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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 01-07-2021, 04:12 AM
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My budgie is sick and I don't know why

Hi all. Sorry to make my first post here a somber one.

Introduction: I have a budgie named Trickster. I have had her for about 6 years now and she is a lovely, inquisitive girl. She loves interacting with new objects, flying around, and exploring. She loves to play with fingers and enjoys scritches with your pinky. She loves chewing on things. She's wonderful!

I don't even remember when exactly it first started. A year, maybe a year and a half ago, I would sometimes be woken up by fluttering around in the cage. At the time I had assumed it was just night frights, and I would talk to Trickster to calm her down. After a while she would settle down and climb back up to a perch to sleep. Eventually she got increasingly worse, with these episodes happening more often. She also had short vomiting spells. I took her to the vet, and she had a crop infection, and was given the proper medication to help with that. All was well, but then the attacks happened again, and she also vomited more. Again I would take her to the vet, they would prescribe the same antibiotics, and she would seem to get better for quite a while before getting sick again. Eventually the vomiting spells stopped, but her attacks didn't. These would happen and still do sometimes happen during the day, but most often at night or very early morning. I've observed her skittering back and forth anxiously on her perches, and then rearing her head back with a screeching sound before falling off the perch and fluttering around. After a while these attacks would stop, and she would climb up to rest again.

I've taken her to the vet more times than I can count to help treat the several crop infections she's had, but also one yeast infection she had recently, maybe a month or so ago. But these attacks almost never stopped. Sometimes it would be a week before anything would happen, and I would think she might be good, but then they would happen again. And every time I brought her to the vet, they wouldn't be able to find anything wrong.

At one point, when they discovered she had a yeast infection and gave us medication for her, the very next day she was agitated and constantly preening near her vent. I noticed at night during one of her attacks that she had deficated a small amount of blood. I called the vet and had her seen as soon as possible, but I honestly hadn't expected her to survive at all. She did, and again they found nothing wrong with her, suggesting she may have had a bad reaction to the medication. But they also noticed she has signs of fatty liver disease, particularly with her cere. So they suggested changing her diet to help, but I never knew for sure if that's exactly what's causing her attacks, or if it was something else.

I genuinely feel like I'm to blame for her ailment. She's always been on a seed diet, and despite my efforts I've never been able to get her to eat anything anything else except for shredded carrots. My other budgie, Wingull, also will only ever eat shredded carrots. I've been trying pellets as well, but I have a suspicion that they completely ignore them and pick out the seeds instead. I've always put dried veggies in their food dishes as well, but I never knew if they were actually eating them or if they were being pushed to the bottom of the dish. Recently I've been trying nutritional drops in their water, but Trickster's attacks still persist. I have a suspicion that maybe she's having seizures because of fatty liver disease, or something similar. It feels like these attacks have literally never stopped since they first started so long ago, and I feel like I'm failing her. I know I probably am, and I don't expect to be forgiven at all for it, but I just want to find some way to help her. Even if it helps just a little bit. I keep bringing her to the vet, and I don't blame them at all, but I feel like nothing is helping or changing. They can't find anything wrong. I'm afraid of waking up one day and just finding her gone. It's my worst fear.

I don't know if anyone has ever had something similar happen or has any advice, and I'm still planning to bring her to the vet again or another one just to see if there's anything at all I can do for her, but I feel like I'm at such a loss. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas of what's going on or what I can do, please help. Sorry for dumping this all here. I don't know if I'm allowed to or if this is the wrong place, so if it is I can delete it. Thank you.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:36 AM
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Re: My budgie is sick and I don't know why

Hi ConfettiGraffiti, welcome to the Forums to you and Trickster and Wingull. Firstly your post is perfectly fine and in exactly the right spot so definitely no need to delete it!

I'm sorry your dear little Trickster seems to be having so many health issues. It does sound like you are doing the right thing by her in seeking medical help and trying to improve her diet. I have had mixed results in converting birds onto pellets over the years, one cockatiel absolutely point blank refused all attempts and another was eventually coaxed to eat them after an 8 week battle of wills - they can be very stubborn!

Unfortunately I don't have any particular medical advice for you, other than I recommend you stop putting additives into their water unless you have been advised to do so by a certified avian vet. Adding things to water often means that the water becomes fouled much more quickly, plus the birds may not be drinking enough if it tastes strange to them. In addition, you can never be quite sure how much of a dosage they are actually getting from drops in the water, it may not be enough to do them any good at all or it may be too much and sometimes they can OD.

I wonder if the vet you have been seeing so far is an avian specialist? You also suggest it may be time to take Trickster somewhere different for a second opinion, which to me sounds like it might be a good idea. The link below may help you find a certified avian vet if you don't already have one, or might help you find a brand new one close to you...

I'm sure some of our other members will weigh in with some more advice for you soon, but in the meantime thank you so much for reaching out for help for your budgies. I hope you will also upload some pics of your babies, we would love to see them!

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Old 01-07-2021, 08:39 AM
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Re: My budgie is sick and I don't know why

Welcome to you and yours budgies.
My budgies are prone to night flights as well, any light, out loud noise can set them off.

So covering, or moving them to a quiet sleep room might help.

On veggies, come on, you can do it, and they do love them, hang romaine or Swiss shard, tempts nibbles better. Mine were given as adults, one escapee caught and I kept. Tgey eat everything! They have free choice seeds. But they choose to eat 50% or more of their diet veggies @ leafy greens, occasionally fruit, they have raspberry right now. They eat oatmeal, quinoa, ground up pellets. They love veggies! I offer spread out in shallow containers. I offer out of the cafe, and I have heard others say this seems to really get
them to try better. I dont starve then to eat veggies, the veggies are there and they choose.

I will try and wrote more, but I'm dealing with my own very sick bird. I just wanted to welcome you, and thank you for trying to find answers , help, and working with a veterinarian.
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Last edited by Laurasea; 01-07-2021 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:39 AM
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Re: My budgie is sick and I don't know why

Welcome to you, Trickster, and Wingull. Thanks for joining and sharing a lovely, caring introduction!

Sorry to hear Trickster has repeated crop infections and various health issues. Completely agree with advice above and potential value of second opinion from certified avian vet.

Improving diet a challenging feat that cannot harm. Consider taking advantage of "flock eating" and harnessing the power of yourself as flock member. Prepare multiple bowls of fresh veggies/fruits aka "chop" and offer one each to each bird. Begin eating from yours, making "mmmm" sounds, bob your head in delight. Here's a helpful source for ideas:
Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips
Bird Safe Fresh Foods & Toxic Food Lists + Sprouts

Conversion to pellets often difficult, but I'm a fan of Harrison's protocol. Not pushing the brand but successfully transitioned my entire flock. I believe the procedure can work for any brand: Prime strategy is behavior modification, crucial point is to never starve a bird into submission.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:57 AM
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Re: My budgie is sick and I don't know why

Welcome and be welcomed! You are getting good advice above! I would only add the concern that your vet is a real Certified Avian Vet, and not a general vet that also sees cats and dogs ( which is like 95+% of all vets). Parrot and bird physiology is soooo different than mammalian, that most vets have only a small clue when problems arise.
Can you detail what tests they have done on Trickster? Not that any of us are vets, but those who have had medical issues with parrots, treated by true CAV's, can tell if at least the testing is appropriate ( not the results - thats for the CAV to determine). Here's hoping we can help you get to the bottom of Tricksters ailment.

Trouble finding a real Certified Avian Vet in your area? We can help! Where are you located?
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