Hello, I am new to this forum. I understand diagnoses should only be confirmed by a vet but I would just like some speculation, ideas and information and to see what you all think, and to know what I can possibly do for them until I can get to a vet. Sorry about the lengthy post!
I just recently purchased two Parakeets from Petco a little over two weeks ago. They came clipped and banded. They are not terribly used to me yet but I have been slowly getting them used to being out of their cage and perching on my hand over the last week.
I have never owned Parakeets before (only Cockatiels) so I figured this was normal behavior at first, but was recently told that it is not. When I got them I noticed Ivy (The blue and white pied one) was panting, breathing with her (I don't actually yet know the sexes, just kind of guessing) beak opening and closing quickly, a soft clicking noise coming from her which I figured was just her beak. I thought she was just doing this because she was hot, tired or scared. Nio (the green one) did the same thing but not for very long. However I noticed that they both do this quite often over the last two weeks, mostly if they seem frightened, they'll do it for a few seconds or a few minutes sometimes. I can hear both of them making clicking noises when they do it. They do not do it unless I am near the cage, maybe causing them to feel scared since they are not totally used to me, or if they come out of the cage, which I'm guessing they are scared because they aren't used to it, though they do come out on their own, they also do it when they step up onto my hand (I do not force them, but I use treats to encourage them, Nio does not seem as scared as Ivy) because I'm guessing they feel nervous about it, though after a minute or so they calm down and their breathing goes back to normal. Their behavior and breathing seems normal when they are by themselves together without me near them, they eat and drink, they exercise and make lots of noise, Ivy sings a lot during the day and often throws fits in the middle of her songs, Nio does not sing as much or make as much noise most of the time, and mostly chirps or makes quiet noises, which I'm guessing is just the way he is. One other thing I have noticed about Ivy that is concerning me, is that she seems to sneeze very often, more than three or four times a day, especially when she is out of the cage. My mother told me it is probably because of dog hair or dust they come in contact with on the floor, but Nio certainly does not sneeze as much, in fact I've only ever heard him sneeze maybe once. Ivy also opens her mouth wide like she is yawning a lot pretty often, which I'm not sure is normal or not. Above their ceres have seemed kind of crusty ever since I have had them, I am not sure if their feet are swollen or not but they do not appear to be scalie.
Do you think I should contact the Petco I got them from? I'm terribly worried that the rest of their Parakeets may be sick as well and the staff may not even realize. They had them all together in one big dome-like glass cage.
I have searched these symptoms and come up with internal mites a lot, do you think that is a possibility or is it maybe something else? If it is mites, should I purchase mite spray, will this help them until I can get a vet? I will thoroughly clean out their cage tomorrow as well and do my best to get the contact of a vet as soon as I can, if anyone knows if there are avian vets in or near Sumner County Kansas please let me know or if there is a way I can find them. There are two local vets which I'll contact first to see if they can do anything to help.
Photos: They are kind of dark because it is night time here but I did the best I could.
Ivy Ivy - Imgur
What it looks like when she beak-breathes Ivy - Imgur
Nio Nio - Imgur
The both of them with flash on (don't worry I only took one flash photo) to get a better view of the feet, colour, and Ivy's cere Ivy and Nio - Imgur
Nio's cere and face Nio - Imgur
Tell me if the links do not work or if more photos or information is needed. Thank you so much in advance! I really appreciate any kind of help. I really want them to be healthy and to have them for many years to come.
If they are making clicking noises when they breathe, they need to be seen by an avian vet as soon as possible. It is not normal for them to make noise when they breathe, even if they are panting. Are they also tail bobbing? I'm concerned about the possibility of a respiratory infection. Also, I believe you have two males, but another picture of Ivy's cere would be great in order to confirm that.
So it isn't just the clicking of the beak mandibles meeting when they pant harshly? I was afraid of that. No tail bobbing, no odd behavior other than the fact that they beak breathe when they are nervous and Ivy sneezes a lot when she's out of the cage. I read up a bit about respiratory infections as well and considered it could be a possibility. Thank you for telling me the genders too, I originally thought they were two females! But I can see hints of blue appearing on both of their ceres now. Here is a better view of "her" cere. She was actually panting in this photo as well because she is still a bit nervous on my hand, or nervous because of the camera. Ivy - Imgur
Another thing, do their ceres look crusty or are they normal?
