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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I had to take Cid to the vet due to a respiratory illness. Almost lost him, but I believed he would keep fighting and sure enough he's still here and seems stable, but I have to give him three different medicines (2 antibiotics and 1 for pain). I've given him medication before and it's quite the struggle, so my question is what do I do to give him three? Do I try to get them all done one after the other, or do I need to let him go for a minute to relax and swallow each dose? Because it is difficult to handle him (he is not hand trained) I'm afraid that wrestling him out of his cage 3 times in a row might be too stressful for him, but I'm also concerned that if I try to force three doses into him at once that also might be too stressful and he may not swallow it all.

Any advice is appreciated. I've found the best way to handle him for this is to hold my fingers around his neck like a ring, just tight enough that he can't pull his head through but not enough to put any pressure on his neck, while loosely cradling the rest of my hand around him to keep him from flapping and squirming too much.
 

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I have been in the same situation many times giving multiple meds, for me, whether or not I give them all at one depends on the bird and how it reacts to being medicated, how ill it is and how much I have to give of each and what I am giving. I usually like to split it up so if I have multiple meds that all have to be given only once in a 24 hour period I would give morning and evening providing there is not any reason that they need to be given together. There have been times when I have had to give something similar to an antacid prior to the actual med so obviously then that cannot be split up. None of my birds are tame, the method I use is as follows: I give the meds in the morning while it is still fairly dark and the birds have not yet begun to be active because the room is still dark and they are still covered. You have to have a nightlight or something so you can see a bit what you are doing, let your eyes adjust to the darkness of the room before beginning. Make sure you know where he is sitting in the cage , if there are other birds in the cage this may be a bit more difficult. Very slowly and quietly open the cage door reach in and gently cup your hands around him and remove him from the cage, do not grab with one hand if at all possible, this may be more difficult if the cage has only a small door, sit down and place him on a table or your knee, during all this time I find that it is best to use only the amount of restraint with your hands necessary to keep him from flying off, the more gentle you are the less he will fight and squirm around. Once you are sitting administer the meds into the mouth and return him immediately to the cage and keep the lights off and let him relax. This may work out better if he is comfortable sleeping in a cage by himself because when you put your hand in the cage to remove him you will not be spooking the other birds, once that happens you need to back off and try again later, the last thing you want is to try to catch him when all the birds are in a frenzy. I have used this method hundreds of times, make sure you have the meds ready in the syringe before you begin and stay calm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately, timing is not up to me...The doctor gave him his first doses yesterday afternoon, and I have to follow what she set and give him his next doses 24 hours later. I don't dare try to change anything when he is still in a critical point in his treatment. That said, if it would be better to give him a few minutes between doses, I can try that.
 

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In that case then I would give one and see that he swallows, then give the other and so on. Sometimes they do not appear to swallow because the amount is so small. For example a dose of .02ml is barely even a drop so they may not feel the need to actually swallow. Try putting .02 of water in the syringe and then discharge it on your hand and you will see what a tiny amount that is.
 

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I'm so sorry Cid is seriously ill. Cody has given you excellent advice with regard to the medication.
Please be sure to update us on Cid's progress in recovery.
 

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If you cannot get the meds into him it may be best to have him hospitalized for a few days where they can medicate him until his condition is not critical.
 

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Mise en place, except with the medicine. It was a lifesaver having everything prepped, laid out (on a clean napkin) and ready to go with the doses pre-syringed. I'd have one syringe for Medicine A, and Medicine B syringe laying right next to it. I'd hold Wasabi and administer the first, then easily get the second syringe and administer that.

My thoughts on it are it's better to stress the bird out in one instance of five minutes, than it is to grab them separate times within a short space. Instead of the stressful ordeal taking 5 minutes total, the frantic trying to catch a scared bird over and over can make it a 30 minute ordeal.

There's also nothing wrong with holding the bird firmly but gently and giving the medicine, and waiting 30 seconds or so to let them swallow it and make sure it's gone down. Then give the second medicine etc.

It genuinely does get better. The birds will always fight like devils, but it becomes less stressful and more accepted. They'll fall into the routine and Cid will be stronger and healthier and harder to catch before you know it (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I managed somehow. I gave him about half a minute between doses to catch is breath in his cage before collecting him again. I could hear his tiny lungs popping rapidly as he was panicking, so I thought it best to give him a moment to breathe between doses. He is currently beak-first in some fresh seed coated in some dietary supplement the doc gave me. Hopefully that will calm his nerves and help get the meds down.

Yesterday after the vet visit he seemed much better, with the noise of his breathing being much quieter and his energy seeming higher. But got progressively worse again as the dosage time neared, so I did it an hour and a half early. I'm hoping that it will make him feel better.

