I have been having some budgie drama this week.
My 6yr old budgie Kiwi showed signs of illness last weekend. The symptoms were: sleeping a lot, sleeping on bottom of cage, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, slight brown from discharge around top of nostrils. Apparently it didn't click with me that her weight loss and her slowing down were signs that things were turning bad, I thought it was her aging. So everything came to a breaking point Monday when she was barely eating.
I took her to an emergency appointment Tuesday night. And I didn't really get any clear answers. Here's what happened and what was said:
1) The Dr said Kiwi is a HE, when I always believed Kiwi is a SHE. She has a light blue cere with white around the nostrils, which as far as all I have read that can be a color cere for a female?? She has gotten a brown crust breeding cere off and on over the years...anyways besides that point (I'm questioning this exotic animal DR...)
2) They put Kiwi on oxygen because her tail, they claimed, was bobbing. It was moving slightly, (not crazy, she has not been panting or wheezing). She was on oxygen for about 30mins-1hr. They said she responded well to the oxygen, it perked her up. When they took her out of the oxygen they said there were nerve reactions and her tongue would turn back to purple. The Dr claimed that she was having respiratory issues.
3) The Dr felt no lumps = no noticeable signs of tumors.
4) Kiwi is emaciated. She is a dangerously skinny bird hiding this under a ton of fluff. (note: her feathers from the past 2 molts have not come in well)
5) The vet offered to keep her overnight and a few days to be oxygenated, and blood tests etc. to figure out what was wrong. This would cost $1000k+. The Dr didn't recommend to do it anyways because it would be very difficult to do the testing (like drawing blood) and she believed that Kiwi was beyond the point of help. I said no to this. Now I will not know what exactly is wrong.
6) I was offered to put Kiwi to sleep. (I want to throw out some prices here, because I want to cross check with people, vets are expensive, but I wonder if this particular place and/or the area I live in is crazy - about $72 to euthanize, $120 for communal cremation or $195 for private cremation). I said no, and took Kiwi home to take care of her, preparing myself for her to die.
So...in the past few days she has perked up a bit and has started eating more. She is still weak, but sitting more on her perch. She does fly and climb on her cage but her out of cage time is short. She wants to go back in her cage after being out for just a little bit.
I have been enticing her to eat with millet, which I feel guilty about. She is on a seed base diet. The pellet food was a no go for both my budgies, they fought with me and won't eat it. I offer them vitamin enriched seeds, dried leafy greens, and they eat broccoli and spinach. I worry that a vitamin deficiency is a contributing factor to Kiwi's illness. My other budgie Berry is healthy and has beautiful feathers. I bought kale yesterday...and they won't eat it yet
Since Kiwi is still with me and going I broke down out of guilt, trying to give Kiwi one more fighting chance and called the vet to get some antibiotics they offered. It is a liquid for 14 days. There is no way I am going to be able to give it to her with a syringe. Kiwi will fight me, I don't want to hurt her. I can't put foreign objects near her without a freakout. I tried putting it on a tiny lettuce leaf to feed to her, then on my finger. Really did not work. I thought about putting it on millet? Mixing it with water and finger feeding it? Can anyone advise what creative thing I can do??
She apparently has been doing a bit better and has a bit of fight in her. Or is this perkiness a mask she is wearing and she isn't getting better?
The vet wants to prescribe one more medication that needs to be specially made Monday...but at this point I already spent enough money and am at my limit. And I can't even successfully give the first medication.
What other foods can I give a seed junkie? I need to trick her to eat healthier and get those vitamins.
Thanks for reading my long post!