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.
First, I haven't posted on here for maybe two years but I hope that some of you might be able to give me some advice.
My budgie Henry is 4 years and 4 months so not an old budgie.
He developed a small squeak maybe 3 months ago and I wish I had taken more notice then and taken him to the vet. Anyway, about 3 weeks ago I noticed that his breathing was audible. I took him to an avian vet the next day. At this point the breathing was not audible and the vet was not overly concerned. He said that he probably had a small respiratory infection and that he was overweight (58 grams). He prescribed Marcobyl and off we went.
Henry took the Marcobyl for 10 days but I saw no real improvement. We also nebulised with F10 but this made him sick. He was still playing happily and still eating and drinking. Back we went, this time for a full blood test and x-ray. The blood test showed that there is no current infection but the x-ray showed scarring on the lungs (probably caused by chronic infection that we were unaware of). Plus his weight had dropped to 44 grams. For the last 4 days he has been nebulised for 10 mins twice a day with Fluxotide and he has Doxycyline in his water to keep his immune system boosted. But, he is now almost mute, sleeping a lot and his breathing is worse. He is still eating and drinking fine (weighed yesterday - still 44 grams - which made us wonder if the 58 gram reading was false) and has periods where he plays.
I feel so helpless and sad as nothing we do seems to make much difference. I know that you guys are not vets, but any advice would be appreciated.
Sorry your budgie is so ill. A couple of things came to mind when I read your post, have the following been ruled out, fungal infection, air sac mites, iodine deficiency which may cause a thyroid problem, these things would also cause a bird to make a squeaking sound and antibiotics will not help for these, other medicines would be needed. Also if there is excess fluid in the body cavity from something it may displace the space for the air sacs and cause labored breathing. Birds have a different respiratory system than mammals and their lungs work differently and they have air sacs.
Yes the vet ruled out fungal infection as the blood work showed no infection. He said air sac mites would highly unusual as Henry has not had any contact with any other birds. He ruled out iodine as apparently the seed mix his has contains more than enough of it.
He did explain the air sac system but I guess there is only so much that can be shown on an x-ray. My husband says he does not fully understand the diagnosis but we are no experts.
I am not familiar with the antibiotic you were given but I am in the US and don't know where you are. Perhaps it is possible that it is a low grade infection that does not show on tests. Have you talked with the vet again, maybe a change in antibiotic could be made and one that you administer right into the mouth, not in the water. When it is in the water you can never be sure of how much the bird is actually ingesting and it may not be enough to effect a response.
Thank you both. Cody, Henry looks exactly like the bright blue/green and yellow faced spangle budgie in your picture. When we first got him he was more mauve but the yellow spread down making him more green/blue which makes me think he has some rainbow in him.
Fyi, we are in London, UK. There is only one avian vet anywhere near here and he is respected. I just feel a bit helpless as Henry is so squeaky. However, to be fair, in himself he seems happy. He is still playing, flying to us etc but less so and he is sleeping a lot more.
I will ask the vet about eucalyptus oil. We may be able to put it in the nebuliser. It is easy to feed him antibiotics as he eats everything so I have put drops on leaves etc and seen him eat the lot. But, at this point, there is no infection so the doxycycline in the water is just to boost his immune system while he has the steroids.
I just want to hear his lovely singing again but it is not looking good.
Has the vet commented on if Henry's condition could be caused by an allergic reaction to something? If you use scented candles or any type of aerosol sprays of any sort around him that would be irritating to the respiratory system and fumes from non stick (teflon) cookware can kill a bird.
Again, thank you both. Yes the vet did raise allergies but we are aware of the risks of teflon so don't use it and we have no plug in room fresheners or aerosol sprays either. Again, as a fairly experienced budgie owner I have read up on all of that sort of stuff and eliminated it. My last budgie, Cyril, lived to 11 and was in exactly the same spot in the house for the last 3 of those years.
Thank you for your wishes. We are certainly not giving up and neither is Henry! He was climbing all over me this morning and tucking into his honey stick (which is rationed given his questionable weight!), unfortunately he just sounds like a squeaky wheel or guinea pig the whole time.