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Old 07-08-2017, 05:02 PM
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Vomiting and Nausea

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Okay, so Samantha's been feeling icky for at least 2 months now. Last week, we put her on antibiotics for ten days. Who knows if she swallowed any.

This afternoon, she was fluffed and acting lethargic like usual. I think she's in pain or is nauseaous or something. She doesn't feel good. Anyways, she started violently vomiting, and she was trembling. She was vomiting last week, too. Or maybe it was the week before. I don't think it's allergies this time.

I'm going to take her to see Dr. Morris this week. I'm going to have him do a crop culture and a fecal smear. What else should we have done?

I think Pollo might still be a bit off. I don't know what to do. Oh, right, so the kākāriki have Stephylococcus aureus. Putting them on antibiotics yet again because Ria's still feeling gross. Tiki put on 5g and Ria put on 1g. Lara's having problems with her bum again.

Last edited by Teddscau; 07-08-2017 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:11 PM
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

Even if she has been tested negative for PDD, she should be tested again. False positives are rare, but possible. Has she been tested for heavy metal poisoning yet? Is there anything new in her environment or rooms she is out in, even something seemingly 'safe'? *Anything* new since the symptoms appeared she has or could have potentially had oral contact with that could somehow be toxic or poisonous? I recall a member who's bird managed to swallow a tiny piece of metal somehow that caused long term lead poisoning and she never even realized the bird had swallowed it until it showed up on X-ray! Think hard about this one.

If you haven't already, isolate her from your other birds. As far away and with as minimal potential for cross contamination as possible. Hope she pulls through and the cause is quickly identified and treatment is effective.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:22 PM
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

She hasn't been tested for anything. I don't know, avian vets don't really do diagnostic tests for budgies. Budgies are considered weak and have a 99% chance of dying when stressed -_-

She's old, so the vets are worried she'll die from tests. She's small, so the vets are worried she'll die from tests. She's sick, so the vets are worried she'll die from tests. She's old, small, and sick, so I'm worried she'll die if she doesn't have tests done.

Apparently, almost no blood tests can be done on budgies because they can't take enough blood. Well guess what? Fancy avian vet hospitals can do all these things!

The only new things in the aviary are this acrylic playstand and a couple of kākāriki. There is some zinc washers attached to the cage because my dad's a cheap piece of garbage. Just finished taking them off... Oh, and I put in some safe shreddable toys. I put a heated perch in a few months ago. She's also been gnawing on the trim in aviary lately. It's pine with Mythic primer and Mythic paint.

Do you think I should take her to see Dr. Yee instead, then? Fudge, it's going to cost me $800. I'll have spent $5,000 on avian health stuff this year. But my parents keep saying she's old and is probably just dying.

So, legit, have it all done? She's my best friend. I'll take her to Dr. Yee, I guess. I already took her to Dr. Yee, but she said to try the antibiotics first, but since she's clearly still sick as heck. I mean, she can still fly and still loves shredding things, but she's feeling sick.

Last edited by Teddscau; 07-08-2017 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:04 PM
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

I am sorry for what the two of you are going through!you are clearly dedicated to your companions!
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:53 PM
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

Zinc components are known to be toxic to birds, as are many paints and finishes. You now have something to bring up with the vet as a starting point. You mention new birds, did those birds get examinations/health checked by an avian vet and go through proper quarantine protocol before being introduced to your budgie? Some individuals can be asymptomatic or take longer to show symptoms of certain diseases or can be what is known as a "latent carrier" where they carry a disease, spread it to others but never get sick themselves (think: Typhoid Mary, but with birds). This why it is important to vet check and quarantine all new birds. You also mention your bird is older? How old? I am not a budgie expert but to my understanding due to a lot of improper breeding techniques with them, depending on the breeding stock the individual came from life expectancy of budgies can greatly differ between individuals with some getting quite old and other dying very young. And yes, if you want to know what is wrong with your bird and get the proper treatment, you will need an avian vet to do testing. To my knowledge, any competent avian vet should be able to run tests on budgies, other vets may or may not have the skill or knowledge to do so.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:46 PM
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

How old is old? Here's the thing: with birds, the same as with people. We all run out of time. Figuring out how to maximize the days is only part of the calculation. Anothe matter is, how good are the days? I read a story about a woman, her father was quite old in generally poor health, the doctors advised a pacemaker because that's what doctors do, he survived that operation and lived several years more but in abysmal health, not able to get out of bed, required round the clock care that seriously undermined his wife's situation. So he lived longer, but did he enjoy it? Was it worth it? Would he rather have gone earlier, before the suffering began? These are questions we are just beginning to ask in our society.

