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Do you have a question that you have not found an answer for throughout this website or in my FAQ? Use this link to send your question directly to me. Be as specific as possible about the symptom or behavior in question...

Dr. Rob is a world renowned avian veterinarian in Sydney, Australia. He was the veterinary consultant for the Northern Territory Nature and Conservation Commission for a scientific study of the disease status in the wild population of the endangered Gouldian Finches as it related to a "Recovery Plan".



Tailai O’Brien is a Parrot Behavior Consultant who has worked along side Dr. Marshall and has developed special regimes for successful bird training and behavioral development. Fill out her Questionnaire so that she may help you with your parrot’s bad behavior.

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Linda Bryan from San Diego asks: I rescued a zebra finch from a feed store. She was in bad shape due to being picked on by other birds. Her back was raw and some of her toes were missing. I had to pay full price for her (the lady had no heart). I felt I had to save this little bird. She is so happy now in her big cage, eating very well, loves new sprouts and comes to me whenever she thinks I'm going to feed her. The problem is she is still losing toes. I gave her smaller perches and a towel to set in at night. She seems very healthy otherwise. (a happy little bird). Could the toes have already been damaged by the other birds? Thanks, Linda
Hello Linda, Yes if the toes were already damaged and black, then they already had necrosis and will fall off. All the Best to you and your new companion. Rob

Rocco Cicirello from Staten Island, New York asks: Hello Dr. Rob, I told you last week my canary had sticky saliva coming from his mouth. You told me to take him to my vet, which I did and he took a crop culture. The results showed a bacteria infection called [PANTOEA] he gave 7 capsules of [DOXYCYCLINE] empty one capsule in a liter of drinking water for one week, and that should clear it up. What's your opinion. ROCCO. THANK YOU
Hello Rocco, I believe that this is a soil pathogen which likely means that your bird is being contaminated with soil. This makes sense if the bird is chewing on potting mix! Or on roots of plants or contaminated grit looking for minerals and picking up dust. Plan is check soil access, isolate in cage whilst treating with KD for three days then for two days each week. FORTIFY MINERALS ETC WITH TURBOBOOSTER, E-POWDER and F-VITE. Sometimes these bacteria types may cause permanent kidney damage as they are toxic to kidney. All the Best, Rob

Rocco Cicirello from Staten Island, New York asks: Hello Dr. Rob, I was told by a reputable bird breeder don't make my canary drink from a water feeder, the lights will cause bacteria to form in the tube. He suggests use an open drinking cup. What's your opinion. Thank You
Hello Rocco, The water tube is a much safer method of giving water to your canary. With a water dish, the bird can soil in it and cause bacteria to rapidly multiply. There is much less chance of this happening with the tube outside of the cage. All the Best, Rob

Rocco Cicirello from Staten Island, New York asks: Hello Dr. Rob. I told you last time my canary had sticky saliva coming from his mouth. My vet took a swab culture of his throat, and it came back with a bacteria called [PANTOEA] WHICH COMES FROM CONTAMINATED WATER,SEEDS, SOIL,FRUIT.HE GAVE ME 7 CAPSULESOF [DOXYCYCLINE] He said open the capsule and put it in the drinking water, for a week. today makes a week, and this morning there was still some sticky saliva. Should I get more antibiotics, or try something else. There was no THRUSH] present. He's also going thru a big molt, Will this have something to do with it, being his immune system is low. Please advise. thank you
Hello Rocco, If the bacteria has caused scarring to the throat then salivating will continue. Unfortunately we must rely on results that may not be complete. I would think this is Trichomonasis if no Candida was present as you do get weird secondary infections with canker and it is the most common cause of salivation in canaries. Treatment with Flagyl. This case is a little weird and you need to talk and work with your own vet. I am happy to liaise with your vet from here on. Good luck, Rob

Hello Deb, The most common diseases of parakeets are Chlamydia, Coccidiosis, Trichomonasis, Ecoli, Streptococcus, Polyomavirus, worms, lice and mites. Rob

Katie McClaran from West Linn Oregon asks: Dr. Rob, My zebra finches have yellow nodules (bumps) on their necks. Can you tell me what they are and if they need treatment? Follow up from Katie - I went ahead and took one into an avian vet - it was the crop! I felt embarrassed but more so relieved. The vet also tested for general disease and said the finch was in good health. Although I just posted a new question about feather loss... Thanks Katie
Hello Katie, I am happy to hear that you have discovered that what you were seeing was your Zebra Finches crop conatining seed. All the Best, Rob

Don and Linda from Phoenix, AZ asks: Dr. Rob- First, thank you for taking the time to answer everyone's questions. This is wonderful of you to do. Our question: We our concerned our outdoor aviary has been infected with West Nile. What symptoms will the finches exhibit if this has happened? Thank you.
Hello Don & Linda, We do not have West Nile Virus in Australia, so I am not familiar with it's symptoms. You need to check with a local vet, or your Agriculture Department. All the Best with this, Rob

Tom from Jerusalem asks: Hey Dr. I was about to buy a pair of gouldians but heard that they could transmit some sort of diseases to humans. I didn't hear it from experts so I thought I would ask. I just wanna be sure what I'm bringing home is safe.
Hello Tom, The only disease of concern is Ornithosis, but finch Ornithosis (Psittacosis) is not highly contagious to humans. Rob

Mary Alexander from San Jose, California asks: I have a canary that makes a wheezing noise. There is no clicking, but she has continued to wheeze (and sometimes "cough") for several months. I have treated her with Marvel-Aid with no results. I provided injectible Ivermectin at 3.5 cc per quart of water, also without any results. Can you offer any suggestion, please? Thanks
Hello Mary, The injectible Ivermectin needs to be mixed with a transfer agent like Propylene Glycol and applied to the skin of the bird to be effective against air-sac mites. This form of Ivermectin is petroleum based and will not mix with water, but instead float on the surface. Dosing is next to impossible I would instead use my S76, which is completely water soluble and has an accurate dosing rate. All the Best, Rob

Susan Meadows from Greensburg, Indiana asks: I had a canary that would not stop laying eggs. Out of many, many eggs over a period of 1 year she only had 2 fertile and only one of the 2 lived. She would lay usually 2 each time. Once in awhile 3 or 4. Even if I took her away from the male she would still lay. I tried to keep her healthy but she died 2 weeks ago. Question is what would cause her to keep laying. Thanks for your time. Susan
Hello Susan, Some canaries super-ovulate in a loving and special environment. It is a family trait but unfortunately they lay too much and too often unrelated to mating activity. This is a physically stressful activity that needs to be supported by additional nutrients and sometimes hens will die from egg-yolk embolli (stroke), egg binding, kidney failure or from nutritional depletion. Rob