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My Parrot is sick, can someone help me, fish is 10 years old

i don't know what to do, picture a large parrot  with a swollen stomach and a pouch ( bubble) underneath her where her tube usually is, its just a big huge balloon and it looks like its filled with liquid, its gross. sometimes she lays eggs when i mess with the PH, seems like she was about to have eggs then got an infection on her bottom and the eggs are stuck inside her ( then again i could be wrong), she hasn't eaten in 2 weeks. i put her in a 5 gallon tank and medicated it with T.C. tetracyline and shes been in there for a week, the bubble went away alittle but now its back, i feel like its just a matter of time till she dies and i dont know what else to do., im gonna try to upload some images in a bit, but right now i just wanted to see if anyone else has experienced this. the fish store said its bacteria and to use this medication, but i didnt show them pictures and they arnt always right.  i have had her for almost 9 years and i have never had a problem with her, water conditions are fine, can anyone give me some advice to save her life?



can You send photos, it would help.
You should read 'Polly's white growth" further down on the home page. It is about a BP with an infected egg tube, plus a secondary problem. I am not sure if you have a similar problem, but you may.
I think aquarium salt would be beneficial to your BP.
You will need to raise the temp to just above 80 degrees. (Watch closely as aquarium heaters are not the best at being exact when changing temps.
Salt serves as a general tonic and stress reducer for freshwater fish. During disease and stress, healthy gill function of fish is disturbed. This can lead to the loss of electrolytes through the gills (sometimes called osmotic shock), reducing the intake of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide. Freshwater Aquarium Salt replenishes natural electrolytes and promotes healthy gill function. Temporarily blocks the toxic effects of nitrite to freshwater fish until water quality improves. It will not change pH. but should not be used as a substitute for marine aquarium salt. 1 Tbsp for every 5 gallons of water
Sometimes, salt can work miracles.
Good luck

sorry for some reason When I saved the comment, it was saved as two. :(

thank you so much for the advice, do you think i should put salt in the medicated tank the BP is in?

Yes, it won't hurt and it can help.
I think they may be right at the pet store.
Most causes of egg tube inflammation are from egg retention, Infection, lack of spawning circumstances, or too small facilities.
They lead to the same thing, Bacterial Infection.
I just went through this with another BP.
The one I told you to read.
I think you may need to change your antibiotic.
Maracyn Two treats systemic infections, internal as well as external. Effective against gram negative pathogenic organisms. Not all antibiotics work as well for internal.
Then the medication directly on the BP's infected area. if possible. I am not sure what it looks like. You can use Betadine, but I think the Bio-Bandage might be your best for her problem. (Do you know how to put medication directly on your BP?)
If you could find a vet for an injection, this would be good. Most vets don't do fish. When she starts eating, there are antibiotic fish foods that can help her heal inside.
Check all the info under Polly has a white growth.
I do wonder if the eggs she is retaining have fungus? This might mean treating for that also.
Let us know.

Hi, Thanks again... Here are my pictures, its the clear/white bubble on her bottom. Please let me know if you can view these pics.

yes, Your photos are fine. Poor girl. So the bubble is fluid only. I wonder, but am not sure about it yet, if that could be drained. (I am just thinking here) I do think if you could get her to a vet, they probrably would drain it. I would think it would not take a large opening. It looks like fluid. (They could also do a antibiotic injection)
So this is most like infection in and around the egg tube. I am not sure, but it looks like she is torn or damaged near the egg tube. Is that right. If so, how much?
The salt water may help with the fluid. I hope. I think it is really important to be able to put antibiotic on the area that is so damaged. I am not sure how much you can get to. I don't know if she will obsorb the eggs or if they will need to come out.
Do you know how to put medicine directly on your BP. The most important thing is to not stress her any more than necessary. Get everything ready then net your fish. You will have to try to be careful with her, but work fast and calm. Have a soft clean cotton towel ready for her. You may not have to take her out of the net. The betadine (not soap version) would just pour a small amount on the area. Let it be a short time. Then gently put her back.
I do think the ingredients in Bio-bandage would be good to use in this case. You can order it and the Jungle Fish antibiotic food at It is a gel and might be harder to use. has the same product in a powder. that may Best for her.
I have seen some really bad fish heal. I am a little concerned that she has not eaten in so long. I assume you tried most things she liked. I doubt she will until she is getting better.
I would think the bubble would open on it's own, although it may be a larger opening than if it were opened, say with a syringe and needle. Plus it may make it take longer for her to start healing as it may be a while. It almost appears the bubble is damaging your fishes body. I don't know which would be best. If she were my fish, I would be thinking that over. If you know a fish genious, I would check with them. If you should open it or it just opens, you would want to put the iodine on it when it happens or close to it. IT has to open or it would have to go down and that might take a while.
It doesn't appear there is a fungus at this time.
Watch her close for secondary infection as she us stressed and it is possible.
I think I would start her on Maracyn two asap.
I wonder how much of your med would be taken out with charcoal, and a small drain?
Keep her warm.
Good Luck

