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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Diseases and Illnesses


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  #1  
Old 06-24-2019, 01:18 PM
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Default To X-ray or not? (Bird with leg troubles)

Hi all,

First of all, I'm sorry its been so long since I posted anything. I love this community, its been such a great source of comfort for me. I'm also sorry that I only seem to post when things are going badly, one of these days I promise to just post cute pictures of my feather babies soon.

The problem(s):
Anyway, the reason I'm posting now is that my boy Caesar has been having foot/leg troubles. His right foot is clearly bothering him, most of the time he refuses to put weight on it and perches with his left foot (important note: he CAN still open and close his right foot, but his grip with it is noticeably weaker). He also was picking at his feet quite a bit (though that seems to be improving now since getting pain meds on 'em). Because of the extra use of his left foot, the left foot was also getting some sore spots on it (which thankfully has improved a bit since I covered all his perches in moleskin a few days ago).

What could be wrong?
This has been going on for just over a week and we've been to the vet twice already. The vet didn't feel any abnormalities that might indicate an internal tumor pressing on his nerves, nor did she see any signs of gout crystals. There's no obvious break or bruising, and no sign of external infection on the feet, and his gram stain showed perfectly normal bacteria levels. In fact, I've been monitoring his poops and they look great. Besides for the foot, he's singing and acting pretty normal.

The vet thinks that maybe he pulled a ligament which has a longer healing time than a muscle. And that the injury may be exacerbated by arthritis (I got him from a pet shelter 5 years ago so we don't know his exact age, but we think he may be ~8 years old). She prescribed him a pretty low dose of metacam for a few weeks (.02 ml) and also prescribed a cream to put on his feet (penetran for pain mixed with antimicrobial gel). We also are trying treating his foot with some laser treatment that the vet said may help take away some of the pain.

Worth an X-ray?
I'm super paranoid that it might be a tumor or an internal foot infection and that we're just treating the symptoms and not the underlying cause. The vet said we could learn more with an X-ray, but that they'd have to anesthetize him to take it! She said there's always some inherent risk when anesthetizing them, so now I'm debating whether or not it is worth the risk to get the X-ray.

Has anyone had their budgies put under before for an X-ray?

I'm not sure if we could even do anything if it was a tumor, and it seems unlikely that it would be an infection given that he has no other symptoms (like bad poops), right? I can't decide if knowing more about the leg injury is worth the risk/stress of anesthesia ...

Any advice/experience you have to offer regarding injured legs and x-rays would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Alba

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Old 06-24-2019, 02:21 PM
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Sorry Caesar is having trouble. I have had 3 budgies with leg issues caused by tumors and unfortunately there is not much that can be done but it would depend a bit on where the tumor is located. I also have a canary that presumably has gout. I say presumably because as with Caesar no gout crystals can be seen but when treated with the gout medicine the leg and feet issues seem to resolve. I have had several birds that have had x-rays but it was done without sedation. Have you had any blood tests done, if the vet does a CBC that would help to determine if there is an infection by looking at the white blood cell count.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:33 PM
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Hi Cody,

Thanks for replying. This vet has not done blood tests, even though the vet office I go to is just for avian and exotics they told me they don't recommend/ don't like to do blood work on the budgies (Caesar is ~30 grams, he's got a pretty small frame too).

Maybe I'll ask them about this. I'm constantly frustrated by this vet's office because it seems like they never check as much stuff as my old vet did. But they are the only AAV listed vets in the area.

I'm pretty sure my old bird Charlie had blood work done back when I lived in Chicago and went to Niles Animal Hospital, but she was a very big girl (~45-50 grams!) and was also fearless. (Oh and as I just remembered: likely her blood was collected when she was already in surgery... she had an external tumor removed at some point).

Caesar gets VERY stressed out at the vet . I'd probably be just as worried with the blood test as I would be about the X-ray...

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Old 06-24-2019, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alba View Post
Hi Cody,

Thanks for replying. This vet has not done blood tests, even though the vet office I go to is just for avian and exotics they told me they don't recommend/ don't like to do blood work on the budgies (Caesar is ~30 grams, he's got a pretty small frame too).

Maybe I'll ask them about this. I'm constantly frustrated by this vet's office because it seems like they never check as much stuff as my old vet did. But they are the only AAV listed vets in the area.

I'm pretty sure my old bird Charlie had blood work done back when I lived in Chicago and went to Niles Animal Hospital, but she was a very big girl (~45-50 grams!) and was also fearless. (Oh and as I just remembered: likely her blood was collected when she was already in surgery... she had an external tumor removed at some point).

Caesar gets VERY stressed out at the vet . I'd probably be just as worried with the blood test as I would be about the X-ray...
I forgot that you have been to Dr. Sakas when you lived in the area, you get spoiled by him and if I ever had to look for another avian vet I would probably be disappointed. 30 grams is small and it is stressful also to take blood so it may not be worth the risk.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:00 PM
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I wish I could offer you good advice but I've not had a budgie sedated for an X-ray.

I wish little Caeser all the best and hope he improves soon!
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for the well wishes.

He's eating pretty well & his poops look great (he had some watery poops last month when molting, so its nice to see they're getting back to normal). He sings a bunch, but is a bit less active in terms of playing with toys than he used to be, but he's had a hard year (he spent the last 6 months as a lone budgie... possibly for the first time ever.. after my other baby passed away).

I think we are going to wait until late in the week to decide on the X-rays, see if his foot is improving at all on its own.

I'm just very nervous about the possibility that there is some internal foot infection, in which case every day counts. But an internal infection in one foot that gives rise to NO other symptoms seems pretty rare...
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:02 PM
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Here's a photo of the little guy. Sometimes he has is right foot down on the perches, just looks like he is leaning into the left foot a bit more. When I pick him up he can still curl and open his right foot, just feels weaker. I'm hoping that means its NOT a tumor, since that usually means the leg is stuck in a position (curled or open).

His feet are still normal colored (though they look a bit darker and irritated after I put the cream they prescribed me on them). It seems like his right leg extends for a greater length out of his body.

Does anyone have experience with budgies who have dislocated hips or something like that? Or would that be more of an extreme loss of leg use?

(I swear I'll stop posting so much... I'm just so worried about the 'lil guy.)
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:13 AM
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I wonder if having a flat spot to sit on would help the foot? My budgies sit on the windowsill a lot. They do make some flat wooden corner ledges to attach inside the cage. Maybe that would provide some relief? Just an idea.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I did put in a few new perches, including a totally flat platform, a much wider but very soft cotton covered T-perch, and a slightly curved (but mostly flat) natural bark platform.

Problem is, lil guy is stubborn and won't explore new perches for usually weeks. He's been choosing to sit on the perch shown in the picture for like most of the day. And of course the one he hates the most is the totally flat one.

He at least hangs out on a soft dish towel when he is on top of the cage. I'm trying to incentivize the flat perches by leaving millet pieces on them, but so far he has not taken the bait.

Maybe he'll feel more comfortable with a corner perch... I'll try that one next (after he gets used to the current changes I made).
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:43 PM
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He's a beautiful little guy, he looks comfortable in the picture, has the Metacam and the laser helped him?
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