I think if he has the strength and the will to fight me that hard when it comes to medicine, then he wants to live. The doctor said he was in grave condition but I know he's not ready to give up yet. Unfortunately, leaving him with the doctor would have been about $2000...And as much as I love my little guy, I also have to contend with the reality that he is a small bird with a short lifespan, and I'm not a wealthy man. So meds and home care is the best I can do for him.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, as they say.
 

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Good luck with the medication. Hopefully it will take care of the problem for your little fellow.
Sending love, prayers and healing energy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So Cid seems to be responding well to the medicine. He still gets to a low point in his condition when it's dosage time, but not as bad as the night I took him to the vet. Between doses when I imagine the medicine would peak, he will play and eat and generally be a normal, if not somewhat tired, bird. So I am cautiously optimistic.

That said, I have another question...Can budgies cough? Every so often, usually while he's napping, he will abruptly let out a single forceful squeak and then rub his face on his perch. To me, that almost seems like a cough followed by wiping his beak, though I have not seen any sort of discharge. The way he looks when this happens makes it seem like a reflexive action, and he will wake himself up doing this while seeming surprised by it.
 

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Good to hear that he is improving. Is his respiratory illness in the upper or lower part of the respiratory tract? I am thinking that the sound you hear could be a way to clear something clogged, mainly because of his rubbing/wiping action, but I could be completely wrong also. If a bird has a sinus infection you may see them rubbing their face on things and if there is something in the mouth that they want to get rid of they will wipe their beak. I would let the vet know about this sound and action you are hearing and seeing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Figured I'd update the situation. Cid is doing significantly better. Yesterday I was worried because he had a dry wheeze and was open-mouth breathing after getting agitated by medicine time. However, today he is breathing with almost no noise. I was also able to get all three meds into him at once without as much trouble, so it may be that he is begrudgingly getting used to it. However, he is now much more perky and behaving normally at all times of the day.

That all said, he does have a bit of a poop problem. It's been sticking to his butt. Today when I went to give him is meds, he had all sorts of poop stuck to his rear. Easy enough to pluck off him, but it's been happening consistently. At first I though it was because of the way he was sitting on a perch (the poop had been collecting on it, so I removed that perch) but now it just seems to be getting caught in his feathers. I can only assume that ti's coming out wetter and stickier than usual. Beyond the medicine, he is also on a vitamin powder mixed into his normal diet, so I'm not sure if this is a side effect of his meds, the vitamins, or something else. He is eating and drinking as much as he normally would.
 

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It's very possible that the meds are causing a bit of a GI tract disturbance, I would ask the vet about it, how many more days is he scheduled to have the meds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I feel terrible...I just gave Cid his meds and now he's vomiting all over the place. His beak is just covered in vomit. I've got him half covered so he can calm down while I monitor him, but this is just awful. I'm afraid to stop giving him is medication since he has another week to go, but it is clearly having a bad effect on his stomach.

EDIT: He stopped. He's on his sleeping perch and hopefully he'll take a little nap and then eat something. At some point he must have wiped his face off, he's all stained but the mass of goop is gone. He's moving as if he's breathing heavily but I'm not sure if it's his breathing or if he's still retching, I don't hear his lungs making too much noise. I've never seen anything like this...
 

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I had a similar problem with a bird vomiting after meds, the vet gave me Carafate, which for humans is an anti ulcer med, I had to give 1 hour before giving the meds, it seems that it coats the GI tract and it worked, he did not vomit as long as he had that first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I was able to give him his meds without incident today by breaking it up with a half hour break between them, but his respiration is still not great. He's wheezing a fair bit and breathing heavily. I'm concerned because after over a week, I was expecting better results. It's a difficult thing to judge his condition right now, he's still as lively as he can be and eating enough, but the wheezing has me worried that he may not be getting better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well...After a week and a half, and seeing his sharp decline over the past 2 days, I decided it was time to let him go. I took him to a 24-hour veterinarian and he was put to sleep an hour ago. I had Cid for almost 9 years, and I realized that at this point, he was getting too old to bounce back from this. His quality of life even in the best case scenario would have been bad. So after wrestling with the decision and feeling like I was failing him either way, I went with the no-turning-back option. The silence is what hurts the most, not hearing him chirp when he hears the faucet running or ringing his bell. It's going to be really hard to get used to a quiet apartment again.

Thanks to everyone here. This place has been a good source of information and advice these many years. Maybe someday I'll be back with some new friends, but it will probably take a while to get past this.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss of little Cid. I'm glad he had nine wonderful years with you, it's a testament to what great care you gave him.

Please take care during his time and know we are all sending a thought your way.

Rest in peace, little Cid. Fly high among the stars.

If you want to, you can make a memorial for your little one in the "In Memory" section of the forums. I'll go ahead and close this thread now.
 
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