well when i first noticed the pouch, is when she stopped eating, then after a few days it got so big i decided i needed to take action. when i put her in the 5 gallon tank, i medicated the tank. after 3 days of medication i changed 25% of the water as it says in the medication instructions. while i was changing the water, the bubble popped, which is where you can see she is damaged. i thought at first this was a good thing because the liquid drained and i thought she may get better now. the next day it looked like it was just skin hanging there, but she still didn't want to eat. after another day i noticed the pouch started filling with liquid again, and this time its deformed a bit from where it popped last time, so basically, the bubble popped, then it filled again, and now today, its pretty big again. im on my way to the store to pick up the stuff you advised me to use, i have never used any of it, im gonna try to do everything you told me and well see what happens. the water is warm about 82 degrees, and i put salt in the tank. how long do you think she can go without food? thats the part that scares me because its been 2 weeks. thanks again for your help, at least if she dies now il have piece of mind i tried everything i could to save her.

also i dont know if i mentioned, but the medication says no carbon, so i have a small bio-wheel filter on there right now with a filter pad, only i ripped the filter pad open and took all the carbon out, so there hasn't been any carbon in the tank at all. do you think i should put some in or continue the way i have it once i get the new medication, also do you think i should change all the water once i get the medication, or can i just put it in the same water, or doesn't it matter.

I have heard people on this list talking about older fish. I am thinking 12 years is a number I have heard as possible life expectations.
As far as what the man at the store said, I know when a fish is not easy to cure and might not make it, they don't waste their time. She could have cancer, but I doubt he really knows. She also could have an extremely bad egg tube infection with secondary problems. Without a catscan, that is just as likely.
I think it is up to you if you want to try to save her, or put her down.
It is true she will be work to try to save. She also has a lot against her. my biggest worry is how long since she has eaten. I know how to feed animals that won't eat on their own. But I don't fish. I doubt you can. There are good vitamins that you put in the water that can help support Fish. I use them for my BP and she glows and is full of pep after.
The other problem is the bubble. I have also been thinking about that. Animals get abscesses. Basically fluid under the skin, they get bigger and bigger. They can kill the animal, if it is not drained. Often it will drain on it's own. If you catch it early and start antibiotics, they go away before they grow and cause problems. These abscesses destroy the skin all around. If they open on their own and they are large, there is a huge hole. Vets can not do stitches or glue it shut as the skin is in such bad shape. Another coincidence is the fact they will not eat either. Abscesses are normally formed from an injury like a bite, or small injury.
I am thinking your bubble looks like a fish abscess. The skin around the egg tube looks to be degrading. It is very possible the bubble is causing most of the problems. It is possible she had a problem with eggs and developed some sort of bacterial infection. I also wonder if a lot of the swelling in her body is not from fluid as in the bubble. It is not good to have that in her.
I don't know if you can save her, or you would be able to try.
I am afraid the electrolytes in her body are off because of the fluids.
All of this makes me think if she were my fish I would try to open the bubble. I think a small incision, would be much better than it exploding and being inches. Maybe a sterile needle.
I think your best chance to help her is to try to get rid of the fluid, if possible. And treat as above.
She has to be weak as she has been sick so long. She doesn't have time to wait for meds to do this. Plus the best thing would most likely be to try to help her start healing. I don't think she will if she is full of this fluid.
I don't know if it is soon enough to help her. She may be too damaged. But she has age and must have been in good shape when she started this. I think it would be worth a try for me. I don't give up as long as there is a chance. You must think there is still a chance, if she were next to dead and obviously not going to make it by the way she acted you would never have asked if you could get help.
I have seen animals have a cup of fluid like that around their neck and just explode. It is shocking. it is not easily seen due to the hair and sometimes it doesn't show) They do fine as long as they have antibiotics. They can have an open hole bigger than a silver dollar. This was a small cat, on he neck. As soon as they start to drain, they start to recover and feel better.
I am mentioning this as your fish has an area to heal. I wonder if the fluid were gone, plus the antibiotics, Salt and medication straight on the fish, just how much this might help her.
My biggest concern is her condition, I don't know if she would do well after the bubble is draining or it would be shock to her system since she is weak.
Trust me. I have seen many miracles when it comes to things like this. But they cannot all be. It depends much on the strength of your fish. Then if you can do it. I think this is possably her only chance due to time. But I am not sure how much the chance is.
Many people could not do this. I understand that completely. There is no guarantee she would live even after that. I guess this is something you need to think about. doubt she has much time, if it can work it needs to be done yesterday. Or ASAP.
It would be as putting antibiotic on her. Except also have a sterile needle ready. I imagine it will open fairly easily. If not forget it. Either way put the Betadine on her and put her gently back. It will either help or not. She would be also getting more help from the maracyn two and the salt in the water.