If your beloved is really suffering from the effects of old age, there is no cure, only palliative care. Which means medication to reduce pain, accommodations to the cage and environment for ease of movement and rest, heated perch, special diet, maybe medication for joint pain, etc. In such condition, a visit to the vet can be stressful and bring on a stroke or heart attack and not do any good. You are right, there is a cultural bias against these little birds, that they aren't worth it. That's not right. But taking the opposite stance, do everything no matter what, isn't right either. Both those approaches create unnecessary suffering for everyone involved.

It's a bit of a judgement call. You see her every day, you can best decide if this is something new, an illness that can be treated, or something systemic that's been coming on for some time. It's certainly possible that one of the new birds has an infection that shows no symptoms in that bird but can infect others. It's certainly possible that it swallowed a bell clapper or some other toxic metal. It's certainly possible that an I in system weakened by age has allowed an infection to take hold.

One thing... You mentioned pine in the aviary ... Are you 100% positive that it isn't pressure treated? Pressure treated wood has a greenish color, usually, and is labeled as such. If it was made out of older wood lying around, wood that has weathered, it might not be obvious if it's pressure treated or not. But pressure treated wood is pumped full of toxic compounds like copper and I don't know what they use now and is extremely toxic.

If it were me... I'd set up a hospital cage or box and move the little darling into it. You can find instructions elsewhere in the forum and online. Keep her isolated, warm, hydrated and comfortable. This will also remove any possible toxins from the environment and create a chance to maybe eliminate them. I don't know about birds...in humans, metal toxicity is somethimes treated with EDTA, a chelating agent that reacts with the metals and carries them out of the bloodstream, but that could be toxic to birds. They are just enough different from us.

I'm hoping things turn around. In the end, you are the human and you are the guardian. Your job is to keep them safe, happy and healthy as long as you can, and put a stop to their suffering when it is without possible relief. It is not an easy burden, but it is one you can bear. Keep writing, and hopefully something will click for someone and give a path forward.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:54 PM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP 12/09/2016), and Alice (RIP 05/29/2017); Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

Samantha's around 15 now. She's only 6 or so years younger than me.

The kākāriki were quarantined for at least 1.5 months. Here's their info: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!
Won't Swallow Medicine!
Good and Bad News from the Vet
Kākāriki Went to the Vet

Sorry, I know this is important, but I'm just so tired. Basically, the Kitchener Humane Society sucks hard. I adopted the poor kākāriki from them, and the kākāriki were almost dead. They were extremely emaciated, malnourished, muscles atrophied, and were barely able to stand. Ria went on antibiotics forever...anyways, after spending $2,000 so far on vet bills, it turns out the kākāriki have Staphylococcus aureus. They don't have yeast, PBFD, or parasites. So, basically, a few of my budgies probably caught the S. aureus bacterial thing. Ria's left nare is permanently deformed due to the infection which wasn't properly treated at the animal shelter. She'll have to have her sinuses flushed regularly for the rest of her life. She's still fighting the illness, so the two kākāriki are on antibiotics (for a third course of antibiotics...well, technically second time for Tiki, and a fourth time for Ria).

The pine isn't pressure treated, as I was OCD about absolutely everything used to build the aviary. The floor is marmoleum (unbelievably safe for birds), Mythic paint and primer (the safest paint products besides Green Planet paints), and stainless steel mesh. No particle board, MDF, or plywood. Stainless steel screws, washers, eye-hooks, etc. A giant apple tree branch is suspended from the ceiling using Paulie-rope. The room and toys and stuff are cleaned with Pet Focus Cleaner. The food and water dishes are stainless steel. They have Manu mineral blocks, rather than cuttlebone due to concerns over mercury. The water is RO water, and it has dandelion root and milk thistle extract in it because a couple of my guys have cancer (the dandelion root helps fight the cancer), and it also helps their livers. All their food is organic (fresh veggies, dried flours, TOPs, Golden'obles III, mash, millet). There's also a air purifier in there.

