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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I home today, I opened the birds' cages and they did their usual "Yay! She let us out" fly around the room. I noticed that Coconut was breathing hard, but initially thought he must have done more laps than he was used to. However, it soon became apparent that there was an issue. He was feeling well enough to fly onto my hand for some seed, but his breathing was clearly labored. I am incredibly fortunate in that there is a veterinary practice down the road from me that treats birds and other exotic animals and they were still open. Their avian vet was not there, but the one who was treats birds regularly and consulted with the avian vet on Coconut's treatment.

It looks like Coconut has some kind of mass. The vet did an x-ray without sedating him (placed him in a small box instead), which means that the quality was not the best, but it was enough to be pretty sure there is something there. She chose not to sedate him based on trade-offs between the risks and the possible treatments that could be administered this evening. She also chose not to draw blood. From a gram stain, there are also signs of a yeast infection.

Her overall take was that he definitely needed to stay and be supported with oxygen. From her palpitation, the x-ray, and his overall presentation, she thinks that the labored breathing is more likely from an internal obstruction than a respiratory infection. However, because of the gram stain, she is treating him with an anti-fungal medicine. She also is giving him a broad-spectrum antibiotic. She said that the incidence of secondary infections is high enough and that he was looking fragile enough that she didn't want to wait. Finally, she gave him a shot that might help shrink a tumor (depending on what it is). She is not positive that he will make it through the night, but they have done everything they could to stabilize him and give him his best chances.

:fingerx: Please send Coconut good thoughts. It was hard to leave him there--and without his buddy Kip--but it was clearly where he needed to be. Fortunate for him, there were two other budgies there who were on the mend and who were making nice little chirpy sounds.
 

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Oh I'm so sorry you have to go through this :( It's always hard when you have to leave your pet at the vet. At least you know he is in good hands. I hope he has a speedy recovery.
 

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Leah, I'm so sorry that Coconut is at the vet's office!! I truly hope that he is able to recover soon :fingerx: It's fortunate that you noticed something was up right away and so were able to take him in.

Please keep us posted! :hug:
 

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I'm so sorry to hear that little Coconut isn't well.
I'm glad you were able to get him into the vet so promptly and hope the medication given will help him stabilize.

I'm sending prayers and healing energy for Coconut and will be looking for your updates with regard to his condition. :hug: :hug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good news: Coconut made it through the night and is eating well. Not so good: his breathing, while better, is still labored. Likely cause is fluid, and the likely cause of the fluid buildup is some form of cancer. They are going to keep him for another day and probably see if they can do more tests Monday morning. They are hoping that he will be stronger by then, plus the avian vet will be there.

I'll go in to see Coconut in a few hours, partially so that he can get the reassurance of hearing my voice, plus getting a few treats, but also just so that I can see how he's doing.

Thank you for the good thoughts and get well wishes! I'll post another update tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, everyone! Coconut is still at the vet's, but doing much, much better. They are keeping him for one more day just to make sure he continues to do well without supplemental oxygen. He has improved so much so quickly that they are rethinking the likely cause (which might remain a mystery). I will be relieved to have him back home--I hope tomorrow.

When I went to see him on Sunday, he looked so much better than he had the night before; I was so relieved. I didn't take him out of his oxygen-supplemented cage, but I was chit-chatting with him when the vet assistant who had administered his morning medicine came over. He leaped to the back of his cage. Her: "Yup, he remembers me from this morning." :laughing:
 

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That's good news, I know how difficult it is when you have to leave them at the vet and what a relief it is to see them doing better. Hope things continue to improve.
 

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Hope Coconut continues to recover and is soon back home with the rest of the flock!
:hug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm happy to report that Coconut is back home. Unfortunately, the diagnosis swung back to likely cancer, plus something else perhaps. The vet drained fluid today and sent some off to be tested, though she warned me that the results are not always clear cut. Until some of this gets sorted out, he's in my bedroom with me instead of with the rest of the flock. I like having him in here, but I'm pretty sure it's the first time in his life he's ever been without any avian company, poor boy. He likes me, but let's face it, he likes Kip better. ;)

My regular vet actually makes house calls, as well as having hours once a week at a brick and mortar hospital, which is terrific, but doesn't work in an emergency. Coconut's records have been sent to her and I'm hoping she'll be able to do his follow-up.
 

