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Irene

Urgent: Sick Budgie + Symptoms :(

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Hi, recently my budgie has been having loose, watery droppings. Before, it usually went away within a few hours but this time, it hasn't gone away and it's been a few days. He's still chirping and lively, but not as energetic as before. He picks at his seeds, preferring to eat ANYTHING but them, and sometimes even vomitting the seeds back up.

 

I'm certain he's sick, but I don't know what to do. I found Buddy outside and my parents have always been against me keeping him, so a vet trip is out of the question. Other symptoms include hot feet, wing flapping (because of hotness), sleeping during the day (wing tucked, both feet planted on ground), staining on feathers above cere (this used to go away after molting), general weakness (shaky when on perch), aversion to seeds, weight loss, watery droppings, and unquenchable thirst.

 

I've read that the thirst is because of his droppings. I've tried to get him to drink more water to prevent dehydration, but not much luck with getting him to eat more. He used to occassionally have hot feet but they too, went away after a few minutes until recently.

 

His droppings are green like he's been starved, even though food is readily available. The feces part is fine, but there seems to be excessive urine. Once or twice, there's been NO feces or urates at all, just urine. His vent (for now) is clean and there's no matting on his feathers.

 

I read that hot feet may be a symptom of kidney problems; nephritis also matches the description of his aversion to seeds. (Source: http://www3.sympatico.ca/davehansen/gout.html) However, since he's on an all seed diet with supplementary fruit + veggies (he'll eat anything...), could this be a fatty liver issue?? He gets plenty of exercise although recently, he's been less active. He seems lighter and lighter every time I hold him and it feels like he's losing strength fast. He's still perching well and has enough energy to fly back and forth. Diet related, he doesn't use his cuttlebone at all. Could this be a vitamin/mineral deficiency?

 

Is this old age? Since I found him, I don't actually know how old he is. I just feel so helpless. He's my baby and I'd do anything for him. But without a vet checkup, there's not much I can do. It's so horrible seeing him waste away like this. :)

 

Since I don't have a heater, I've locked him in the bathroom after running the hot water tap so the room is warm and somewhat humid. I don't think it's warm enough though... what can I do to help him?? I dimmed the lights too so he's sleeping/resting peacefully instead of running around.

 

Edit: he was tame when I found him and always clingy, but more so now than usual. If I leave the room, he'll fly out after me onto my shoulder, or fly out after and find me... sorry for the long post, I feel really useless. :D

Edited by Irene

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Hi Irene.... :)

 

I'm sorry I can't help you but the more experienced members will.

 

Good luck..

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Can you set up a hospital cage for him. A cage with a warm lamp next to it ? 4o watt globe ( not energy saver, but incandescent globe ) ...........

 

could be anything. without vet diagnosis anyone's suggestion re meds would be hit and miss.

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I agree with Kaz. There are so many things it can be. Vet diagnosis is essential. Even if you did self diagnose, you need a prescription for the medications. Vets wont hand them out without an appointment. I would get him there asap.

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Have you recently introduced any type of new food such as celery, lettuce or something leafy?

What colors are the poos?

 

Kaz is right, we are not avian vets here and without the bird being properly looked at by an avian vet it is a guess for us.

 

Keeping him warm is essential though and setting up a hospital cage as Kaz suggested would be your first priority.

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Hi Irene

You are right, this is urgent indeed. Unfortunately what you have described is a very sick bird, and we can't tell you much more than that without seeing the bird or doing any tests. Budgies are prey animals, they try to disguise their illness because in the wild a sick looking animal is an easy meal for a predator.

 

When your budgie picks at the seeds he is pretending that he is eating so a predator won't notice he feels sick. So when he can't even pretend he's lively (you notice he is sleeping all day and not eating) it means he is quite sick indeed. He is losing weight because he is not eating very much. A bird's normal dropping is made up of three parts - the dark solid bit (faeces), the liquid bit (urine) and a white portion (urates, a by product of urine and faeces). So when he isn't eating, he isn't forming the solid bit and all you get is urine, you might be noticing it more now because of this. What you read about thirst due to watery droppings can be true, but there is always a question of what came first (is he making more urine because he's drinking more, or is he drinking more because he is making more urine?).