Also, I'm going to do my best to get them to a vet soon. I'm an inexperienced driver and I'm afraid that an actual avian vet may be too far away but if I must go to them I will find a way. I'm going to try and contact the local vets today hopefully, one of them works with chickens I believe so I'm hoping maybe they can do at least something to help. Is there anything I can do for the birds till they can be seen by the vet? I assume they'll probably set up an appointment and I likely can't afford an emergency visit.
You've been given great advice Ivy and Nio are both beautiful males! Their ceres are perfectly healthy and clear of mites. When introducing new budgies into your home, you should give them at least two weeks without any type of attempt at taming/putting your hand in the cage/letting them out so that they can acclimate to their environment and be comfortable in their cage. At the point you are now, it would probably be a good idea to leave them without coming out of the cage for at least a week. During this time, you can talk and read to them to help them learn to trust you
If in the next few days, the frantic breathing subsides, then it was just because of stress. If, during this time, they get worse in any way, then a vet visit is in order!
I hope that your sweet boys start to settle in!
Meanwhile, be sure to read through the forum's many Budgie Articles and "stickies" (threads "stuck" to the top of each subform for easy reference) to ensure you're up to date on all the best practices for budgie care. You'll find information on all your questions (including some you don't know you have yet ) on the forums.
If you have any questions after reading through everything, be sure to ask!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
I agree that you have two lovely males with perfectly healthy ceres and no sign of mites.
Having your budgies examined by an Avian Vet allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet in case your birds need 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.
If you are unable to locate an Avian Vet, then choose an Exotic Veterinarian who has experience in dealing with small birds.
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.
Thank you Starlingwings and Faerybee for the bit of relief as well as information, it is really appreciated. They certainly are beautiful boys! Do not worry, they have had about two weeks to acclimate before I tried to do anything besides rest my hand in their cage or sit near the cage and talk to them. I probably should have given them more time, though, and I will since I can tell they are still nervous. They actually come out of their cage by themselves, I have left the door open since I have had them (except for when I'm gone) and they showed no interest in coming out until three days ago, Nio came out and eventually talked Ivy into coming out with him, it took a lot of persuading though- it was really cute to watch. I have only had them on my hands a few times and Nio only perches on me for treats, while Ivy only perches on me if Nio is, haha. For the next week though I will take your information and stop handling them so I can observe their breathing. I have noticed Nio does it less than Ivy, and he is also much calmer and less scared though I can tell he gets nervous sometimes.
I suppose my questions now are though, as Hunterkat stated, isn't it a bad sign that they click when they pant? Or should that go away on it's on when they are less stressed? Is it possible stress is causing an upset respiratory system and causing the clicking?
Also, is it normal for Ivy to sneeze so much? He mostly does it when he's outside of his cage, and a few times a day he will have sneeze fits and sneeze two or three times at once, there doesn't seem to be any unusual liquid or anything in it, the bit of liquid that does come out when he sneezes is clear and it looks like water. Is he just allergic to my dog??
Clicking when your budgies breathe and sneezing can both be signs of respiratory infection.
I would advise you to take them both in for an Avian Vet appointment for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
In the meantime, you can use a warm mist humidifier in the room with them. It's fine to put a drop or two of 100% pure essential eucalyptus oil in the water. (Do not use a simple eucalyptus fragrance oil however)
The warm mist air infused with the eucalyptus helps to open the airways so they can breathe more easily.
Alternately, you can place their cage in the bathroom and run hot water in the shower to get the room warm and steamy. Another option is to tent a sheet over their cage and place a kettle or pot of boiling water (again with the pure eucalyptus oil if you have it) under the sheet (far enough from the cage the steam doesn't burn the budgies) and let the steam build up under the sheet.
Best wishes and please let us know how Nio and Ivy are doing after their Avian Vet appointment.
Thank you so much Faerybee, this information is really helpful. I will do my best to care for them and I have been putting their cage in the bathroom quite a bit but have yet to purchase the Eucalyptus oil but will get it soon. I am doing my best to find a nearby Avian vet though I haven't yet found one, I'm going to get them an appointment as soon as possible.