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Fishy Breath


Penny

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Hi,

 

I have a new budgie which came from our local rural produce store. I have had him for a week now and he is quarantined from our others. He is an adult male, I think about 2yrs old, as he has a green leg ring. He seems in good health except that his breath seems to smell a little bit fishy. I haven't ever noticed my other budgies with the same breath odor. Sometimes our other male had a bit of a sour smell on his breath immediately after he regurgitated but that seems normal to me, whereas this fishy smell seems a bit weird. It's not overly strong ie it's not eminating from him to the point where I smell it when I am near his cage - it's when I get my nose close to his face and then I smell it. Otherwise he seems normal and healthy. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Canker is an infection of the mouth and crop... I am not sure if canker has been recorded for odor, but infection in many cases causes odor to the local sight. Might be worth getting him check by an avian vet.

 

I have never noticed an unpleasant smell from budgies before unless they are unwell.

 

Green ring means he was born in 2007 :(

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Thanks for your reply Liv. Is canker life threatening and what is the usual treatment ?antibiotics. Also how contagious is it? I and family will be extra careful with our contact with him in case we carry something back to the others.

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Thanks for your reply Liv. Is canker life threatening and what is the usual treatment ?antibiotics. Also how contagious is it? I and family will be extra careful with our contact with him in case we carry something back to the others.

 

Hold your horses there a moment Penny.

 

In response to your question, Yes, Canker is a really nasty and fatal disease and must be treated with Ronivet S. HOWEVER, you would know if he had canker because there would be mucus staining on his mask or above the cere because an infected budgie vomits when it has canker. And you haven't mentioned that. So go have another look at him and check for signs of vomiting.

 

As all you have mentioned is a fishy breath I would be more inclined to think he has 'Sour Crop', that is a yeast infection in his crop. Straight away I would be adding Apple Cider Vinegar to his water at a rate of 5 drops per 200mls. It is important you get this into him asap SO if you can crop feed say 3 mls into him that would be an advantage.

 

IN ANY CASE with the best of intentions Liv and I can offer you possible solutions but really you need to take him to a Vet asap and have him professionally assessed in person (so to speak).

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Thanks for your reply Liv. Is canker life threatening and what is the usual treatment ?antibiotics. Also how contagious is it? I and family will be extra careful with our contact with him in case we carry something back to the others.

 

Hold your horses there a moment Penny.

 

In response to your question, Yes, Canker is a really nasty and fatal disease and must be treated with Ronivet S. HOWEVER, you would know if he had canker because there would be mucus staining on his mask or above the cere because an infected budgie vomits when it has canker. And you haven't mentioned that. So go have another look at him and check for signs of vomiting.

 

As all you have mentioned is a fishy breath I would be more inclined to think he has 'Sour Crop', that is a yeast infection in his crop. Straight away I would be adding Apple Cider Vinegar to his water at a rate of 5 drops per 200mls. It is important you get this into him asap SO if you can crop feed say 3 mls into him that would be an advantage.

 

IN ANY CASE with the best of intentions Liv and I can offer you possible solutions but really you need to take him to a Vet asap and have him professionally assessed in person (so to speak).

 

 

Thanks for that advice renee. No, he's definately not vomiting, nor does he appear sick in any way, just the smell is all. I will make up the apple cider vinegar for him but I don't know how to crop feed and I don't have the equipment, I will try to get him to drink some from a dropper. I am going to take him to the vet in the morning so hopefully he will be able to ascertain what's going on.

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Thanks for that advice renee. No, he's definately not vomiting, nor does he appear sick in any way, just the smell is all. I will make up the apple cider vinegar for him but I don't know how to crop feed and I don't have the equipment, I will try to get him to drink some from a dropper. I am going to take him to the vet in the morning so hopefully he will be able to ascertain what's going on.

 

You're doing the right thing by taking him to the vet. Best of Luck and keep us updated! ;)

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Keep us updated, I didn't even know you could smell budgie breath to be honest. Good on you for quaranting him.

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Ask where you bought him from if his seed had cod liver oil in it :)

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Hi,

I am updating what has happened since I forst pposted about my smelly budgie, who we've now named Big Ted and have only had for a little over 2 weeks. Since my last post I took him to the vet as per my instinct and advice. As far as I know there is no avian vet in our area so I have taken him to the vet who I normally take the dogs to. On this first visit, which was about 2 weeks ago, the vet's advice was to him. I also noticed his poo was a little strange, probably the faeces part was pale and there was increased urine. So I wormed him and there was no change in his poos etc. I took him back to the vets again and this time the vet prescribed a tetracycline antibiotic which he was to have in his water for 10 days, the vet did not physically examine Big Ted. Over this time his poos did not become what I would call normal (based on my observations of my other budgies), though the faeces part has become a normal colour the increased urine continued. So back to the vet again today and this time the original vet is away and he has a locum who seems a bit more interested and switched on to birds. He has kept him there all day and is testing his faecal matter and x-raying the bird. He says there is something wrong, maybe his liver, and confirms that there is too much urine output. Big Ted is still down there and I have to go and pick him up now and find out what the vets diagnosis is. By the way he also has lice which I have seen creeping through his feathers. They are really, really slender brown things. I have pour on Ivomec but haven't wanted to chemically stress the poor birds given that there is something sinister going on with his system already. Hope I am right in holding off on this.