 

Green droppings can be due to starvation, gut problems or liver problems. Staining of feathers above the cere usually (but not always) refers to some kind of respiratory involvement. This can suggest chlamydia (psittacosis) which is very common in budgies. Chlamydia also affects the liver so this is also a possibility. This may also give him a temperature, although birds normally have warm feet, their body temperature is somewhere around 40-44 degrees celsius unlike us (37C).

 

Diet is also a possibility, liver dysfunction due to an all seed diet is also very common in budgies. As mentioned earlier this gives them green droppings, they lose weight because they can't digest their food. They usually also have beak and claw abnormalities, sometimes bleeding disorders. They also usually start out being fat/obese before they start to lose weight like this.

 

As you can see it can be a lot of things and diagnosing over the internet based on what you observe and describe is very difficult. Even in a vet visit we would need to do some tests to differentiate these possibilities. I really do urge you to have an avian vet visit as you have a very sick bird. For now you must support him symptomatically, set up a hospital cage with a warm lamp over him, with a gradient so he can get away if he's too warm. Have plenty of water available. I am worried that since he is not eating very much he may be wasting away. You really need to get food into him, you may have to learn how to crop feed.

 

I hope this helps and please keep us updated.

Edited by Chrysocome

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Please do keep us updated, Chyrs is so right, she knows what she is talking about.

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Thanks for the replies. He seems better today (eating slightly, even sleeping on one leg) but I think he's pretending. During the night, his droppings were completely void of feces and he's pooping less than normal during the day. He vomitted once yesterday, just liquid, and today morning, some seeds. His 'droppings', if I can even call it that anymore, is starting to smell of urine. Basically, he seems turned off by seeds but is still interested in sweetcorn and 'human food' (which I don't allow him to eat because of the sugar/sodium/oil content, but he tries to steal scraps...)

 

I put him in his hospital cage but he wanted to come out soon after. The lamp is also giving him some frights so maybe this is part of the reason he doesn't want to stay in. He also appears to be molting and spends most of him time either preening or sleeping/resting.

 

I know he's very sick, and it breaks my heart to see him like this. But as a student with no car and no income, I don't know how I can take him in for a diagnosis + meds since there will be no help from my parents. Even if I could find the monetary resources, my parents are strictly against 'wasting money on a $20 sick thing picked up from nowhere'... If he doesn't get to the vets, there's a good chance of him not making it through. Is there anything I can do to make his life easier?? Should I keep him in his cage even if he wants to come out? Or should I let him do what he wants for the remaining days/weeks? Right now, he just wants to be around me and my little sister.

 

I feel like such a bad owner. I wish I had found him a home with someone capable of providing the right care when he was still healthy. I wish love could cure illnesses :(

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You need to keep him in his cage and warm, feed him anything he will eat like millet, if you can keep him eating, warm you may have a chance, he probably got stressed through the molt and then got sick. Keep on eye on the poops even if they are watery they should have white and black or brown or even greenish in them at all times. All white means no eating and all black means no drinking. It is really ashame that people see budgies as just money when they are living and breathing animals (I know not your fault).

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You need to keep him in his cage and warm, feed him anything he will eat like millet, if you can keep him eating, warm you may have a chance, he probably got stressed through the molt and then got sick. Keep on eye on the poops even if they are watery they should have white and black or brown or even greenish in them at all times. All white means no eating and all black means no drinking. It is really ashame that people see budgies as just money when they are living and breathing animals (I know not your fault).

As of last night until now, his poops have had no feces (I watched him during the night). Before it was watery but at least he was eating. He just vomited everything he ate this morning... so I think it might be a bit too late now. :) I hope he at least had a decent life before this. We've had him for a year and a half but as to how old he is... I have no idea.

 

Thank you, everyone, and I'll try to keep you updated.

