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Breathing difficulties in birds

Respiratory problems can be caused by lots of different germs, so it is very difficult to identify the right approach to take in each particular case.....


Respiratory problems can be caused by lots of different germs, so it is very difficult to identify the right approach to take in each particular case. Without expensive vet tests, it really is a matter of trial and error which is the best way forward.

If the client is not prepared to pay for the tests then most vets will start with a broad spectrum antibiotic such as Baytril, unless there are some species specific and symptomatic reasons to consider other issues (see below). This may be the right approach for severe cases though, for chronic conditions, support of the immune system may be better.

Here are some general comments on how we approach this with our products:

Respiratory infections tend to be brought about in birds with inadequate calcium and inadequate levels of key vitamins in the diet.  This can have a big impact on the immune support system. Calcium is involved in the production of mucous. The mucous in the airways is cleared from the system and takes germs with it. When the mucous is not correctly formed the germs get into the lungs and air sacs. So there is a link between calcium deficiency and respiratory infections.

At The Birdcare Company we support the bird's natural defences (its immune system). We do this partly with our standard products which should be used all year round anyway. We certainly recommend them immediately we hear of a problem with a bird:

Feast (or Flourish depending on the species and what they eat) for herbal immune and digestive system support
Daily Essentials3 (comprehensive vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplementation)
Calcivet (CalciBoost outside Europe) for effective calcium supplementation

To this we add Guardian Angel in the case of sick birds as this provides a different form of support to the immune system and helps greatly with bird care and welfare. This is our general recommendation when the cause of the problem is unknown. Other products available to us, they should all be used in conjunction with the standard products. They are:

Wheeze-Eeze - a herbal preparation especially selected to help the respiratory system
Colloidal Silver - this seems to work in some difficult circumstances but is never our first choice

There are some species specific issues to consider. Pionus parrots and cockatiels are particularly susceptible to fungal and yeast problems. Aviclens (Saniclens) is very useful for controlling the spread of these problems and our general immune support will help to maintain healthy birds but we always refer these cases to a veterinary surgeon for specific tests and drug therapies.

Gaping in finches, canaries and British birds are another common respiratory issue. This is often an air sac mite problem and Ivermectin Drops are recommended in this case.

All of these products are available by internet or mail order from The Birdcare Company and from retailers stocking Birdcare products.

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