Hi, although I've been looking after an aviary of budgies and cockatiels for many years I am only now starting to understand how to properly care for them.
One of our budgies, a female English breed started looking poorly a few weeks ago. Since it's very cold at this time of year, we decided it was best that we take her inside in a sick cage to keep warm. After catching her and getting a better look, I discovered that her anal area was congested with lots of dry droppings, and I realised that whatever was wrong with her was worse than a common cold or whatever.
Wanting to get an "expert" opinion, I went to the vet with my mum the next day, an experience that, with hindsight, I have mixed feelings about. He was very kind to us, and cleaned up our bird's bottom and tested the droppings for bacteria and parasites. Thankfully, they turned up clean.
However, the vet was clearly not very experienced when it comes to birds, and had no idea what was actually wrong with the poor girl. He noticed that she made clicking noises under stress, so he suspected chlamydia and gave us some antibiotics to administer orally. He had no clue about the dropping buildup, though.
Over the next 3 weeks we kept her inside and gave her the drugs daily, but the droppings kept building up and her condition never seemed to get better (she never looked any worse though, she was always happy enough to chirp and eat but always looked a little sad). I did my best to bathe her to get most of the droppings off. These three weeks were very hectic for me due to personal reasons, and I had little time to research her health condition or do much else for the bird.
This past weekend however we were forced to put her back in the aviary since my family were going away for a 3-day holiday (no one I know would be able to care for her), and since returning I have had more time to research. Now I am very sure that she has rectal prolapse brought on by diarrhoea (I noticed that she excreted the wet part of the droppings before the solid stuff built up on her when she was inside).
I went to investigate today, and sure enough she had the tell-tale "red marble" near the anus. (Please note, I checked on her regularly while she was inside and although I noticed anal swelling, I never saw this redness until today, so this is most likely a recent development)
I am very upset that the vet was too incompetent to catch this common ailment early (that's what you get from common vets), he at least ruled out bacteria or parasites causing the diarrhoea, so I am very sure that it must be caused by her all-seed diet.
Now, I have read varying bits of information online in regards to how to treat rectal prolapse.
One article I found said that giving the bird glucose water, vitamin supplements and furazolidone with water (tube-fed for the glucose and furazolidone) could boost the budgie up enough to help the digestive stress. In addition, the article said that one should rub the anal area with Bepathen and attempt to ease the intestines back into place.
Other sites say that all I can do is take the bird to an avian vet.
Now I cannot afford an avian vet appointment, and my parents are not willing to invest the money or time to help me out either (the nearest avian vet is hours away and I cannot drive, the only way I can get there is through parents). So it's not very likely that I will be able to get her to a proper vet.
So, I want to get some opinions from those experienced with budgies. Should I attempt to help the bird by following the above procedures, or is it best to take it back to the common vet, if only to put her out of her misery?
PS: Yes, I know that this bird's illness was caused by her terrible all-seed diet. While she was upstairs I tried to get her to eat more food, but she only seemed to want to eat parsley and seed, she hated pellets in particular unfortunately. If she can survive this terrible ailment I will try my best to ween her onto other foods.
Try calling the avian vet and asking them what to do. See if they will let you email pictures of the situation and tell them what the regular vet told you to do. This is definitely an avian vet situation! Who knows, maybe someone who works there lives nearish to you and something can be worked out with picking up your bird and you volunteering to work off the bill.
Hi there, I wish we could welcome you under better circumstances. I’m sorry to hear of the problem you’re having with your budgie, and that the small animal vet had misdiagnosed. I’m not sure why he prescribed a Chlamydia medicine when there is a test to make sure first that it was positive. If not, I’d personally discontinue the meds, as unneeded meds can be taxing on the body.
As you know, an entirely seed diet is not the healthiest for budgies, but nonetheless, there’s not necessarily a direct correlation enough to say for sure what the root cause is. If the prolapse happens to be an egg issue, then not getting adequate calcium could be an issue, but there could be other reasons, none of which forum members are qualified to diagnose and treat, regardless of experience level.
Meanwhile, there is a lot of helpful information to take advantage of here at Talk Budgies. We ask that you read through the Stickies and Articles that we provide. There you’ll find answers to many questions.
Julie has given excellent advice. This isn't something that can be treated at home, unfortunately. It's just not possible. I agree that unneeded meds are not healthy, either, so if he didn't actually do the tests to find out if she had chlamydia, then I wouldn't give them to her. The best course of action is to consult an avian vet in some way.
Meanwhile, a warm cage and some electrolytes will help keep her blood sugar right and keep her calm, as well.
I wish we could tell you something else but there is no cure for prolapse at home, she needs to see a vet.
Please let us know how she's doing soon!
In the meantime, be sure to read through the many budgie articles and "stickies" we have here on the forums. If you have any questions after reading through everything, please be sure to ask as we'd love to help.
We hope to hear more about your little one soon, I hope she's able to be cured!
Cheers and best wishes!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Well here is an update of sorts. As much as it hurts me to admit this, in the days between my last post and now I've been suffering from a series of panic attacks brought on partially by my budgie's sickness. I don't want to get into too much but they prevented me from doing anything to help the bird (I was too wrapped up in it all that I couldn't even get her back into the sick cage, which I am very upset at myself about) and by the time I was feeling better I found her curled up in the corner of the aviary, with her life-long mate snuggled up by her side. Amazing how affectionate these creatures are for each other.
She didn't seem to be able to fly or move much at all, I quickly got her into the sick cage and inside where it was warm. This was midday today, it is now nighttime where I live.
Thankfully she is still with us, and started eating and drinking again after a couple of hours of being inside. I mixed up the honey and salt water you recommended and soaked it into some millet, but she only seemed to want to eat her normal birdseed, so I pored a little of the liquid over the top of that instead. She's the only budgie I've ever met that prefers normal seed mix over millet! She won't touch any of the greens she normally nibbles on either. I have added some multivitamin to her water as usual, since it probably wouldn't hurt to get her some vitamin A.
She still has diarrhoea and is still looking poorly and sad, but at least she is a lot more lively than when I found her in the aviary, which is something.
Still on the whole she's looking worse than when I first noticed a problem weeks ago.
I have not consulted an avian vet online as per your advice as I don't see the point in spending money only to almost certainly find out that there's nothing I can do for her without getting her to a vet in person anyway. I'm starting to think of ways I can get her down to Brisbane (the nearest location of a bird vet) but it's still not looking likely to be an option. I still don't know what I'm going to do...