Edited by KAZ

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So he's been sleeping on my lap for the past few hours with the lamp directly above him (not scared anymore)... and he has pooped 4 'regular' stools so far! :P The droppings are green, as expected, but they're not watery, which is a surprise (still kind of mushy though). After waking up from his nap, he was also hungry, so he ate a bit too. :) No seeds because he keeps vomiting when he eats those, so I've given him corn flakes for now. Is this okay?? I figured that him eating anything would be better than starving, and corn flakes are supposed to be 'healthy'...

 

He is busy preening at the moment.

 

I'm probably hoping for too much, but I really hope he gets through this. :)

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Hi Irene, I am sorry to be reading this. There are things that you can do with the right medication. When I find a bird in this condition, I place them in the hospital cage and set it to 35deg C. I crop tube them with ER formular and give them water with Megamix in it. These are products from an Australian Vet, Dr Marshall. This usually does the trick.

 

But in your case, you can only seek local medical help.

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Hi Irene, I am sorry to be reading this. There are things that you can do with the right medication. When I find a bird in this condition, I place them in the hospital cage and set it to 35deg C. I crop tube them with ER formular and give them water with Megamix in it. These are products from an Australian Vet, Dr Marshall. This usually does the trick.

 

But in your case, you can only seek local medical help.

Once I move out in a month, I'll be able to seek med help, but I don't think he can wait until then. In the meantime, do you think ANYONE - breeders, rehoming service, humane society??? - would house and take care of a sick budgie?? I'm afraid that if it keeps dragging on like this, nothing good will result. I know I'm on the other side of the world, but in your experience, is this possible? I love him so much and would do anything for him, but the situation right now makes things difficult. :)

 

He's starting to eat again and pooping more solids. His feces is still very green even after eating so I don't think it's hunger that's causing the colour change, but something more severe.

Edited by Irene

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Irene, where abouts are you in Canada? Just the town, you don't need to say your address. If you're not comfortable sharing your location in public you can PM me. I am on many boards and support groups and a lot of them are based in North America with lots of good people. One in particular I am thinking will help you though I think it violates the rules of this board for me to post it on here. Yes there are foster services and people willing to look after a sick bird knowing your situation. I can ask some peopel I know over there and see if any of them are near you.

Yes corn flakes are fine, at this stage any food is good for him (as long as it's not on the dangerous foods list of course), be sensible about this of course (no dairy foods, nothing high in fat or salt) - cooked pasta or rice are options. You could put a pinch of sugar in one small water container for a bit of energy (only one source of water and make sure it's small since he might not like the taste, or he might like it too much and dehydrate himself. Make sure you throw it out after one day because it's ripe for bacterial/fungal growth). Alternatively see if he will lick a bit of honey off your finger or whatever food he's eating. I must remind you this is not ideal but if this is all you can do for now then it will help a little bit until he can get to a vet.

Edited by Chrysocome

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Irene, where abouts are you in Canada? Just the town, you don't need to say your address. If you're not comfortable sharing your location in public you can PM me. I am on many boards and support groups and a lot of them are based in North America with lots of good people. One in particular I am thinking will help you though I think it violates the rules of this board for me to post it on here. Yes there are foster services and people willing to look after a sick bird knowing your situation. I can ask some peopel I know over there and see if any of them are near you.

Yes corn flakes are fine, at this stage any food is good for him (as long as it's not on the dangerous foods list of course), be sensible about this of course (no dairy foods, nothing high in fat or salt) - cooked pasta or rice are options. You could put a pinch of sugar in one small water container for a bit of energy (only one source of water and make sure it's small since he might not like the taste, or he might like it too much and dehydrate himself. Make sure you throw it out after one day because it's ripe for bacterial/fungal growth). Alternatively see if he will lick a bit of honey off your finger or whatever food he's eating. I must remind you this is not ideal but if this is all you can do for now then it will help a little bit until he can get to a vet.

He's eating better now (corn flakes... seeds still make him vomit so I removed them completely. I spiked his water with some honey for energy too). Instead of being hot, his feet have cooled down and are almost cold, which is really weird. :S I checked on him throughout the night; he's pooping more regularly - green and still watery but at least everything (feces + urine + urates) is present.

 

I'm going to call the vet on Monday and try to see if I can pay it in multiple installments or something. PM'd you as well. Thank you.

