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liz

Good Health News For A South Aussie Budgie

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My budgie Sunny has been unwell since I first got him in May last year. He's had several trips to the local vet who treated his runny poos/gagging/regurgitation with an oral sprinkle-on antibiotic and, when that didn't work, a course of 5 antibiotic injections over 7 days. When THAT didn't work he checked Sunny's droppings and found he had almost no bacteria, good or bad, in his gut, so he prescribed a bacteria-encouraging powder ... sort of budgie acidophilus, I suppose. But that didn't help either. I was supposed to take Sunny back after a week for a check-up, but the poor little bird was so traumatised by all these vet visits that he was scared to get near my hand in case I put him in his carry-cage ... he followed me all around the house in foot, just to have the company! Besides, it was clear we were getting nowhere with the vet.

 

I was trying to resign myself to the idea of Sunny having a short but happy life, but kept looking for anwers til I found this forum. I wrote to Baz and he replied by return email with all sorts of useful advice (all of which I took to heart) but most importantly he strongly advised me to take Sunny to an avian vet.

 

I didn't know how to find one, but since I was online I googled "avian vets sa" and found the link which I've since seen in this forum. The first name on the list was Pin Needham, and I remembered hearing him years ago on local ABC radio as one of a rotating series of vets on a Q&A segment. He'd said that budgies were special! So I thought: That's the one! even though he wasn't the closest.

 

We visited Thursday last week. Pin stuck a tube down his gullet (Sunny loved that- not!) and drew up a specimen to check for parasites that might be causing the regurgitation etc. Good news. No parasites.

 

Before that he'd taken a poo sample, and found (surprise surprise) that Sunny had almost no bacteria good or bad etc etc. He threw some seed into the cage and told Sunny to eat it. Now I have to tell you at this point that it would be a strong critter who didn't do what Pin ordered. Sunny scarfed down the seed! Then we waited ... and waited ... then Pin took another poo sample.

 

The conclusion was that Sunny wasn't digesting his food properly. No surprise there either.

 

Pin said "I know what X (former vet) was doing with the powder but I prefer the direct approach, a **** Sandwich straight from bird to bird" which turned out to be a slurry made from the droppings of a healthy cockatiel. He pumped this down Sunny's gullet and told us to come back on Monday, ie today.

 

The first visit lasted 90 minutes, but that was good because he gave me results as he got them. The cost was about $100 (slightly less because he gave me a pensioner discount) but that was okay too, cos I'd already spent nearly twice that amount on ineffective treatments from the local vet.

 

When I saw Sunny's droppings on Saturday morning I was so excited that I wanted to ring everybody I knew and tell them "They're black! Sunny's dried droppings are black!!!" (on the outside of course). I'd never seen that before in all his 15-16 months of life. And they weren't runny any more. When I picked one up with a scrap of tissue and squeezed it the tissue stayed pretty much dry.

 

Back we went today for our follow-up visit, expecting another **** Sandwich. Pin checked the droppings and found heaps of good bacteria. Clever Pin to give the "sandwich". Clever Sunny to absorb all the good stuff so well. VERY clever Sunny, cos it meant he didn't need a repeat dose! This visit cost me $35 with pensioner discount.

 

I'm over the moon! I knew Sunny wasn't well from the time I got him. Apart from the runny poos etc he was irritable and tetchy and took a very long time to tame, though I loved him faults and all (though it was easier to love him once he'd learned not to bite!). I didn't think I'd have him for long. But now, thanks to a wonderful avian vet and an anonymous cockatiel donor, he's a healthy bird.

 

So I guess this is a sincere recommendation for anyone in Adelaide looking for an avian vet. I know for sure that Sunny will not be visiting any other vet. Ever.

 

One thing Pin advised still puzzles me. On the first visit he told me a sick budgie like Sunny needed to be kept at 28 degrees overnight. I thought he meant bugdie body-temperature so I bought an electic blanket to put over his cage at night to take the chill off the air. But today Pin clarified that the EXTERNAL temp should be 28. I took his advice and bought a reading lamp to shine into his cage all night

 

(typical Pin - he said "And if Sunny wants to sleep then tell him to close his eyes!")

 

but I don't think that even a reading lamp could bring the cage temp up to 28. Certainly in Adelaide right now I couldn't get the temp inside my unit up to 28 if I kept the air-con running 24/7. Not that I'd want either of us to be that hot.

 

But I'm not worried. Sunny made his huge leaps into wellness at lots less than 18 degrees overnight.

 

I got the lamp today. It's been shining in his cage for hours so he won't be alarmed when I cover him, lamp and all, tonight.

 

I'm overjoyed to have a healthy little bird. I'm overjoyed to have found Pin. I'm not so sure about my feelings re the local vet. I don't exactly blame him for giving Sunny antibiotics he didn't need and which probably made the problem worse rather than better. He did the best he could, and he did it with kindness and in good faith. But what he did was wrong. Now I have to decide whether or not to tell him. I don't want to criticise, but I also don't want other budgies to go through what Sunny did. I believe, from talking to that vet (the local one) and to ONE local breeder, that budgies are often exposed to antibiotics from the get-go ... from before they're hatched, for all I know.

 

So if any of you breeders and/or owners can give me some suggestions about how to tackle that problem I will be a totally happy owner of a delightful healthy little bird.

 

Fellow bird-lovers, I cannot tell you how glad I am to have found this forum.