Edited by KAZ
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By the way he also has lice which I have seen creeping through his feathers. They are really, really slender brown things.

 

They are feather mites.....easily treated using A.I.L. Avian Insectidal Liquidator from VETAFARM.

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Ivermectin should kill mites. What kind of animals is the Ivomec intended for? When you go pick up your bird (which you've probably done by now) talk to your vet about the ivermectin and they'll give you the right concentration of the stuff for budgies and the dosage rate. I think it would be best to treat him for mites now, even if he is sick as the mites are just going to make him feel more rotten. Ask your vet about this though.

Do tell us how he is going

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As per my previous post I collected Big Ted from the vets. I am not entirely happy with the care/service received although I am not sure if I should feel this way as my experience is not great with birds visiting vets. The diagnosis is fatty liver. I was given a diet print out from another vet clinic (possibly where the locum vet is from). The bird was not x-rayed as the vet said he would have had to anaesthetise and didn't think it would be worth the trouble. pH type stick tests (like pee stick tests for humans)were taken of his faecal matter, one for detecting protein and one for blood. Both protein and blood were present (the blood is absolutely not visible to the naked eye as I look obsessively for signs of change with him). The whole day my bird had only done two poos which I think is strange in itself, though maybe he was stressed and this is how it affected him. The vet said that Big Ted is obese although he admitted this was an assumption as he did not carry out a physical examination. His professional advice was that Big Ted has fatty liver due to a poor diet (excessive seed) and to follow the diet on the sheet and hopefully this would see things put to rights. He has only been with me for a couple of weeks so I am not sure what his diet was like with his previous owners but his diet with us is very varied and not exclusively seed. Please bear in mind that this bird is only 2 years old. I have known pet budgerigars who have lived to 8 and 10 years old on a seed only diet, so I am wondering how his diet could have affected him so quickly. Any direction or advice would be appreciated.

 

Sailorwolf, the Ivomec I have is for cattle. It is the pour on type. I have information on application for birds, both budgies and finches. I planned to apply 1 drop to the skin on the back of the neck. I did let the vet know and he was in agreement with this use.

 

Kaz, are you recommending the AIL instead of the Ivomec because it is more effective for these type of insects?

 

Here are a couple of photos of Big Ted.

 

BigTed2.jpg

BigTed1.jpg

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The vet said that Big Ted is obese although he admitted this was an assumption as he did not carry out a physical examination. His professional advice was that Big Ted has fatty liver due to a poor diet (excessive seed) and to follow the diet on the sheet and hopefully this would see things put to rights.

 

Here are a couple of photos of Big Ted.

 

BigTed2.jpg

BigTed1.jpg

 

Well he doesn't look too fat to me .... in fact he looks the picture of health. :D

 

Please post details of this new diet you have been recommended.

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Renee, I don't think he looks fat either. He also looks healthy, although he does have something going on with his digestive system as he still has wet poos, the vet himself confirmed that he was excreting too much urine.

 

I just want to know what is wrong and what direction I should take as I can see I am going to have to request what I want from the vet and not rely on them and their diagnoses as it seems they want to wait and see if he gets more and more symtomatic, whereas I want to know what's going and am not inclined to see if he gets better on his own.

 

Here is a copy of the diet. I typed it out as the copy given was a little too blurry to paste.

 

DIET FOR PSITTACINE BIRD SPECIES

 

A common misconception is that a diet based solely on dry seed is balanced. Seed diets are in fact deficient in many nutrients including protein, copper, zinc, magnesium and particularly Vitamin A. Also, sunflower seeds are up to 50% fat and should not be fed in large quantities. In the wild, parrots choose from a wide variety of food sources, very little of which is dry seed. A recommended, balanced diet for parrot species is as follows:

 

Grain & Grain Products (60%)

 

Dry Bird Seed

 

Cooked Rice

 

Wholemeal Bread & Pasta

 

 

Fresh Vegetables & Greens (10-20%)

 

Silver beet

 

Celery

 

Broccoli

 

Capsicum

 

Corn Cobs

 

Cucumber

 

Zucchini

 

Grated Carrot

 

Cooked Pumpkin & Sweet Potato

 

Sprouting Seeds & Seed Heads

 

Native Flowers (Bottlebrush etc)

 

Milk Thistle

 

Dandelions

 

 

***NO AVOCADO – IT'S TOXIC***

 

 

Fruits (5%)

 

Apple

 

Pear

 

Rockmelon

 

Apricots

 

Mango

 

Banana

 

 

NB If the bird naturally lives in a desert environment, feed less fruit.