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Leah,
I'm glad to hear Coconut is home with you but am really sorry that his diagnosis wasn't better.
I know you'll be doing everything possible to ensure he has the very best care and a happy life. :hug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've been reading lots of past threads on budgies with tumors, and various ways to support and treat them, so thank you to all of you who have posted information to those threads in the past. :tb:

Coconut is looking quite good at the moment, eating a ton, preening, and probably still annoyed with me that he's not with the other budgies. And Cockatiel Poppy is annoyed that he can't come into my room, so I'm pretty much not anybody's favorite at the moment. :001_tongue: It's OK. There's no way to block out the sounds of the other birds--even with the doors closed you can hear them, and I think I would have to blast music so loud to completely mask them that it wouldn't really help anything. ( Coconut does seem to be enjoying the variety of music I'm playing, however. ;) ) For the most part, Coconut is taking it well and the music definitely helps.

I'll update this again when I get more information from my vet and Coconut's follow-up. As well as the wealth of information on here, it's wonderful knowing that there is this community who understands how lovable these little guys are.:blush:
 

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Leah,

I'm sure you found the thread regarding knotgrass that I linked below.
I'm adding it so others reading your thread will be aware of it as well.

http://www.talkbudgies.com/articles.../347266-alternative-remedies-help-tumors.html

I order my Knotgrass online and give it to all of my birds along with their dried herb salad each day as a supplement to their diet.

I hope it will be as successful for you with Coconut as it was for Pegg with Banana. :fingerx:

http://www.talkbudgies.com/training-journals/340866-bananas-journal-going-thread.html

Many prayers for you and Coconut.
I'll be looking forward to your updates regarding his condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I will soon have a store's worth of herbal remedies for Coconut and my other birds. ;)

At the moment, more questions than answers. The tests on the fluid that was drawn was inconclusive. I'm having difficultly connecting with the vet who I had hoped would take over his care, so Coconut now has an appointment on Tuesday with the most experienced avian vet at the practice down the road. The big question then will be to what extent the fluid has returned. My understanding is that the fluid can be caused by conditions other than cancer, but I don't know what the alternatives are (I think kidney issues if one other possibility).

I'm hoping for a few things. One, that Coconut live long enough for the knotweed etc. to have a chance to help. Two, that I get to at least put Kip in with him. He needs his buddy.

The nicest thing that happened today is that he did some beak grinding while falling asleep. I thought I heard him beak grinding last night, but I had some music on and I wasn't positive. We seem to have come to a bit of an understanding about my having to get a hold of him twice a day to give him medicine.
 

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Leah, I’m so sorry to hear of Coconut’s diagnosis :(. You’re such a good birdie Mom. I know he’ll have the best care possible. Let us know how the herbal remedies work! Fingers crossed! :fingerx:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good news! I just got back from taking Coconut to see the avian vet. First, the vet said it was fine to bring Kip in to be with Coconut, and they are both happy to see one another. Coconut obviously had it worse being in here without other birds, but Kip is happy as well. I'll take some pictures of them later. Coconut had a long story to tell Kip, and we can guess what it was about. :001_tongue:

Second, she didn't feel any fluid build-up. There is some enlarged something, but based on where it is, she doesn't think it's testicular cancer. One possibility is an enlarged liver from an infection. She didn't want to draw blood for a couple of reasons, including that if his liver is involved, he wouldn't clot well. She opted to give him another antibiotic shot (vibramycin) and see how he is in another week. Her hope is that there still won't be a fluid build-up and that the enlarged something will have decreased in size. If so, she will continue the antibiotic treatment. If not, she will consider adding in Lupron. In the meantime, he's on milk thistle (along with Kip), so they can be annoyed with me together. ;)

Third, she repeated the gram stain, and the yeast was much, much better. She said I could stop giving him the nystatin/Ampho B and just put ACV in his water.

The knotweed just arrived, so I will start giving him that as well. The dried herb salad arrived a few days ago and I've been working on getting all of the birds used to it. As well as putting some in their cages, I've been sprinkling it in with their vegetables, with their seed, etc. Some of them, including Coconut, have definitely been eating it.

Coconut is not out of the woods yet, but I got what I asked for: improved quality of like (Kip for company!) and a chance for the medicines and herbs to work. :001_smile:
 
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