Ask Lafeber

Question:

November 23, 2020

CAG eye problem


Hello,
we have an 18 weeks old CAG whom we had from the age of 3 weeks. At home he lives in an aviary and we have been free-flying him (outdoors) with a group of like-minded enthusiasts for 5 weeks already. His diet consists mainly of pellets, fresh vegetables and the occasional fruit and nut. He is an amazing, strong bird and our bond is incredible. However, a few weeks back we noticed that his left eye started to tear, its an apparently clear, non-sticky liquid, but it is bad enough for the left side of his face to have turned a light-brown color (wiping around the eye with a wet tissue helps a bit to lighten the stains).
We have brought him to 2 different experienced bird vets and they have done thorough physical examinations (without finding any possible cause, like e.g. a foreign object, an abnormal growth, an inflammation etc.) and we also tried treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics (for any possible underlying cause). However, nothing has worked so we stopped all that after two weeks. This is of great concern to us and any help / advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Answer:

Hi Ernst,

It is important that you completed the full prescribed treatment from your Vet and have a recheck done Some problems can take longer to treat. I would definitely use a board certified avian Vet, as this means the vet has spent additional hours of study specifically on Avian medicine and must fulfill a minimum amount of continuing education annually.  As with human medicine, Veterinary medicine has specialists and I would find out if there is a Veterinary ophthalmologist who you can get referred to. I think imaging is certainly something to consider, in case this is something behind the eye such as a growth. There could even be something involving the sinus. Birds can suffer from chronic sinus conditions, but they are usually a result of a serious infection that was left untreated. Given his history, this doesn’t sound likely unless it happened before you brought him home. Do check with the breeder, also, to rule out any known issues with past chicks that might indicate a genetic condition. Hopefully this is just a stubborn organism or something easily treatable. He sounds like an otherwise healthy bird but it’s best to pursue all options.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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