 

Chirrups to all of you!

Liz

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Nice story, can I ask what did sunny's poos look like before the treatment?

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Hello and Welcome :hap:

What a beautiful story -Brings a tear to the eye. I am so pleased your Sunny is getting better!! :hap:

I am an in SA too - I'd love to know Pin's details for any future problems (PM me :) )

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That is absolutely wonderful news :hap: I am so glad you shared your story. Please keep us up to date :hap:

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FANTASTIC NEWS - Not the poo sandwich though , um that was gross But see the difference between a AVAIN VET and a VET - Wooo Hoooooo

 

We are happy for you too,

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Nice story, can I ask what did sunny's poos look like before the treatment?
Think of green olives melted around a dob of ice-cream and you'll get the picture!
Hello and Welcome :) What a beautiful story -Brings a tear to the eye. I am so pleased your Sunny is getting better!! :wacko: I am an in SA too - I'd love to know Pin's details for any future problems (PM me :) )
Thank you! I'm PM'd Pin's details to you.Liz
That is absolutely wonderful news :D I am so glad you shared your story. Please keep us up to date :D
Thanks Kaz. I think you've all guessed how thrilled I am! Liz
FANTASTIC NEWS - Not the poo sandwich though , um that was gross But see the difference between a AVAIN VET and a VET - Wooo HooooooWe are happy for you too,
You're a wonderful group! I'm very VERY happy to have found you all.Liz

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Yay. I'm very happy for you. Sounds like he has good common sense that vet!

 

Careful about covering the lamp with a blanket. Don't want any fire hazards. Don't want to burn your house and Sunny down!

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Yay. I'm very happy for you. Sounds like he has good common sense that vet!Careful about covering the lamp with a blanket. Don't want any fire hazards. Don't want to burn your house and Sunny down!
No, I thought about that! I bought a new lamp, and the shade doesn't even get warm. Actually, the reason why I originally tried an electric blanket was cos I was worried about setting fire to the place. But this lamp is perfect.
Nice story, can I ask what did sunny's poos look like before the treatment?
Re Sunny's poos before treatment: I should also have mentioned the sheer number of them ... 100 - 150 per day. The smallest of them were no bigger than a pinprick, but most were about two or three times that size and a few were bigger. However, when he was asleep they were normal budgie size. Now he's still dropping a large number but they're all bigger than a pinprick and there aren't so many of them.

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Welcome to the forum :hap:

Its fabulous to hear your Sunny will be a well, healthy and most of all HAPPY little bird after all this time!

Like Liv, Im another Adelaidian and would be interested in Pin's details if you wouldnt mind :D

 

Thanks :blink:

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Welcome to you both and thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story. I'm glad he is improving and that you have found an excellent avian vet. It's nice when you have someone you can trust 110% with your birds and their health. I look forward to getting to know you both and sharing in your journey :D

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Welcome to the forum ;)

Its fabulous to hear your Sunny will be a well, healthy and most of all HAPPY little bird after all this time!

Like Liv, Im another Adelaidian and would be interested in Pin's details if you wouldnt mind :D

 

Thanks :huh:

 

Well Sunnie, your name is so close to Sunny's that you sound like soul-mates! I found Pin's contact details when I googled "avian vets sa" but they're already posted elsewhere on this site. His name jumped out at me cos I remembered him from a years-ago "Ask the Vet" segment on local ABC radio. Back then I hadn't had a budgie for decades, but I enjoyed his tips just like I enjoyed the other vets talking about other pets I'd never had and never intended to have ... just because animals are so fascinating (though budgies are best)!

 

Anyway, here are Pin's contact details:

 

Dr D J Needham, B Vs S DDA & Associates (hope you know what the last bit means)

294 Greenhill Rd

Glenside 5065

8379 0222

 

Not so long ago Liv was desperately seeking an avian vet who consulted on Sundays, but I didn't know Pin then and I hadn't found this group. But I do know that Pin consulted from 10-12 last Sunday, and even offered to make a special appt in his surgery on Sunday arvo cos that time didn't suit me. I was very touched, but didn't take him up on it cos it wasn't essential.

 

Can I divert from the professional patient-vet position to explain a little about my own personal situation. I'm only in my early 60s but am limited by arthritis and have been on a disability pension for 4 years. My mother is, believe it or not, 99 years old and bright as a button (plus a bird-watcher and bird-lover for most of her life), and lives in a hostel very close to Pin's surgery. When Pin heard that I wanted to link Sunny's visit to him with taking Sunny to see my mother, was when he offered to make a special trip to his surgery to suit my mother's timetable.

 

Instead, Sunny and I visited Pin on the Monday, then I took Sunny in his little carry-cage to visit my mum where they communed for an hour as only a bird and a bird-lover can.

 

I think my little bird deserves his happiness. He was very young when he came to live with me but already he was stroppy, irritable and ready to fight. Hands terrified him, so whenever he dared to get near one he nipped it hard enough to draw blood. I was patient because I figured he'd been roughly handled in his early days. Gradually he learned that I wasn't a Bad Guy, but that I got cross when he bit me,so he stopped. Now he's become a very sweet-natured and friendly inquisitive bird. I knew there was something going on in him which I didn't understand but had to make allowances for. Now I see that the poor little critter must have been in extreme discomfort with his gut problems.

 

I'm so grateful to Pin.

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