One of my budgies, Kip, was just diagnosed with fatty liver disease. He has always had an overgrown beak that needed to be trimmed periodically, and he gained weight this summer after I boarded him (they trimmed his wings--long story--and his reaction was to become very sedentary). He is his usual chirpy, happy self, but the vet said that it would be best to treat him as bird with fatty liver disease without doing blood work. Her reasoning was that given his weight and beak issue, she would be inclined to regard negative test results as a false negative (she had an explanation as to why they sometimes get them) and would want to treat him anyway. Makes sence to me, since what she is suggesting is milk thistle and efforts to get him to lose weight.
(I should also add that she said that the beak appearance and overgrowth was consistent with fatty liver disease rather than a more aggressive type of liver issue).
I am on my way out of town for a trip and will start the milk thistle when I get back (she was fine with that). And efforts to get him to lose weight. I asked if the milk thistle would be permanent, and she said yes unless his beak stopped over-growing.
I want to start reading about fatty liver disease so I can do the best for him. I have started reading through some other threads on here, but I haven't (yet) found something consolidated. If there is something, please point me to it.
Three general questions:
1) I'm going to have to think hard about how to help Kip lose weight when he's part of large flock at the moment. He and his buddy are caged together, and they get out of cage time with my (currently) 7 female foster budgies. They have access to pellets 24/7. The seed that they get is all pretty much in the course of working on hand taming and/or "thank you for going back into your cage". I give Kip significantly less than I do anybody else and will continue to be careful about that. They are offered vegetables every day, but they have not been eating as much as they used to. He is a pretty low-key guy. I could poke him occasionally to get him to fly more, but it doesn't seem like the friendliest thing to do.
He's easy to handle, but not people oriented enough that he's going to want to play games with me unless I do clicker training with a food reward, which seems a tad counter productive? ("Easy to handle" means that if I need to get a hold of him for some reason, I can pick him up with fairly little fuss. He doesn't do a standard "step up"; I would say that he's about as tame as he wants to be, if that makes sense.)
2) Any suggestions for anything other than milk thistle? I will ask my avian vet before adding in anything else, but am still interested in other possibilities.
3) Even though they get quarantined and tested, I sometimes have a lot of birds coming in and out of here because of the fostering. This seems like a good time to up my husbandry for them all. I have seen knotgrass mentioned and AVC. Anything else anyone would suggest? The doses I have seen listed for AVC are for giving a couple of times a week. I think it would be easier for me to use it all the time. Would i cut the dosage in half? Or is this a bad idea for some reason.
Thanks in advance!