Follow-up CenterThreads made in the Emergency Room forum will be moved here by staff as a way to follow-up with members after their budgie emergency.
This keeps the E.R. for only the most current emergencies.
Hi all, it has been a long time since I posted anything but I would really appreciate any help or advice.
My beautiful little Nela is very poorly. Sheís 12 years old and lived a very healthy and active life until now. Sheís been a tough old girl, even surviving smoke inhalation from a house fire when she was younger. After a few days in an oxygen tank, she was right as rain. No health concerns at all since then.
Well in the past week I noticed some changes in her. Firstly, she wasnít flying around as much and seemed lethargic. She also wasnít coming to me and sitting on my shoulder like usual. Then, on Sunday I noticed she seemed to struggle to swallow, shortly followed by her regurgitating her food. At this point I called the vet, although she wasnít puffed up or looking particularly sick then, I knew she wasnít right. I donít have an avian vet near me but the vet I use has a reputation for being particularly good with small animals and came highly recommended.
The vet told me she had lost a lot of weight as she weighed 50g at last appointment and now was at 38g. After examining and testing Nela in the animal hospital, she came back with the diagnosis of a crop infection. Nela was prescribed baytril antibiotics for a course of 10 days with direct oral administration. My vet asked me to come back if I saw no improvement by Thursday. ? Well, itís Thursday and my beautiful girl has had me on a rollercoaster of emotions. Firstly she seemed to get worse, began to fluff up, tail bobbing, become more lethargic, lost her appetite completely and scared the hell out of me. Next day I came downstairs to see all her feathers matted from regurgitating or being sick. So I gently bathed the mucus from her while keeping her warm and comfy. Then she seemed to perk up, started flying around, chirping and eating like a pig, finding a reserve of energy from somewhere?! However, I didnít count my chickens so to speak as I know how well birds hide illness. Later she fluffed up again, became very sleepy and started to regurgitate the food she had eaten ?? Then yesterday she seemed much brighter again, alert, chirping, eating and flying around. I was worried she wasnít getting enough food and although she had an appetite, she kept regurgitating. So I blended up some rice with a little boiled egg, veggies and walnut, popped it into a tiny syringe and tried to hand feed her after giving her antibiotics. She took a little bit then kept spitting it out, so not much joy there. I have tried to give her her favourite nibbles such as millet, even soaked some hoping it would be easier with her crop infection. Iíve tried her with fresh veggies and fruit but sheís never been a lover if Iím honest. She occasionally enjoys apple, cucumber and herbs such as mint or coriander. I gave her a little fresh mint although she doesnít ever eat much of it, she likes it washed in fresh water and tends to bathe in it....... must be that minty fresh scent she likes ? I have removed it now as I know she should only have a little and I was worried it could exacerbate her condition.
So, this morning I came downstairs and she still seemed a little fluffed up. As I gave her the antibiotics, I also gave her a little water in a separate syringe, mainly because I hadnít seen her drink. She took a little and then seemed quite sleepy. Before leaving for work I noticed she was making occasional, little squeaking noises?! Iíve never heard that before and her breathing seemed a little laboured? ? Iím now so worried! I think I could be losing her, which breaks my heart as sheís been with me so long. I just donít want her to be in pain though so will do whatever is necessary to help my girl. I will be calling the vet today to take her back in and see what they suggest. I am keeping her warm and have tried everything I can think of, but am I missing something? Is there anything else I can do for her? I canít bear to see her like this ? Any advice much appreciated xx ?
It's so difficult when a beloved pet reaches old age and becomes very ill. My heart goes out to you during this heart-breaking time.
When a budgie reaches 12 years old, it has had a long and happy life.
The descriptions you've given are of a very sick budgie who is obviously in pain, is suffering and is in distress. The squeaking noises you hear indicate that the crop infection may have also spread to her respiratory system as well.
I believe it is time to ask yourself if the quality of life your budgie will have if she manages to survive at this point is going to be good enough to continue to try to treat the illnesses or if it would be best for you to have your vet help her move peacefully on in her journey to the Rainbow Bridge.
I've had many beloved pets in my life and I truly believe often the time comes when the most loving and selfless gift you can give is to help them move on, rather than remain in pain and suffering.
It is always heart-breaking and never an easy decision.
Whatever decision you make, we will be here to lend you emotional support during this difficult time.
I think you've done everything for her and aside for her brighter times throughout this illness, it seems that time is not on her side. If she's not keeping food down and is breathing as you describe, I'll just say to contact your vet on what's going on and before taking her on another trip, see if you and your vet can make the best decision. We all have empathy for people in these situations with a cherished pet. As Deborah said, she has had a long and happy life. Prayers.
Sorry your girl is so ill, I would take her back to the vet right away. I had a similar situation with one of my bird a couple of months ago. One of my birds had just finished a bad molt and I noticed her appetite was down so I took her to the vet and tuned out she had a very bad crop and GI infection. She was hospitalized for 4 days, they tube fed her and gave her meds by injection which included one to keep her from vomiting. When she came home she got 2 additional weeks of oral antibiotics. Perhaps your bird could be hospitalized for more intensive support to help her.
Many thanks for all your kind words and advice. I am currently on my way home from work and hoping and praying my feathered baby will be ok. I have called the vet and booked her in first thing, although they said if she was much worse when I get home then to bring her straight to the animal hospital.
I canít see her suffer as much as it would pain me to see her go, I will do right by her. She has the most amazing personality, such a character and life without her doesnít bear thinking about. Itís so hard!
I will update you on her condition and next steps.
Just wanted to update you on Nela. Tonight when I returned from work, my poor girl was sick and sick again, all fluffed up and still squeaking with laboured breathing. I just burst into tears when I saw her and took her straight to an emergency appointment at the animal hospital. I was totally inconsolable but knew it was time to let her go. She was suffering and the vet suggested putting her to sleep would be the kindest thing.
I think Nela knew as she made one last burst and flew out from the box to come and sit on my shoulder. I think she came to say goodbye one last time.
With a very heavy heart I said goodnight to my beautiful and loving little friend. Sleep tight sweet girl, forever in my heart 💔