(Excerpt from Essentialbird yahoo group)

I have been having lots of bird problems since spring, and am just starting to come through it all now.

One of the happy outcomes is a gouldian finch who developed a severely swollen abdomen at about six weeks old, after weaning. I have seen this problem before and it has always been fatal in my experience, so I was planning to euthanize this bird and in fact, came very near to euthanizing him twice (like walking to the cage to get him).

The abdomen was swollen to about twice the normal size, if I can describe it like that, or to put it another way, it was just short of marble-size – really huge. I had no hope to save him because his parents had been on neem leaf tea for his entire life (due to an air sac mite outbreak), so they had been feeding him the tea – he never had plain water. I figured that if the abdomen was swollen due to infection, the neem tea would have cured it or prevented the infection in all that time. If it was not swollen due to infection, then there would be nothing I could do (organ failure, tumor etc.).

I put the baby into my hospital cage and just planned to let him live as long as he could live comfortably. I had the hospital birds on neem leaf tea for the air sac outbreak, so the baby was getting that, but no other treatments. After about ten days there was no change in the swelling, and that was when I decided to euthanize. But he didn’t seem quite ready. At about two weeks, I noticed that he was less puffy, eating a bit more, and flying more – but the abdomen was still the same size.
Now, after a total of about four weeks since the swelling began, the swelling is completely gone and the baby is acting totally normal.

I have learned in retrospect that the neem leaf tea is highly dose dependent. The dose the baby was getting via being fed from the parents was too low to prevent or cure his abdominal infection, but once he was drinking on his own, the dose was effective. This tells me a lot about the dose I am using!

Lainey Alexander

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, or by any veterinarian. All information, including any product or technique mentioned, is for educational purposes only. None of the information is intended to diagnose or treat any disease.