If you cannot do it and I would understand. Believe I would not find it easy to do either. If you have a close vet, I would call and tell them you are bringing your fish in to be put to sleep. They might not do it, But they might to help you. I am no good at putting anything down. If you are alright with it. They all say to put them in the freezer and that is how they put down a fish. I have heard vets say that about fish also. So it is not unthinkable. I doubt if most pet shops go to that much trouble.
I noticed Jeffers had an anesthesia to calm fish or put them out for a procedure. I think I would have to do that first. Actually I could have my fish put down by a vet with no problem. If that day comes, I probably will, after I knock her out with anesthesia. I am truly a softee and even though I say to open the bubble to drain the fluid, I would probably be a mess after. I stay calm until it is done.
I truly wish there was an easy answer. I wish I could help you, but you love your fish and will do what is right for it, whatever you do.

I didn't see the above new comment from you. If the bubble ruptured and grew again, I don't know if it would do any good to open it.
Try all of the above as far as meds etc as you said. See how she does and if she starts to improve. It may rupture again. Continue until you think she is improving and go on from there or going the other way.
I really wish you luck! :)
Let us know how she does

ok this is what i did, i didn't listen to the store guy, i went and bought the medicine the next day, i feel like she is still swimming and she still has some energy so im not giving up until she dies. i changed 25% of the water. the pouch has re-appeared but when i went to put her in the net, the pouch popped. i poured some "melafix" where the pouch popped while i had her in the net, the advice i got called for a different medication but i got this one because i forgot the name of the other one, do you think melafix will work just as good? hope so, then i put her back in the water, put a teaspoon of melafix in the water, then i medicated with marycen-2, crossing my fingers, lets see what happens. dont think i stressed her out too much while i added the medication, but she looks like the water and medication change bothered her alittle, seems like shes grasping for air and putting her mouth to the top of the water. i also added some more salt and the water is room temp to warm.

seems like i would raise the temp a little if its only room temp right now. were all pulling 4 her!

well, i went to the fish store, i showed the guy pictures and he told me there was nothing i can do, he said the fish had cancer and that no matter what i tried she would die, he asked me how old she was and i told him 9 years old, he said the life expectancy on parrot fish are 8-10 years and this was just old age. i don't know why i thought BP's lived a lot longer, but i did. he told me it wasn't worth it to spend all the money on medication because there was no saving her. i doubt he would lie to me because after all it was his store, I'm sure he wanted to make a sale. but i didn't buy it. he told me to put her in a plastic bag and stick her in the freezer to put her out of her misery, don't know if i can do that, sounds a little harsh. if anyone thinks this guy is full of it, let me know

well, i went to the fish store, i showed the guy pictures and he told me there was nothing i can do, he said the fish had cancer and that no matter what i tried she would die, he asked me how old she was and i told him 9 years old, he said the life expectancy on parrot fish are 8-10 years and this was just old age. i don't know why i thought BP's lived a lot longer, but i did. he told me it wasn't worth it to spend all the money on medication because there was no saving her. i doubt he would lie to me because after all it was his store, I'm sure he wanted to make a sale. but i didn't buy it. he told me to put her in a plastic bag and stick her in the freezer to put her out of her misery, don't know if i can do that, sounds a little harsh. if anyone thinks this guy is full of it, let me know

I,v been a nurse for 35yrs and couldn't diagnose cancer without tests, it may well turn out that he is right but i wouldn't give up just yet, it is after all a business to the shop, and they look at it in a different way, ie money spent versus probable outcome, but its your pet, he is right regarding age though, is she eating now and swimming? you can try the things suggested, i would, BUT if you feel that she is in pain or distressed and feel you have no choice but to euthanize her, don't use the freezer method, type "ode to misinformation" into our search box here and look for my post from some time back, it is the kindest and most peaceful way to euthanize a terminally sick fish,(buy good quality clove oil) hope its not needed

