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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Joined: 25 Dec 2020, 16:43
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Location: Oregon USA

I purchased six owls (three pairs - two double-barred and one pair of cinnamon). Numbers keep dropping. Second owl died and I've uploaded video to dropbox. Now a third owl is just starting the 'early breathing issues and fluffing' and I am desperate for answers. It is sunday and my parents aren't home.

They are dying so quickly. I thought maybe it was coocadidia or whatever that's called but they were never wet and their poop looks normal and there is no poop on their vents. The only meds I have is that moxidectin that I treated them with. I moved the heat lamp from the hospital cage back to the quarantine but now that another is sick, I removed it again and put it BACK on hospital (seems I need two heat lamps) but that's the least of my worries right now.

Here is the second owl that died within 30 minutes of showing illness:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g848hdwrsoos4 ... l.mp4?dl=0

And here is the third own that is now (for the first time) showing any breathing issues:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vqpza8owjmuxf ... 3.MOV?dl=0

I've been watching these owls for two full days and reading everything I can find, having kicked my brother from his room so I could even sleep with them. NONE were showing breathing problems and then suddenly they were. I now see the subtle breathing 'WARNING' - at least I think that's so. If it drops dead in the next few hours then I'll know I can spot the crisis in action. Do they have something CONTAGIOUS that I can't figure out?

Thank you everyone for helping me with this. These sweet little owls ... I don't think I'll be buying from this new breeder any more. I'll stick with Kevin; unfortunately he didn't raise owls and that was what my brother wanted.
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finchbreeder
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Just confirming - the Gouldian with them was purchased at the same time from the same place?
They do look a bit miserable, but nothing obvious.
Are your 1st Gouldians in the same or a different room?
LML
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Jessica
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Our first Gouldians are in another room. This is our quarantine room and we're careful about not sharing dishes or anything. Yes, that single Gouldian was purchased with them - keeping them all in same cage for quarantine and until I figure it out. They're still sleeping so I don't know if we've lost another one this morning. Here's hoping not.

The first owl which died was acting same as the one in the first picture - gasping desperately - and it didn't look at all sick earlier! I watch them constantly, my entire family does and we'd have noticed if one was acting weird.

I went ahead and treated for asm just to be safe and help establish a new procedure when birds come into our quarantine but Brett is right ... this doesn't look like asm (according to my very limited knowledge and reading half the night). I will NEVER buy from this breeder again!
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finchbreeder
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OK you sure seem to be doing 90% of everything right. The only suggestions I have are those Brett has mentioned.
A much more enclosed cage. A worming treatment, followed by a booster (Spark) And greater privacy.
I live 450KM's from my State capital, which is the best place to get most birds. I drive down and inspect to collect, or have a trusted birdo do this for me.
By doing this I lose less than if I go to the local petshop. Most survive long term, but there will be a weak one from time to time, who stresses out.
LML
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Jessica
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Thank you. We didn't buy from pet shop but from breeder. We live several hundred miles from anyone who breeds Gouldians. We USE a heat lamp. We plan to get a second one. The cages ARE enclosed on three sides and these finches are kept in the spare bedroom (quarantine room). They have a night light and only freak when we slowly approach them to change their water, food etc.

We are brand new to finches and have now, thanks to you all here, established a wormer/asm program. We're still looking for Spark - figure it's named something different in the U.S. Can someone provide a link on Amazon? I've been searching breeding sellers for it by name and no luck.

These owls are very sick and it is something contagious. I do not believe they are dying because the room isn't cozy enough for them. Mom talked to vet and we'll let them figure it out. Thank you everyone for all your help and input!
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Jessica
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BTW, I just checked on them and a third one has died. One breeder suggested it might be trichomonas (?) It grows in the throat and closes off their breathing. There was no way my mom could have foreseen this or handled purchasing these birds any better. And I and my brother have been taking very good care of them.
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finchbreeder
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Saying you did 90% right was meant to be a compliment. Beginners do not usually get it that right. :thumbup:
LML
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Jessica
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:-). Thank you. I got defensive for my momma. She did so many things weeks before we got these finches to be sure they were taken care of. We've all been very impressed with what she did for us. :-) And I guess a bit of guilt about our babies dying hit me at same time.
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BrettB
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That is sad news Jessica, what an introduction to finches you have had. The highs and the lows and all within a few weeks.
Please do not blame yourself, I have read your post and you could not have done anything more.
These are the risks we take when ever we move small birds.
Most of these types of fatalities are the result of dormant infections that are unmasked by the stress caused by moving the birds.
Unfortunately, once these small birds start to show symptoms, they are usually too ill to recover even with the correctly targeted treatments.
I sense you like to know all the details of things, and there is an enormous amount of literature on the impact of stress on immune systems.
Simple version is that stress weakens the immune system and reduces the capacity to fight infections. Birds that were previously able to control infections are no longer able to do so. This may manifest in days or weeks.
As an example of this, most Australian Gouldian breeders will not transport uncolored Gouldians, especially during winter months. The risk of fatalities is just too high.
Do not be too harsh on the breeder, who may not be aware of the infections the birds carried as they may well have been totally well in his/her cages.

Spark is just an electrolyte solution, not dissimilar to Gatoraid or other sports drinks.
Trichomonas is common in pigeons, doves, parrots and raptors. I am not aware of it being a common problem in Australian finches.
There are dozens of potential infections, I am sure the vet has discussed this with your parents. It is just not possible to treat them all.

Stay positive, you have some lovely Gouldians breeding for you.
This is a great hobby, despite the set backs

Cheerd
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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Joined: 25 Dec 2020, 16:43
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Location: Oregon USA

Thank you, Brett. It IS discouraging. And this morning I noticed the incubating Gouldian pair were both out so I watched the video (runs all night on the flight cage). They abandoned the nest last night so I risked it and looked in the nest. There were two babies originally. Now one is flat-out GONE!?! The other is dead. It's crop or gizzard thingy which I read should be full looks empty. I was giving parents fresh sprouts twice a day along with greens and dandilions and herbs! They had the food for those babies!

I had read somewhere Goulds particularly when new parents just don't feed them. Geez. We already had on the list to buy a Society (or pair?) and some 'formula' to feed babies but were too busy dealing with the birds my mom got for us. We were kinda overwhelmed. My whole family is studying like crazy. We're struggling with mess, illness and such and then we sit back and just watch them ... they are such incredible creatures.

When I told mom that the babies died, she went 'WHEW'. I almost smacked her. Kidding of course. We've decided to remove most of the nests (but not all). We figured if they all bred successfully, we'd have to kick my little brother out of the house entirely. :lafhard:

On second thought .... hmmmm, he really IS a little pest! :lolno:
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