Birdsafe Success Bird: Nandi
knew Nandy for a year or so before
he came to live with me. He
belonged to a close friend of mine.
When Nandy was a baby he had
beautiful feathers like any normal
nanday conure. He had been
purchased from a pet shop in the
town my friend lives in. When
my friend's granddaughter came to
live with them he seemed to be fine
with it. She was in her
teens. A year or so later she
got pregnant but didn't move out.
My friend thinks now as she looks
back that when the baby arrived
& she stopped paying much
attention to Nandy is when he must
have started picking. She
wasn't sure. She took him to
a vet after a while & had his
feathers checked out but nothing
was found. She couldn't
afford to run tests as her vet said
it'd be about a hundred dollars.
I went to stay
with her later for 5 weeks after she had a tragedy occur in her life & needed help. While I was there Nandy bonded to me & when she saw how much we loved each other she let me bring him home. She wasn't in any shape to take care of him & he needed attention. I had him tested for
everything the vet thought it could be. I was pretty new to birds & didn't know what caused what. Later I found out he wasn't tested for Giardia or psistacosis. I eventually got online & joined the conure list where I met Deb from Birdsafe.com. By the way, all the tests run by the vet came back
negative. No cause for plucking was found & he seemed healthy otherwise. Deb talked about the Birdsafe campaign against Giardia & I decided it couldn't hurt. I thought I was retesting for Giardia but when I called the vet's office to see what tests were run I learned Giardia wasn't one of them. The first one came back negative but showed heavy yeast. I then sent samples in a group test from my two tiels, quaker & parrotlet. All these birds played in the same area. While this was being processed I took Nandy to a new vet for an exam & got meds for the yeast. This vet has a reputation for being good with birds & treating lots of them. He had the same thoughts about Giardia though, it's not really a problem. Later when the results came back positive for the group test, and I called and he gave me the meds to give my birds. Of course my hubby took the test results with him when he picked up the medicine. They made copies for their files. After treating for 10 days & cleaning & disinfecting everything, Nandy wasn't itchy like before. Unfortunately he'd plucked so long hardly any feathers grow back anymore. But he's more comfortable & not as cranky. My parrotlet had been plucking a little for about 5 months & he quit after the meds were taken. If I'd never met Deb or Joe & found out about this I'm sure Nandy & Topaz [parrotlet] would have gotten worse. Nandy does have a small feather on his crop now that he would never let grow in before being treated.
Note: Early detection of Giardia can be important for feather/follicle health. A group test was run in this case as the symptoms of Giardia in Nandy were very classic, and due to the fact the rest of the flock contained Cockatiels, which very frequently carry Giardia (and Nandy played with them or in the same area).