I also know about the whole Typhoid Mary thing with birds (I see I'm not the only one who uses that analogy!).

I understand what you're saying, Kentuckienne. I believe strongly in humane euthanasia when there's only suffering and no joy in living, and there's no treatment (and by treatment, I mean either a cure or pain meds for the animal to enjoy their last days).

I honestly don't think she's suffering from old age. Is she ancient? Yes, but she's not sick because of her age. Something's physically wrong with her, and it's not old age. Honestly, she's extremely feisty, flexible, curious, and tough as nails. She still wants to live, and she still enjoys life, so I want to help her.

I think EDTA might be used with birds too?

Darn, I don't have enough quarantine cages. Okay, at night I can put the kākāriki in the small flight cage so I can medicate them in the morning, and I can keep Samantha in the Celltei carrier to sleep at night. In the morning, after medicating the kākāriki, I can put them in the aviary, disinfect the flight cage, then stick Samantha in it. Meh, sure, why not. It's small, so she won't be allowed to fly around very much. She's going to be furious with me. You do NOT want to be there when she's angry! She starts screaming at you in budgie language. I'll just give her Golden'obles III, TOPs, and millet to eat.

Thanks, guys!

Oh, and I also sniffed the wood before it was put in and stuff. It smelled like pure, unadulterated wood.

FUDGE! We gave Ria and Tiki their medicine 15 minutes ago. Ria's now unable to use her left leg properly. She can sort of move it and the toes, but she's mainly keeping it in a fist, and her leg is bending at odd angles. Fudge! I don't know what's happening. It's sort of working, but at the same time it isn't. She can't grip the perch with it, and her leg collapses under her weight. Mom and I manipulated it, played with her toes, etc., and it doesn't seem to be hurting, and it has a normal(ish) range of motion. However, her toes on her left foot are cold. And she's not using it while walking and stuff. She's kind of dragging it. What's happening!? Fudge, gonna start a new thread.

Last edited by Teddscau; 07-08-2017 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:38 PM
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

...let me take back my previous statement. I'm pretty sure it's allergies. It all makes sense. My budgies are wimps. Starting last summer, my budgies began suffering from food sensitivities and allergies.

Two or three months ago, I began giving the kids chickweed, Swiss chard, dandelion leaves, broccoli leaf, kohlrabi leaf, fennel leaf, and carrot leaf. For the next week, I'm only going to feed them Golden'obles III, TOPs, and grey millet. The kākāriki are going to be really upset (you wouldn't believe how much they love their veggies), but it's for the greater good. If Samantha starts feeling better and is no longer nauseous, I think we'll have our answer.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:41 AM
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

Quote: Originally Posted by Teddscau View Post
...let me take back my previous statement. I'm pretty sure it's allergies. It all makes sense. My budgies are wimps. Starting last summer, my budgies began suffering from food sensitivities and allergies.

Two or three months ago, I began giving the kids chickweed, Swiss chard, dandelion leaves, broccoli leaf, kohlrabi leaf, fennel leaf, and carrot leaf. For the next week, I'm only going to feed them Golden'obles III, TOPs, and grey millet. The kākāriki are going to be really upset (you wouldn't believe how much they love their veggies), but it's for the greater good. If Samantha starts feeling better and is no longer nauseous, I think we'll have our answer.
Just sitting and reading some info from Harrisons and their Adult Lifetime Mash is described under usage as a low antigen formula for small parrots, canaries, finches and doves. Hope this may be useful to you or anyone reading this who is trying to convert their Budgies to pellets.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:25 AM
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Re: Vomiting and Nausea

Deeeeeeee! I have an update, everyone. This'll be a bit long, but please read!

A few days ago, I was floating around in the pool, upset and unsure of what I should do. So, I just spent hours swimming, thinking hard about what's been going on. The longer I thought about it, the more I realized that this was a species-specific issue. Starting last summer, some of my budgies started having issues with vomiting, nausea, etc. And it wasn't from a virus, bacterial infection, yeast, parasites, etc. Only the budgies had this problem, though. Also, they've been having problems with what appeared to be allergies. But they were only "allergic" to these foods some of the time, and the rest of the time they'd be fine. That is not how allergies work. One can develop allergies, and one can overcome allergies, but one does not repeatedly swap back and forth between "allergic" and "not allergic" over the course of a few months.