 

P.S. Is it normal that he's still preening and chirping?? Maybe he's been sick much longer than I've realized and has been pretending the whole time :P, since aside from his recent symptoms, he seems 'normal'... he's even playing with the mirror

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Very normal to do these things when they are sick they have to pretend so they are not noticed by predators, when a budgie stops doing all these things you know they are very very sick, I know I lost Pretty very suddenly he was flying around in the AM and chirping and by PM he had passed away. I watch Merlin very carefully now even a stressful molt can get them sick. Sounds like he is recoverying continue to do what you are doing and don't let your guard down.

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Very normal to do these things when they are sick they have to pretend so they are not noticed by predators, when a budgie stops doing all these things you know they are very very sick, I know I lost Pretty very suddenly he was flying around in the AM and chirping and by PM he had passed away. I watch Merlin very carefully now even a stressful molt can get them sick. Sounds like he is recoverying continue to do what you are doing and don't let your guard down.

Hi Elly, you're right, his state changes so quickly. :) He has gone back to watery droppings except now there's no more feces, just really yellow urine with a bit of cloudy white stuff (urates?). He still preens occasionally but I haven't heard a chirp out of him for a while - he's mainly resting under the lamp. He wanted to eat his seeds so I gave him some, but after watching him, I think he's mainly just shelling and not eating to fool me.

 

He's also making vomiting motions but nothing is coming out (I don't think there's anything in his crop). A few times, like yesterday, a warm transparent liquid came out.

 

I'm not sure what happened during the day as I was not home, but I fear that he wasn't kept warm so he took a turn for the worse. :sadsorry: Perhaps this is weather related? It's been rainy for the past week or so, which is when Buddy stopped acting 'normal' i.e sleeping a bit more during the day, picking at his seeds. I'm surprised I didn't notice then. It's raining again right now and I feel a slight chill to my bone, which is why I thought of the possible connection. :S

 

And how can I tell when he doesn't want the lamp anymore? Sometimes, he gets up to move away, but if I position the lamp near him again, he stays and doesn't leave. Maybe he's too weak to move??

 

Thank you for all the replies. You guys have really been helpful.

 

Edit: so he did eat as he just vomited again. I'm going to hide the seeds so he can't see them anymore. His head is itchy due to the molting so he's rubbing it on any available surface, even my hand. I'm taking this as a sign that he's too weak to run away from me... =/

Edited by Irene

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okay... now if he's not eating much, his poo will not be normal. Maybe try finely cutting up his greens/or mash it up? Maybe also if you have something to crush his seeds up with, you could do that too, and add to his veggies. Also, hard boil an egg, and grind the whole thing up as well... (edit to this, we usually recommend adding the shell as it's a good source of calcium, but with your guys condition, it may agrivate him more, so maybe leave it out for now??) As to his lamp, have it down one end... if he wants it he'll sit under it. Good luck and I hope he comes good.

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Bad weather can exacerbate a pre-existing problem, because they have to devote some extra energy to keeping warm as well as fighting whatever it is that's making them sick.

 

The trouble with bird medicine is that so many things are caused by the same signs. I'm sorry I missed the vomiting in the first post, which seems to now be a major symptom. Does he get free flight time outside of cage and does he have any access to metals such as zinc or lead in or outside his cage? I ask because this can make them vomit, look very sick and make green poops. A bit of peanut butter can help bind this in his gut, depending on how big the piece is.

 

Some other things that cause vomiting are infectious agents, one is an organism called trichomonas (canker) and the other is a fungus called megabacteria. The latter is affected by mild acids. You can try adding a few drops of raspberry cordial to a water source for a little while (stop the sugar water for a day since this has sugar in it). If you don't have it available try apple cider vinegar (but this probably doesn't have sugar in it, so you'll need to put the normal water in at the same time, or only do it for a short time). This recipe is a preventative not a cure once it has settled in, but it might help a little bit.

 

I don't know what else can be done at home, what I've listed are little things that can help (not cure). As others have said earlier, it could be many things and without a vet's diagnosis it is hit and miss. I've replied to your PM.

