Using Moxidectin in new Owl finches

Is your finch sick or not well? Find out why.
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Jessica
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Location: Oregon USA

We got some owl finches two days ago and put them in a quarantine cage. This morning, they all looked fine but they were EXTREMELY freaked by every tiny movement. We put a night light by the cage, fed them lots of millet and fresh water and gave them a bath bubble. The Gouldians we've received three times now from GouldianGuy http://gouldianguy.com/ never acted frightened of us but these owls from another source DO!

This morning, I approached the owl's quarantine cage very slowly but couldn't get real close and they all seemed fine if I didn't get close. Three hours later, I checked on them and one owl was on the floor puffed and breathing heavy. I thought 'air sack mites' and grabbed my notes about treatment. When I reached for him, he didn't move away at all!! I put him in an isolated hospital cage with heat lamp and mixed up Moxidectin 40ml per gallon and took it to him but ... within that time (less than 30 minutes), he was dead.

Dead! I feel very bad but it all happened so fast! I plan to treat the owls anyway because right before he died, he was breathing very hard and wheezing! From my reading, I think it's mites - do you? My other question is this:

Our Gouldians have eggs due to hatch any day. I read treating for mites/worms should take place BEFORE the breeding season but they had already started laying eggs (when I read this) so we couldn't do it. It seems I'm 'too little, too late' in learning how to take care of them. We feel terrible. So my plan now is to:

1. Treat the owls in their water (the only water they will be allowed).
2. Leave them in quarantine for another two weeks as we originally planned.
3. Treat our Gouldians AFTER their babies fledge (but are still being fed by parents). Or should I wait until parents stop feeding them?
4. Spray that quarantine cage thoroughly to kill any residual mites.

Please everyone - does this sound right? I make sure I wear gloves near the quarantine cage (was already doing that) and everyone in family knows never to share or mix quarantine dishes with our Gouldians. My brother will be so sad - he was so excited about those owls (as we all were)!

Jess ... btw, I had been looking also for S76 but none on Amazon so I hadn't purchased it yet.
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Jessica
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BTW, I hadn't searched for answers here since this is something I think I should act on immediately and finding answers in posts can sometimes take quite a bit of time. I also, unabashedly, feel I need some reassurance since I let a tiny critter die.
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BrettB
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Hello Jess, sorry to hear about your Owl.

He did not die of air sac mite, we will probably never know what happened.
As your are finding out, Owls have very different temperament to Gouldians. They are very easily spooked, will thrash about the cage when scared.
Like all birds, they are most at risk when stressed, and moving them causes a lot of stress.
Occasional birds dying after transport is common. It is probably the cumulative stress that kills them.

Should you treat your Gouldians for air sac mite? I treat all birds after purchase and the flock yearly, preferably after all the chicks are fledged.
If they look well, you can probably wait.

Cheers
Brett
"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are ." Anais Nin
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Jessica
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Oh thank you Brett. I was trying to figure the dosage now - I'm glad I hesitated. Another owl is fluffed and breathing kinda hard and I didn't go near them - I used binoculars to spy on them. The owl that died didn't click - he squeaked - it sounded like EEEEK EEEEK. Being so new to finches, I feel lost - thank you for making me feel better.

We didn't treat these Gouldians because the breeder is VERY responsible and I am CONVINCED Kevin follows the best procedures to keep his birds healthy and had already treated them. I know I shouldn't assume though. We got the majority of Gouldians mid November and they began producing eggs within a week and after that is when I read about air sac mites!

I will watch that other owl and if it shows any further signs or seems to be getting worse, I'll video him. And I'll keep the Moxidectin handy! I also discovered some pinned posts here covering the air sac mite treatments just in case and for future!

BTW, the quarantine cage is new from Amazon as are all the perches, feeders etc in that cage and are in a back spare bedroom away from all other finches. Thank you again, Brett!!
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finchbreeder
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Like Brett said - Owls are a lot less calm in nature than Gouldians.
Is the quarantine cage fully wire? Or is it a Cabinet type cage. Cabinet cages are better for finches.
Owls also enjoy long flight even more than Gouldians, so while smaller, they are better in bigger cages.
LML
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Jessica
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Hi finchbreeder! The cages are all wire - quarantine cages we set up - not where they'll live. They are two cages together making them 4' long and the plan is only temporary as the owls go through a quarantine (time length not yet decided). Their final cage is being build right now. It will be 8' long, 19" deep and 60" high. We won't let any of our finches live in less than 4'. That's why my parents won't let us have any more right now. "Marge! More chairs!" :lol:

I believe I know what you mean about cabinet style cages - they offer more security to the finch, right, in addition to ability to fly free? Our cages have backs on them (shower curtains) and have plants down both sides (even our quarantine and hospital cages). The finch's needs is important to us!

But wow oh wow --- Brett and you are certainly right in the difference between Gouldians and Owls! Cuter than bugs' ears though!
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BrettB
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Hi Jess,

That is not good that your other Owl is "breathing hard"
On quanrantine and hospital cages, mine are solid on 5 sides. Only the front is wire.
I put a towel over 1/2 of the front to give them more security and warmth.
When they are ill keeping them warm is important.

Brett
"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are ." Anais Nin
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finchbreeder
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All my avairies are at least 50% enclosed. Finches are just so much calmer in this style of housing.
Excellent that you are aware that length of flight is more important than height.
LML
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Jessica
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Immediately after our discussion on the owl that died, I decided to treat the quarantine cage for asm and I treated all their water. The owl that was fluffed up (the second to show discomfort) didn't show breathing problem - just fluffed. Then late last night it began to breath badly and I put it in hospital cage with heat lamp and took this video. An hour later, it began gasping desperately and it died. This may not be asm but it sure looks like a breathing problem. This morning, the rest still look fine - my poor baby owls!

I couldn't seem to please this website with .mov or .mp4 or .gif so no video, sorry.
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finchbreeder
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How many Owls did you get? They are a flock bird to a much greater extent than Gouldians are.
Owls really do live by the "the more the merrier" motto. Never happy in groups of less than 3.
Currently trying to get more for my mini flock, to get some outcross blood into them.
LML
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