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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Emergency Room > Follow-up Center


Follow-up Center Threads 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.

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2018, 04:07 AM
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Default Balance Problems & Trouble Moving

Hello All,

My little buddy Meelo has been having trouble balancing properly for the past few days. He is unable to leave his current perch and can barely turn around and face the opposite direction, and will not get up for food and water. A few days earlier he fell a few times trying to play with his toys and move around the cage in general. We had hoped it was just a bit of clumsiness on his part, but it clearly was a sign of something worse. Currently, my sister is on spring break and is able to give him water, seeds, pellets and some veggies every half hour or so because he cannot get up to get anything for himself. Unfortunately, next week she has to go back to school, and my other sibling and I are also out of the house because of work and school. We are planning on setting up smaller cups for food and water to be right near him so he won't need to move and still be able to eat and drink when he needs to.

In his current state, I am unsure if bringing him to the vet is a good idea. The car ride is extremely bumpy, and Meelo gets incredibly stressed during vet exams. We last took him for a checkup a few months ago, because his beak was growing very quickly. He had his beak trimmed, and other than that the vet said he seemed to be doing fine. Since then his beak condition improved greatly. He is a very very picky eater but in the past few months took a liking to eating some boiled egg whites, and upkeeping his beak on a stone perch. However, as of a few weeks ago his beak grew long again and he stopped trimming down his beak on the perch.

We are unsure if his current condition is tied to to his recent diet change to include egg whites. He loves them, and we thought it was alright to give him a fresh piece almost every day. Unfortunately, this may have been way too much protein for Meelo and we hope he hasn't developed gout

We received Meelo around 6 years ago from someone who didn't want him anymore, we think Meelo was probably around 6 months old at the time. This other person had not kept him in a safe cage or given him proper perches, and did not keep a cup of food or water in the cage. Meelo is not very comfortable with people touching him, and does not physically interact with us much apart from coming over to play with some of his toys with us or beak tapping our fingers. Sometimes he will climb up on my hand but he prefers to be inside the cage doing his own thing and singing to the radio. The vet always has an awful time trying to catch him for exams, and Meelo is usually very shaken for the next day or two afterwards and doesn't eat well.

In the weeks leading up to Meelo's current situation:
- Egg whites almost daily
- Leafy veggies and broccoli a few times a week
- Diet is usually 10% veggies, 50-60% seeds, and 30-40% pellets
- Aloe detox mixed into his water once or twice a week
- Sleeps well, active through the day

In the days right before the current situation:
- Droppings had increased urine, smaller and thinner green portions, got stuck around his vent quite often
- Fell a few times when jumping around in the cage, and a few times a night
- Ate normally (we cut out eggs once we thought it might had been the issue)
- Appeared to act normally
- Bruised his beak playing too roughly with a bell

Currently Meelo:
- Does not move from the perch
- Has trouble balancing
- Both feet remain planted when stretching, instead of lifting one foot when his wing stretches
- Drinks a very large amount of water (we've been keeping a wet kale leaf clipped next to him so he can access to water all the time)
- Normal appetite
- All water is mixed with some aloe detox*
- Droppings look pretty normal, do not stick to vent
- Is not unusually fluffed up
- Still alert, but is noticeably tired
- Improved a lot the first day, but it's been about three days total and his noticeable improvement has slowed

Sorry for the long winded explanation! I figured it was better to be on the more detailed side. I would love any advice, feedback, or answers from you all. If you have the time, I would greatly appreciate giving your opinion on Meelo's situation. So, my questions are:
1) What do you think the problem is?
2) Is a vet visit the best course of action? What types of things would the vet be able to do to help Meelo? (Our vet is not an avian specialist, but has some experience working with birds)
3) Is aloe detox in the water a good idea?
4) In the past we have given Meelo milk thistle to prevent liver issues. Would it do any harm or good in this situation?
5) Are there any environmental factors that would benefit Meelo or make more comfortable in this situation? In terms of light, humidity and temperature?

Thank you so much for helping us!

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Old 04-07-2018, 10:40 AM
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I'm very sorry to hear little Meelo is having such problems.

You definitely need to have Meelo seen by an Avian Vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Since your Vet is not an Avian Vet, I'd either look for one in your area or ask your regular vet to consult closely with one regarding Meelo's condition. It should be fairly easy for your vet to contact an Avian Specialist for a consultation.

When you rely on anyone who has not had training in Avian diagnosis and care, you may be delaying effective treatment.
This can prolong suffering that may be avoidable.
The bird will often require a more intense, prolonged treatment with a poorer chance of full recovery than it would have if you seek prompt professional diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of illness.

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles-...amination.html

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles-...as-dvm-ms.html

Meelo may have suffered a stroke or have other neurological damage but only a professional is going to be able to make that determination.