 

 

Protein (15-20%)

 

Vegetable Sources: Cooked Soybean

 

Mungbeans

 

Peas

 

Lentils

 

 

Animal Sources: Cooked Lean Meat

 

Hard Boiled Egg

 

Cat & Dog Biscuits

 

 

Calcium

 

Cuttlefish or Calcium Syrup (added to the water in breeding birds)

 

 

Chewable Toys

 

Rawhide Chews

 

Pine Cones

 

Sticks & Branches (from native species)

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Renee, I don't think he looks fat either. He also looks healthy, although he does have something going on with his digestive system as he still has wet poos, the vet himself confirmed that he was excreting too much urine.

 

I just want to know what is wrong and what direction I should take as I can see I am going to have to request what I want from the vet and not rely on them and their diagnoses as it seems they want to wait and see if he gets more and more symtomatic, whereas I want to know what's going and am not inclined to see if he gets better on his own.

 

Here is a copy of the diet. I typed it out as the copy given was a little too blurry to paste.

 

DIET FOR PSITTACINE BIRD SPECIES

 

A common misconception is that a diet based solely on dry seed is balanced. Seed diets are in fact deficient in many nutrients including protein, copper, zinc, magnesium and particularly Vitamin A. Also, sunflower seeds are up to 50% fat and should not be fed in large quantities. In the wild, parrots choose from a wide variety of food sources, very little of which is dry seed. A recommended, balanced diet for parrot species is as follows:

 

Grain & Grain Products (60%)

 

Dry Bird Seed

 

Cooked Rice

 

Wholemeal Bread & Pasta

 

 

 

Fresh Vegetables & Greens (10-20%)

 

Silver beet

 

Celery

 

Broccoli

 

Capsicum

 

Corn Cobs

 

Cucumber

 

Zucchini

 

Grated Carrot

 

Cooked Pumpkin & Sweet Potato

 

Sprouting Seeds & Seed Heads

 

Native Flowers (Bottlebrush etc)

 

Milk Thistle

 

Dandelions

 

 

 

***NO AVOCADO – IT'S TOXIC***

 

 

 

Fruits (5%)

 

Apple

 

Pear

 

Rockmelon

 

Apricots

 

Mango

 

Banana

 

 

 

NB If the bird naturally lives in a desert environment, feed less fruit.

 

 

 

Protein (15-20%)

 

Vegetable Sources: Cooked Soybean

 

Mungbeans

 

Peas

 

Lentils

 

 

 

Animal Sources: Cooked Lean Meat

 

Hard Boiled Egg

 

Cat & Dog Biscuits

 

 

 

Calcium

 

Cuttlefish or Calcium Syrup (added to the water in breeding birds)

 

 

 

Chewable Toys

 

Rawhide Chews

 

Pine Cones

 

Sticks & Branches (from native species)

Well Penny I believe that is a normal budgie diet and many on this forum have recommended something very similar in previous topics :D

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He looks normal to me and very healthy looking too. He seems to be a grey greywing ?

Kaz, are you recommending the AIL instead of the Ivomec because it is more effective for these type of insects?
A.I.L. deals quickly with feather mites. I also use ivermectin spot on for any incoming birds. A.I.L. is also useful for any creepy crawlies in birdrooms :)
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Yes, I believe it to be a normal diet for a budgie. However the vet was an older gentleman and I think he thought he was doing me a favour. I also don't think he heard me when I told him that I had only just taken possession of the budgie and that I agreed with his diet tips as that is how I feed my budgies. Anyway diet doesn't seem to make a difference to Big Ted's faeces and today he seems a bit irritated around his vent as he keeps trying to scratch at it with his feet (there was a little bit stuck to his feathers which I have now removed for him). He seems pretty happy, though today I thought he was a little quieter than normal. I am home all day so I am able to watch him pretty closely. I could be a little overly observant but that's because I am concerned for his well being and just want to get to the bottom of this problem.

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He's a cute budgie and is looking good in those photos......is a 2007 bird so 2 going on 3 yrs old.

Edited by KAZ
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Yes Kaz, he's really a cute budgie with a lovely, lovely nature. He's not tame as such but he is quite calm and shows interest in me when I talk to him. His leg ring is green, I did have the details written down but have misplaced them.

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Yes Kaz, he's really a cute budgie with a lovely, lovely nature. He's not tame as such but he is quite calm and shows interest in me when I talk to him. His leg ring is green, I did have the details written down but have misplaced them.

 

green ring is 2007 :)

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I agree, he looks great.

 

I wouldn't stress too much at the moment, he is in way to good condition to have any major issues. His poop problems may be stress poo, which is often watery, or loose and sticks to the vent... perhaps take 7 days to sit back and let him relax and see how his poop is then. He will feel your stress and stressing over a bird can be the quickest way to knock them down.

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I am interested that dog biscuits are a good source of protein. I have never though to give these to my budgies.

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I took some photos of his poops this morning, they're on white paper. Sometimes they smell a little bit fishy. These are from overnight and they are quite different to my other budgies who have really tight, neat little poos. My partner and applied Ivomec to the budgies this morning and there are lice falling off him so he must feel better about that.

 

P2.jpg

P1.jpg

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