I finally found info about fish and abcesses. They do get abcesses.
Normally from an infection site. It best to treat early.
There were photos of fish that had it and died, with large holes in their stomachs. Some still alive with swollen stomachs. They can get one anywhere they have an injury. (I found and aquarium fish with one on it's tail.) This was a pond coy study. The study said aquarium fish also get abcesses. Not uncommon.
An injection is best.
But our med plan as above would be your best shot. There was no mention of opening and draining. These were not hand taken care of. The only thing I can tell you about that, if it were and animal, they would get better faster with it kept drained.
They can develop sepsis if they get too bad. Blood Poisoning, this is much harder to cure.
Let's hope your BP is tough, you are doing what you can to give her a chance.
I think the pet store thought you put her down for cancer, you would want to buy more fish. He didn't know what was wrong with her. That still doesn't make it easy.
Good luck

You can tube feed a fish! I thought that had to be possible, but I didn't know exactly how. I have Tube fed many animals. It is more intimidating than it is really hard. It has to be done just right. Don't try it without getting info.
If your female starts pepping up, you might want to try getting her back on food by doing this once.
One thing different with a fish, they recommend using a certain amount of clove to keep from stressing the fish.
Glad to hear your info on Euthanizing a fish, shaz. I will fight for life as long as there is a chance. When there isn't a chance and the fish/animal is suffering It is time to give them peace.
I also found information about giving your fish an injection, yourself. I can give a shot to anything else, I think that a fish would just be a little more slippery.
Most of us don't have a vet to do it and it could make a big difference sometimes.
I am thinking at least some of us could do this if necessary. I don't know how hard it is to get Syringes and needles for all of us. You can use Insulin or Tuberculin needles with many meds. Depending on how thick the med is. I need to look into type of med for what, to be injected. I am wondering if some of us could get the meds from the vet to do it yourself. It would be easier on the fish.
I will pass on what I have learned if anyone needs to know. This is not something you want to do in most cases. This is for a fish like we are dealing with here. I am not adding all info as it has to be done just like in people and in animals, in the right place, etc. Many or most on the site will not be able to do this. But for some fish, it is a chance.
Let me know if your BP peps up and you want to try to start her eating. Hopefully if she peps up, she will eat on her own.
Good luck

I never saw this Sunday, Sorry. We are going to have to change the subject to know what is new, I think.
I wondered if the bubble would rupture when you netted her.
Melafix is a pretty good treatment for fish without something very complicated. It is made of tea tree oil. It has some good properties, but it is not as good for applying straight to her. Iodine, Betadine, or mercurochrome are the topical type antibiotics you can use on her. They would be at a drug store etc.
The melafix may have burned some. Or the fluid leaving her body, which was necessary, probably caused the reaction from your fish. She had a lot of fluid that should not have been there. Getting it out is necessary, but at this point, it is all up to how strong your fish is. I hope she calmed down after some time. You are doing all you can. The med in the tank Maracyn two is good stuff. All we can do now is continue and hope she starts improving. I would not add any more Melafix. I am not sure it is to be used with Maracyn two. It also might be burning.
Let us know
I wish this was easy.
Take care

hey good people, just wanted to give all the people who helped me out a heads up on the situation i had with my parrot. well, shes still alive, don't ask me how, but she hasn't eaten in 3 weeks+, the infected area has almost completely healed, she seems in better spirits, but she STILL wont eat, seems like her tube is sticking out a little, like shes getting ready to lay eggs, which when she usually lays eggs she doesn't eat, but still. i don't know how to get her to eat, i tried giving her different foods and still nothing. shes still in the medicated tank, but after tomorrow im gonna try putting her back in to the 55 gallon, i did a 30% water change today and stopped putting medication in the tank. just wish she was eating before i put her back in the big tank, does anyone think i should still wait?

Amazing news!!! You made my day :)
Do you think it will stress her being moved? With all she has been thru and not eating?
I would keep the temp up, and the salt in the water. It won't go away unless you remove it. If you remove a gallon, you can add the salt for a gallon.
Did you read the info about feeding a fish? I found how to tube feed them. you might read that below.
I am wondering if her digestive tract is off from being ill. That happens even in people. Sometimes if you prime the well, they take off. Or you can add some natural bacterium and it could help the appetite start.
Meanwhile I would keep trying anything you can thing of, she might like.
Can you put it in her mouth? She might spit it out, but she also make get a taste and eventually eat.
I recently got some vitamins. For my Bp. You put a few drops on food several times a week. She loves it. You can also add to the water and they are supposed to get benefits. You might try that.
at fosterandsmithaquatics
Supplies the vitamins your fish need for optimum health