Anyways, I began to think of how a budgie's digestive system might differ from a parrotlet's or a kākāriki. I find they have a bit of trouble with pellets because of how dry they are, and how they often start gagging while drinking pellets. Then that reminded me about how I'd read that feeding pellets can be potentially harmful for parrots from arid habitats, as they don't drink very often, and they might not drink enough to compensate for the dryness of the pellets.

Then I looked up the digestive systems of budgies, and I came across a website with a nice diagram with explanations of the different digestive organs. Then it started talking about grit. That got me curious, and the more I read about grit, its use by birds, and the strong urge that wild (and captive) Australian parrots have to consume it, the more I started to wonder if she needed grit.

I know grit is a very controversial topic, and that all you ever read about it is that it's "dangerous" and is "unnecessary" for digestion. But that's not true. It turns out, aviculturists and avian vets in Australia and the UK give their birds grit all the time, and not a single death has been attributed to grit. I read articles (from the UK and Australia) written by avian vets, wildlife biologists, etc., and they all talked about how parrots actively seek out grit in the wild and intentionally ingest it. In fact, many Australian vets have performed necropsies on road-kill victims, and these parrots were often hit because they were eating grit off the road. Their gizzards could be almost half full of grit, yet none of these birds had impactions due to grit, and were in perfect health.

Furthermore, this one guy talked about his associate who performed a necropsy on a captive cockatoo. The cockatoo had intentionally ingested unshelled pine nuts, which caused a blockage, leading to his death. The bird knew how to shell nuts, so his associate believes that in a desperate attempt to consume grit, the cockatoo swallowed the nuts, shell and all.

Legit, there's not a single case of a parrot in the U.K. or Australia dying due to consuming grit. The only time you might have a problem is if a fledgling is allowed to have grit, as fledglings don't know what is or isn't food, so they could end up ingesting large amounts of grit without realizing that it isn't edible.

Also, I read about how grit actually works in the body. The bird has complete control over how much, or what specific bits of grit is in its body. All the bird needs to do is regurgitate or expel the grit through it's feces in order to adjust the amount of grit in its gizzard.

Also, even when plenty of delicious food is available for them, my budgies will scurry around on the floor, looking for something to ingest. And this is even when I have provided them with some millet in several dishes. Even when they know they have millet, fresh veggies, mash, birdie bread, and pellets available, they'll go to the floor, looking for something. And I know, one could argue that this is a normal expression of foraging behaviour, but they wouldn't even go on the bottom of the cage until last year, let alone down on the floor of the aviary.

Anyways, I had my did pick up some grit for them on Friday, and I offered it to them. Samantha looked horrible: her wings were drooping, her tail was bobbing, her feathers were fluffed, her eyes looked terrible, and she was feeling weak. She'd been spending the entire week sleeping and resting, clearly in great discomfort. When I put the grit in, she barely had the strength to open her eyes (I don't mean she was dying or anything, she just felt absolutely horrible from her nausea). When she saw the grit, she went down to the plate and began scarfing down the grit. She knew it wasn't seed or food, but she kept swallowing it, despite gagging and vomiting.

The whole thing was strange. Her body's reaction to the grit would seem quite unsettling to most people watching her, but we've lived together for 15 years, and I was confident that she knew what she was doing (she's incredibly intelligent and is definitely self-aware. She's unlike any budgie I've seen before. I'd argue that she should even be granted personhood).

I didn't see her much on Saturday, as I was away all day, but when I went to see them today, she was awake and alert. Her eyes were bright (if not a bit sleepy), she chirped happily a few times (she's hardly said a thing in weeks), her wings aren't drooping, her postures greatly improved, she's hardly fluffed, and she seems really alert and doesn't seem to be experiencing any pain. Just a few days ago, she wouldn't even lift her head when I came in the aviary. I accidentally bumped into her perch on more than one occasion, and she could barely open an eye, let alone "escape" my uncoordinated hand.

Honestly, I'm so excited! Hopefully it turns out that grit is the solution. If she keeps looking this good, then I guess we'll have the answer!

Man, she's so responsive! When I make a noise or something, she actually becomes startled! Man! Awesome! And when I walk over to her, she actually starts looking around for escape routes!

Last edited by Teddscau; 07-16-2017 at 01:42 PM.
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