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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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Gouldian Finches.


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Andrea Bonoldi from Southborough, MA asks: Occasionally I see some of my gouldians (female & male) sitting a little puffed. If I go into the room, they will get thin again and hop from perch to perch. Is this normal. Do they sit and rest sometime or is there something not right. Also some of my gouldians are around 7 years old. Thanks for your help.
Hello Andrea, Gouldians are not the most active finches, but they do have their moments. If your Gouldians are resting in a fluffed state, there is something that is just not quite right. When you walk into the room they become alert and that is why they slim down and fly around. You need to investigate what might be wrong by observing the droppings and assessing the quality of their diet. All the Best, Rob

Reinaldo Rivera from Puerto Rico asks: WHAT IS ORNITHOSIS
Hello Reinaldo, Ornithosis refers to the disease of finches caused by Chlamydophlia psittaci. In parrots the same disease is called Psittacosis or Chlamydia infections. All the Best, Rob

Andrea Bonoldi from Southborough, MA asks: Since my last email to you about the dropped wings, I have taken my gouldian to a vet. The vet did see a whole seed in his mouth ...What does that mean????? and she was hesitating on giving him Baytril which is what I thought he needed but she did give me the Baytril. The vet took an ultrasound and a couple of days later she sent me a 4 page booklet on liver disease. I have put two calls to her but she has not called me back. My bird is up and down but the wings are still down. I have tried to stop the Baytril because I am afraid it will hurt the liver but when I then see him starting to puff I do give it to him. Can Baytril be given to a bird with liver disease. I am giving him milk thistle for the liver and his poops have changed back to normal from yellow liquid droppings. I am very concerned that I might lose him. I do not know if I should continue with the Baytril or just treat the liver with the milk thistle. Its the weekend and I cannot reach the Vet who will not call me back anyway. Any help would be appreciated. I am more concerned with the whole seeds and I have seen him throwing up the seeds. What type of symptoms are these ????? Thank you Andrea Bonoldi, Southborough, MA
Hello Andrea, My suggestion would be for your vet to do a dropping culture and see what organism is causing the problem. All the Best, Rob

Laura Warlick from New Braunfels, Texas asks: One of my canaries just passed away and symptoms were: 1 week listless, puffed up, tail bobbing, no singing, and constipation. The bird would eat and drink some. She died gasping for breath as fluid came out of her nose and mouth. Upon examination of her mouth I was looking for mites, but pressed her chest and lots of clear fluid came out of her nose and mouth. Could this be air sac mites, (or maybe psittacosis)? I ordered S76 to treat my aviary for mites unless you suggest something else. Thanks!
Hello Laura, Your canary could have died from either a blocked gizzard or a Trichomonasis infection. Since a necropsy was not done, it will be hard to know the exact cause. All the Best, Rob

THUNDERBIRDS from Atlanta, GA USA asks: Hello Dr. Rob, I am a friend of Laraine and am very impressed with your products. I have a two fold question. I also have the Canary Health book and my birds are the ones on the cover. I bought some Yorkie canaries from someone and one of them continues to display the "butt bobbing" (I know that sounds weird, but Laraine and I don't know what else to call it. When he goes to the bathroom his bum bobs up and down.) None of my other canaries have displayed this behavior. I have him on Doxy, Bio-Plus, Megamix, apple cider vinegar, F-vite, ePowder, a pelleted diet with seed and egg food. He is currently being treated for ornithosis as I am doing the entire flock (500+ birds) before gouldian breeding season. I would very much like to cure this individual. He does not have a pasted vent. Also, I have my first Norwich chick. She has had subsequent eggs, with chicks, but the chicks were dead in the eggs. In your book it says ornithosis, but these birds are in excellent condition and very active. They display no outward sign of illness and their chick, knock on wood, is strong and looks very healthy and growing normally. Any advice you have would be most appreciated. Thanks so much and have a good day. L. Manley
Hello Laurel, I would recommend that you should have your vet grow a culture from the droppings of the bird in question. That way you will know what antibiotic to treat with. Birds exposed and infected with Ornithosis do not necessarily look sick. Infertility and Dead In Shell are symptoms of Ornithosis when no outward signs, like one eye colds are apparent. Best of Luck, Rob