Edited by Chrysocome

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I tried adding apple cider to his water before (about 4ml per 100ml water); he could taste the difference and refused to drink. I was afraid he'd dehydrate so I stopped.

 

Now that I think about it, I feel so bad and irresponsible. We generally let him go wherever he pleases as he's tame. He liked to perch on my windowsill and look outside, and sometimes, even used to nibble on the paint on the windowsill. I'd shoo him away every time I saw him do this, but it's possible he ingested some paint (with maybe lead or zinc inside).

 

His droppings are changing state very quickly. Last night, they were yellow and foul smelling (urine, no feces). After watching him through the night, I saw more solid droppings so went to sleep. This morning, I'm seeing thick, dark, bubbly and sticky droppings (kind of like tar :)). There's so many things it could be; even with your help and advice, nothing much has changed except he's gotten worse. I'm sick of doing nothing and feeling helpless. I found an avian vet in my city, I will call later and ask if anything can be done.

 

I just noticed this... but his left foot is having some sort of blood clotting or bruising since it's turning purple from the top down. His right foot was always wacky and more purple than pink, but I think this was from when he was outside and got injured before I found him.

 

There are some pinfeathers on his mask/cheeks so more stress from molting, combined with more recent bad weather. Which brings up another concern: if I try to get him to the vets tomorrow, how do I keep him warm on public transit? The forecast says there'll be another storm.

 

Thank you, everyone. I'll keep you updated. :wub:

 

 

Update: I emailed the avian, and he replied. However, he said he won't be in for the next week, so I'm not sure what to do now. :( Should I try bringing him to a non-avian? I'm afraid they won't have enough experience to diagnose him and prescribe him the right meds.

Edited by Irene

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I tried adding apple cider to his water before (about 4ml per 100ml water); he could taste the difference and refused to drink. I was afraid he'd dehydrate so I stopped.

Too much.....a teaspoon to the litre.

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Vets will always let you in. Tell them its life or death.

Take him in a box with a few ventilation holes (even a shoe box if you don't have a proper carry box), and keep him dark and away from droughts while on the move. I really hope he makes it, but tar like droppings sounds like he is pooping blood which is a fatal symptom of mega. :)

Get him checked today. Bash on their door until they see you. If his diagnosis is terminal than, my view would be, to get him put to sleep before he suffers any more. :wub:

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Vets will always let you in. Tell them its life or death.

Take him in a box with a few ventilation holes (even a shoe box if you don't have a proper carry box), and keep him dark and away from droughts while on the move. I really hope he makes it, but tar like droppings sounds like he is pooping blood which is a fatal symptom of mega. :D

Get him checked today. Bash on their door until they see you. If his diagnosis is terminal than, my view would be, to get him put to sleep before he suffers any more. :sad:

 

His droppings are back to all urine/urates, no feces, and he seems to have gained a bit of weight, but with the way his condition has fluctuated recently, I don't trust this to be any indication of his state. I also caught him preening towards the evening yesterday, while he was almost semi-comatose during the day. During the night, he wakes up around 3am and flies onto my bed to sleep with me... been keeping me up as well. He's not taking to fruit or veggies but he's still eating (corn flakes + water + honey water + occasional homemade bread).

 

I called and the receptionist confirmed that the avian won't be in office at all this week. The earliest time he's back would be Mon/Tues. There's an Emergency Clinic in the next city over... but they're only open after hours and on weekends. After hours isn't a problem for me, but I don't think my parents would let me stay out until 11pm... much less for my bird. Saturday is a possibility but I don't know if he'll make it until then. I don't know what I should do. :D

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So the bad news is: I still haven't been able to take him to the vet. I did find a clinic about 30km away... but they said it was $50 more for emergencies (which I would have eventually scrounged up). But they also gave me a time I just couldn't make. :D

 

The good news is: yes! he's still alive!! Apparently, (drained) mung beans soup is some sort of miracle cure. It really opened up his appetite so he's gained some weight. The dark, tar droppings have disappeared and I'm starting to see greener feces (still kinda watery though). He's still preening, sleeping less, and a bit more energetic than before. I'm going to continue keeping him warm and monitoring his diet, and will take him to the vet as soon as I can.

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