Keep Meelo warm and consider getting some platform perches for him. Put them low in the cage.
If he's falling, pad the bottom of the cage with a towel and put newspaper or white paper towels on top of it so he isn't injured if he falls.

Please keep us updated on Meelo's condition.
I will be praying for him and sending lots of healing energy as well.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:16 PM
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So sorry to read of Meelo's illness, I agree with FaeryBee on all points. The first thing that comes to mind is a possible liver issue. It is common for birds with livers issues to have overgrown beaks, and it is also common to see brusing on the beak and nails with fatty liver disease, so the bruise you mentioned on the beak could be an indication of that and not the result of rough play. Take a look at the article in this link, https://nilesanimalhospital.com/file...atty-Liver.pdf
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:16 PM
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Hello All,

Thank you for your responses! I have contacted our vet and will hopefully be able to bring Meelo in early this week to an avian specialist.

We have been worried about fatty liver disease for a while, and Meelo was definitely on an all seed diet for at least the first two years we had him before we managed to switch him over to taking pellets and some veggies with his meals. Meelo is still very much a seedhead but we had hoped pushing pellets, veggies, and other supplements on him would help keep fatty liver at bay. I will be sure to bring this up to the vet as the recent overgrown beak seems to be a really telling sign.

Today he fell off of his perch and was unable to stand or walk properly at the bottom of the cage, but insisted on trying to make the arduous climb back up to his favorite spot. We're going to see if we can rearrange his items towards the bottom of the cage and get him more comfortable with staying on or near the ground for the time being. Yesterday I ordered some platform perches off Amazon, and they should be arriving sometime today.

Meelo does not seem to be improving much, but I'm hoping for the best! It's tough to see him struggle.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:23 PM
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I hope the Avian Vet is able to help you with Meelo's problems.

Please keep us updated on his condition.

Sending lots of prayers and healing energy.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:14 PM
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Hello All,

We have an appointment with the avian vet scheduled this afternoon. Unfortunately last night Meelo was unable to stay perched and we had to move him and all his things to the bottom of the cage. He does not have the coordination to climb back up (and none of the perches are up anymore) but still relentlessly tried to make his way back up the sides of the cage throughout the night.

Surprisingly, Meelo seems to be doing a bit better this morning. Last night we had been fully prepared to call the vet first thing and have him put down. He could not even stand, and his feet were twisting the wrong way, so he had to lie awkwardly on his head and side. He spent most of last night dragging himself to the sides of the cages and trying to take a few climbs up and did not take breaks for food or water. This morning, he is standing properly and, although not moving, pecking around with one of his toys. He is also making a strange shaking motion with his tail and it sounds like a fan or propeller -- we've never seen him do this before.

He took a bit of seed and water, and has not yet attempted to scale the cage. Because he seems to have improved a bit, my siblings and I are now a bit unsure of our stance on having the vet put him down. He is still very much alert, but tired, and I am afraid that his failure to balance and overall deterioration of his lower body coordination are strong signals that the time to cross the bridge is near.

Of course, we will consult with the vet on this -- if there are any treatment options, the likelihood of improvement/success, and if he is in any pain. But the way I see things now, the best option seems like putting him to sleep. I don't want to give up on him if there is a good chance of a recovery, but his quality of life right now is poor and we cannot stand to watch him be so impaired. Does anyone have experience with a similar situation or some advice to offer?

As always, thank you for helping us.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:56 PM
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Krystal,

Please let us know how things go at the vet appointment this afternoon.

I'm very glad you will be consulting with the vet with regard to what is going to be best for little Meelo given his condition.

Sending prayers for strength during this difficult time.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:42 PM
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Your budgie might have a tumor. My little boy reacted the EXACT SAME way, and he unfortunately died less than a month after his diagnosis. Please let us know what the vet says.

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Old 04-10-2018, 12:32 AM
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Hello All,

Today we made the decision to let Meelo go. The vet said that Meelo's condition was very serious, and agreed instead of putting him through further testing (bloodwork, x-rays, injections, etc.), which would take a few days, leave him to suffer longer and potentially threaten his life, that putting him to sleep was the best option. Unfortunately, we will never know the underlying cause of his problem, though the vet thought a tumor was the most probable, and can't use this as a learning experience for other budgie owners. What I do know is that Meelo is in a better place now! I miss him a lot and it's left a terrible hole in my heart. But I can be so happy knowing he is not in any pain anymore and is having such fun on the other side.

Thank you very much for your support, and I am wishing all the best for you and your families.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:13 AM
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Hi Krystal, I'm so very sorry to hear you lost sweet Meelo. It's heartbreaking to lose a pet but I hope you'll take comfort in the fact that you gave Meelo a wonderful, loving home, and in his time of need, the very special gift to end his suffering and allow him to fly free over rainbow bridge. You are in my heart.
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