Randall Grubb from Wichita, Kansas asks: Hi Dr. Rob, I have an indoor aviary with Lady Gouldian Finches. This morning I witnessed a young bird suddenly drop to the ground from a 5' high perch. It flopped about on the ground as if in some kind of epileptic fit. After about 2 minutes of this behavior, it seemed to regain it's senses and flew back up onto the branch, but does not seem entirely well. I did notice she has a normal firm dropping. There is also a two year old cock that has gone to the floor, is off balance and falls over a lot. He can't get off the ground, but otherwise looks very healthy. Is this behavior indicative of any certain disease? Thanks for any help you can give
Hello Randall, I sounds like both of your Lady Gouldians are suffering from what is referred to as the "twirling syndrome". Unfortunately there is no cure for this behavior and there are many thoughts on what causes it. Pathology and histopathology have failed to come up with a specific disease causing agent, but a virus is suspected. Rob

Molly Plunkett from Madison, Wisconsin asks: I have a male red factor canary with what appears to be a soft facial tumor, it hangs underneath the beak. The poor bird twitches and scratches. This is the second red factor canary I have had develop facial tumors. Is this a feature of red factors. I have your canary book and have looked elsewhere for help with no luck. Is this fatal? Any thing to be done to prevent or treat? Thanks Molly
Hello Molly, It may be an abscess rather than a tumor. Would it be possible to send a photo to Laraine via e-mail so I can have a look at it? Red factors are more fragile than other canary varieties. All the Best, Rob

Kristen from Oak Park, Michigan asks: Hi Dr. Rob! I rescued a Gould from a pet store that obviously had no idea how to care for it (sucker for a pretty face here). The bird had lost all of it's head feathers and his coloration was so bad that I couldn't tell if it was male or female (all feathers were very pale)! He had a nasty case of scaly face/leg and airsac mites. I brought him home (have since figured out he is male!), set up quarantine (5 months worth of solitary confinement!) and have nursed him back to general health. He tests out clean on gram stains and for other internal/external parasites. The last issue before I introduce him to my flock is one my Vet couldn't answer - perhaps you can help? This little bird has a blocked nose hole on one side. It almost looks as if there was some damage from the mites that won't grow out. Is there a way to unclog this that you are aware of short of surgery? He is obviously having difficulty breathing normally. I don't intend to breed him at this time, but if I can "fix" his nose, he could make a lovely addition to my breeding stock. Any ideas?
Hello Kristen, What you are describing sounds like a chronic sinus infection. I would not recommend mixing this bird with the rest of your flock. Sorry. All the Best, Rob

Kathy Jenkins from Osyka, Mississippi asks: Dr. Rob I have a colony of English Budgies that I am having trouble with. Two of them started having very dirty vents. Dark green sticking to their feathers. It stayed the two for a long time and now the rest have it. I treated them with one day of Worm Away, followed by five days of Amoxitex, followed by seven days of Ronex, and then three days of probiotics. They actually seem to be worse. They do not loose weight or even act sick (fluffed up), but they do seem to be constantly growing new feathers. I have a lot of other birds from finches to macaws and do not have problems with them. Do you have any idea of what is going on? Your advice would be greatly appreciated
Hello Kathy, The symptoms you are describing sound like E coli or Thrush, but cultures to confirm would be best. All the Best, Rob

Robert Benson from Metairie (New Orleans) Louisiana asks: Dr. Rob, I had a gouldian die this morning and want to know what to do with the rest of them so they don't follow a similar fate. I house 13 goulds in an outdoor aviary. I noticed 1 appearing sluggish so I brought him inside and gave him warmth and food. I started him on Amoxitex but didn't notice any improvement after 2 1/2 days so I switched to Cocci-care. It must have been too late cause he went quickly. I have him in a plastic bag in the fridge because I haven't decided whether to bring him to the vet for a necropsy or not. I'd like to and I am willing, but it's $150. I have the entire flock inside so I can monitor them more closely than in the aviary. Some do have watery droppings but otherwise all appear to be in really good health: moving around, singing, eating, and drinking. What would you advise? I realize the necropsy is the only way to know for sure and it may well be worth the $150. Should I treat the whole flock with something as a proactive measure? Worm-away? Amoxitex? Cocci-care? etc. Thank you so much.
Hello Robert, My recommendation would be to put the entire flock on KD in their drinking water to protect them in the event they have not already been infected and to see if the necropsy givens you any indication of the cause of death of the dead bird. Medicine treatments would not be advised until diagnosis is confirmed. All the Best, Rob