I found some info about fish and how long they can go without food. Seems some have went without for months.
I have been thinking about you and you BP.

ok, i had some frozen krill in the fridge..this is so crazy i cant explain it, i unfroze it, i put it in the tank and she grabbed it! i was so happy that she finally ate after 3 weeks, so then i go and get another one, put it in the tank, and she ate that too!! i was so happy i was calling people. but then i go back in the room only to see that she SPIT THE FOOD OUT! i was so happy only to get sad again. i mean it was nice to see she actually tried, which is more then she has done. then i got some pellets to see if she would eat those, she also put the pellets in her mouth, but then like 1 minute later, she spit it out. this is really confusing, does any one know what might cause this?? looks like she wants to eat , but she cant, or wont..... either way, i feel like shes better then shes been, but what if there is still a problem that i cant see with my eyes. how do i go about adding " natural bacterium"? is it something i can buy at the store? is that what its called? it seems like she healed well where she was infected, but is it possible she healed too well? i can see her tube sticking out alittle, but i cant see her butt anymore, can her butt heal closed is basically what im saying and maybe thats why she cant eat

I am so glad to hear she tried to eat! Believe it or not, that is a positive sign. As I told you before, I have had most kinds of fish thru the years, but I am better with animals. They really are similar in many ways. When an animal has not eaten for a very long time, they can be kept alive with fluids. Since your fish is in fluids, maybe that is one of the reasons she has held on like she has. When you try to get animals to eat again, even if they haven't eaten in a long time, they usually don't want food. Or they can't eat it. Often it comes back up. You can tube to get some easy digest food and probiotics in you BPs stomach. Her stomach and digestive tract have to be not as they normally should be. It is possible if you continue to tempt her with little bites of things she can't resist, she might do well on her own. Make your pieces smaller and Instead of two pieces, just give her one, if she can hold it down, try again in maybe six hours. Your goal would be to get her to hold anything down. You could increase to a couple when she has no trouble with one for a number of times. If two are too much, go back to one. Don't rush.
I am very big into natural healing. As I said before, I know what to do if she were a dog or cat. I know what they need to make their digestive tract start working, faster. Fish is another story.
I did read that they are giving fish Acidophilus (has to be MILK FREE kind) I am wondering if you could somehow get a little in a food she will eat. You need a good quality at a health food store, or behind the counter at drug store (no prescription needed) Crush or open a capsule and try to get a little in the one piece she eats. That is friendly bacteria, needed to digest food.
It wouldn't be wasted as it is good for people, you could take the rest. :)
As I said, I am thrilled she tried to eat. Excellent sign. Next is to get her to hold some down.
Good luck and let me know how she does
If you want to try to tube her, I can tell you how. I am guessing you have never done that before to anything, so it might be hard for you. If you fish were not trying to eat, it might be necessary, since she is, I think you should keep giving her little bites. If that works, stick with it. :)
Good LUCK!

my parrot has been eating and holding food down, the infection is totally gone, waiting for her to go to the bathroom and eat a little more and its a wrap. Ive been changing about 25% of the water in her 5 gallon with water from the tank so she can get used to the water. i had some rocks in the big tank i also removed because they may have been raising the PH and that may of been part of the reason she got sick, not sure, but just felt like i should try it. her skin looked a little cracked today so i put about 2 teaspoons of stress coat in the tank. i also cleaned the big tank well.
This site and the people on it helped save my parrots life, the guy at the store told me to put her in a zip-lock bag and throw her in the freezer because i couldn't save her, well he couldn't of been more wrong. thanks everyone, especially nostagia, i cant believe shes alive and gonna be ok, im extremely happy about it. ill come on here more often and try to help others out as well, when shes back in the tank ill upload some pictures. thanks again!

im so happy ur fish is ok!!!! this is a wonderful site with so many helpful people. just keep doin what ur doin, the world needs more great pet parents like u who r willing to go the extra mile! :)

What can I say, we all deserve a miracle or two!!!! I am so happy for you! You did what you had to do and you saved your girl. Soon the part when you can love and enjoy her starts again. Expect her to be really spoiled and hungry :)
(have you tried frozen, thawed, shelled peas to help her digestion, go to the bathroom)
All I want to say, is Yeah BP!
Take care

Have you tried frozen shrimp? I know when Parrots were sick and they would not eat the flake food. They ate the frozen shrimp though and it got them back on track.