My sweet male parakeet, Lemon, is 7 years old. He is on a mostly seed diet, with vitamins from vet added, and he also eats veggies and fruit.
I noticed him yesterday leaning forward and doing a bit of tail bobbing, so I let him get wet and then inspected him. He has a large lump in his lower abdomen area, above his anus (is that the right term?). It is squishy and has no feathers on it. It is not visible when he is upright, although now that I know it's there, it does seem to be hanging lower in that area.
He seems his happy self, still wanting to bath, play, have attention. Differences that I'm noticing now though, are that he's not hopping from perch to perch. He climbs around his cage rather than hopping like he usually does. He's eating, but doesn't seem to be pooping as much and it looks to be lighter in color and looser in consistency.
The lump is squishy, not dense or hard at all. I had a cockatiel years and years ago that succumbed to a tumor. I was a kid, so I don't remember the exact diagnosis, but the vet said it was inoperable and not much we could do. Again that was a long time ago. Wondering if this is still the case w/ small birds?
Is there a chance that this could be an injury? His cage fell from a short height a few weeks ago. He seems fine, but I'm just wondering if an wound might act like this. If so, is there anything to be done?
The best thing if you suspect a tumour is to get an appointment with your avian vet ASAP for a correct diagnosis.
I doubt it's from a fall, but you can never tell, but it's important a professional makes the correct diagnosis so that you can find out your options.
If it is a tumour, an operation can be performed. It all will depend on how advanced it is etc.
There are some things you can do besides operations to help with some types of tumour, but you must get the diagnosis from an avian vet first.
As Therm has said it is best to get an avian vet to look at it, even if it not a tumor it is something that is not supposed to be there. It could be a cyst or a fluid build up from something, an avian vet would be able to drain the fluid off if that is what it is. Best of luck, hope it all turns out to be OK.
I'm sorry to hear about Lemon's condition.
It is very important you see an Avian Vet to get the proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Avian Vets have special training to determine the cause of symptoms resulting from illness or trauma.
This is important as "regular" vets will often overlook symptoms that are quickly obvious to an Avian Vet.
When you rely on anyone who has not had training in Avian diagnosis and care, you may be delaying effective treatment.
This can prolong suffering that may be avoidable.
The bird will often require a more intense, prolonged treatment with a poorer chance of full recovery than it would have if you seek prompt professional diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of illness.
Having your budgie examined by an Avian Vet allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet in case your bird needs care for an injury or illness in the future. Additionally, it is always helpful for the vet to have a baseline for your bird to refer to should it need future treatment.
Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
I agree that it's very important to have the avian vet examine it right away. It could be an easy fix or a more serious problem, so in either situation it's best to solve it as soon as possible.
Please keep updated on his condition!
Additionally, be sure to read through the links provide above to stay up to date on all the best practices for caring for budgies. If you have any questions after reading through everything, be sure to ask as we'd love to help!
We look forward to seeing you around the forums as well as meeting little Lemon!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Thank you for you responses. I wanted to gather info and prepare, so thank you...
I took Lemon in to the vet today, and unfortunately the prognosis is not good... He's a really good faker, my sweet boy. His weight was up from 38 g (in aug '16) to 48 g, so the mass is quite large. Could be cancer or a different type mass, but definitely affecting the lungs. Vet said heart sounded good but lungs sounded bad, and after the stress of being handled his breathing became quite labored. They have him oxygen to help him.
Options given: She said that we could give an ultrasound to see if it could be drained, but she said he might not make it thru the draining procedure. I could euthanize him. Or they could give him antibiotics, in case there's an infection to fight and also give a diuretic to help w fluid build up. Oh, and another doc advised at the very end that this looked a lot like another case he had if a female bird not able to lay an egg and they could X-ray to be sure. Sounds a bit far fetched to me, as Lemon has had a bright blue cere from very early on. He used to regurgitate on his favorite toys like makes do. I feel confident he's a boy, as does the vet I see, but I though I'd throw that out there to get your thoughts.
I opted to give him the antibiotic injection while there, so as to have the oxygen to help while he's stressed, and to take home the script for diuretic (furosemide). And then talk to my husband and kids abt options.
Y'all, he seems so happy still. I can tell obviously now that he's bothered some by it (he'll wag his tail and pick at it some but not excessively and he does tail bob more now), but he's eating & drinking, climbing around, plays w his bells, and wants to be perched on my finger and talked to. But he was so sad and pitiful looking and acting at the vet. Is he just so good at faking it? I want him to have a happy existence however long he has. I don't want him to suffer but I just can't imagine putting him down while he seems to be okay.
I guess I'm seeking a few things now... What are your thoughts on vet's diagnosis? What do you think about my plan to keep him home w/o moving forward w testing or euthanasia? And especially, do you have any recommendations on how to keep him most comfortable and happy?
Thank you. Heartbroken but thankful for your input.
You are definitely faced with a difficult decision at this time and my heart goes out to you.
If Lemon were my budgie, I would opt for a conservative approach and strive to give him the best life possible for the time he is with you.
As long as he is eating, drinking, pooping, active and seems happy, then I would rejoice in that day and consider it a blessing.
When the time comes his quality of life is affected by the lump/tumor/cyst and his behavior demonstrates he is ill, in pain or suffering, then I would have the vet help him move on to the Rainbow Bridge at that time.
In the meantime, I would start giving Lemon knotgrass immediately.
It is a natural herb and all budgies can eat it.
I give it to all of my birds as a preventative supplement.
I agree with FaeryBee on the conservative approach and would do the same. Was this an avian vet you saw? If it was I am a bit surprised that they were not able to tell just by feeling if there was fluid that could be drained. I have had a couple of birds in the past that had a fluid buildup and it did effect their breathing. Because of the space that the fluid took up it was creating pressure on the internal organs, once the fluid was drained off they felt much better.
I wish there was an easy answer, just keep Lemon happy and comfortable for as long as you can.