently changed any aspect of her feeding?
The powder you are feeding does not appear related to the symptoms, so I would stop feeding it to her.
Syringe feeding liquid to a bird is an art, it is easy to drown them if you do it wrong. The liquid coming back sounds like a near drowning.
LML
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LVFInch
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finchbreeder wrote: 02 Nov 2023, 10:31 Have you recently changed any aspect of her feeding?
The powder you are feeding does not appear related to the symptoms, so I would stop feeding it to her.
Syringe feeding liquid to a bird is an art, it is easy to drown them if you do it wrong. The liquid coming back sounds like a near drowning.
Thanks for that advice.

The vitamin mix was started after she got sick on the recommendation of a local bird shop owner.

When we gave her the liquid calcium from the syringe, my girlfriend held her in her hand while I just dribbled a drop or two at a time on her beak. She drank some of it, but maybe even that was too much. We didn’t force her beak open or anything like that.

We pulled her out yesterday to listen to her breathing so that we could switch to a respiratory antibiotic if it sounded like she had some kind of respiratory infection. But her breathing was silent so we have stuck with the original antibiotic in my OP.

She is still hanging in there spending a lot of time in one spot though she does become active for a bit when we enter the room to change her water or food.

The most concerning thing to me right now is how she is still leaning heavily to one side and forward and hunkered down in a deep brooding squat. I don’t know what to make of that. Photo is attached (hopefully, if I did it right).

Any ideas?
IMG_4799.jpeg
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finchbreeder
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That is not a natural sitting position. I have kept and bred Zebs for 40yrs and do not recall seeing any sitting like that unless about to be mated.
Otherwise, what I can see of her looks good, not ruffled or untidy.
When she moves to the ground is she still sitting in this unnatural way? As the only thing that is coming to mind from her position is a recollection of one of mothers budgies with a dislocated hip. (not curable, but if not painful then they can continue to live a reasonable life while being less active)
The addition of vitamins should not have a negative effect, though it may have caused the odd poo, as her body adjusted, but equally that could have been an after egg poo. They can sometimes be extra large as the egg has prevented it getting out for a bit.
LML
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LVFInch
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Thanks so much.

We’ve kept her in the hospital cage now for at least two weeks and the course of 4-in-1 medicine was completed more than a week ago. She seems alert and not fluffed.

However, she spends a lot of time on the bottom of the cage. She also has trouble jumping up to the low perch and seems off balance when she lands a jump. When she sleeps, she seems to want to tuck her head into her wing but just can’t manage it so she sleeps with her head forward.

When she’s perched, she’s still sitting down low and to the right but it’s not as pronounced as it was.

I hadn’t considered a dislocated hip, but maybe that’s it. She doesn’t have any obvious external injury. But maybe something happened in the cage. Any advice for treating something like that?
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finchbreeder
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Dislocated hips in birds are not - to my knowledge - treatable in the sence of being curable. All that can be done is to have some flat platforms (think 5 to 10 cm square/rectangular) for her to sit on, as she may find this easier than the perches. Or she may prefer to move from one to the other. I know I find moving chairs more comfortable since my spine when squif.
LML
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