This is a nightmare! I just finished a 35 day treatment with Sodium Benzoate for my two budgies, Charles and Georgie, and everything seemed to be going better. I even managed to switch them to pellet, but lo and behold, I wake up last Friday to find that Charles vomited all over the cage. My family and I felt that perhaps he had an upset stomach from the being switched to pellets cold turkey, so we decided to wait, but when I found that he vomited again next morning, we took him to the vet immediately. She was an exotics vet, there are no avian vets around here unfortunately. Well, she confirmed that Charles was sick with something, and said he seemed to be vitamin deficient (judging by the absence of papillae inside his mouth (?). She then presented me with a treatment and diagnostic plan that totaled $1,000. I asked if we could go with just one test for now, and opted for the fecal smear.
The vet said she found some gram negative bacteria and flagellates (protozoa) in the feces, and said that he should be put on metronidazole, an antibiotic, and nystatin.
I opted to give him Ronidazole, Amoxicillin, and MegaPlus (similar to megabac-s, but it contains Nystatin in addition to Amphotericin-B), since I had all 3 at home in the fridge (in powder form).
Took Charles home and started him and his cagemate Georgie on all 3 meds (ronidazole in the drinking water and syringing MegaPlus and Amoxi). After the vet visited, he couldn't eat or drink, but tried to eat a little bit. The next day, he seemed all perky, ate alot, and even flew around a few times (despite my protests) and was all energetic and even restless.
He did not vomit last night, but his poo consists of urates and slimy watery feces. In fact, I wouldn't call them feces, it's just dark green goo. Also, he alternates between napping and being lethargic and being uber energetic, to the point where he begs to be let out of the cages, flies around a bunch, and if we keep him in the cage he throws himself to the floor and starts chewing up the paper lining.
What in the world is going on with him? I know it's barely the 3rd day he is on his meds, but shouldn't there be some improvement with his feces?
It's just one thing after another. Unfortunately, when I contacted the vet with questions, the receptionist said she refuses to make any other suggestions without further diagnostics, which includes a $300 blood test and $200 x-ray. She even refused to give a prescription for reglan to stop the vomiting when I called her just a few hours after the vet visit. What gives?
Now, per the vet, Charles has crop-stasis, supposedly from candida, but that's only a guess since we didn't do a crop swab. But since he had gram negative bacteria and protozoa in his feces, perhaps that's the actual culprit. I mean, he was on Sodium Benzoate this whole time, so how could he have candida?
I did ask her if he could have metal poisoning, since I washed their wooden toy in vinegar a few days back, put it back in their cage (the toy looked fine upon inspection), but that same evening I was cleaning their cage and saw rust falling off like dust from the metal chain that held the wooden block together. *facepalm* I removed it right away - it didn't look like they touched it that much, there was maybe one tiny wooden shard at the bottom of the cage, and that was in the spot where George usually sits. The vet said it was unlikely that he had metal poisoning from being exposed to such a "small" amount of rust and for less than a day, especially if it looked like they didn't really play with the toy. Ugh!
My panic, pain, and frustration is through the roof! :'(
What do you guys think? Any suggestions on helping Charles to digest his food while on meds. Also, anyone else ever had a sick bird that was restless and wanted to be with them when not feeling well? I started putting ginger powder in their wet food along with lots of probiotics, and that seems to have helped with his gagging every time he eats. Any other home remedy to kick start his digestion as he is battling these nasties? Do you guys think he has metal poisoning after all? I'm at a loss of what to do.
EDIT: forgot to mention that Charles started eating from the cuttlebone in their cage, which neither of them touched for a few months now for some reason, he is just chewing at it every so often throughout the day now.
EDIT 2: Well, it seems that at least in part his restlessness is actually a bratty tantrum he was throwing because he had to eat pellets instead of seeds - after giving him seeds, he calmed down and started to rest.