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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Any tips for feeding a sick bird or home remedy for bumblefoot pain?

Hello. My 10 year old parakeet has bumblefoot infections in both feet again (he's crippled in one foot so he keeps building up pressure sores no matter what we do). The last couple years, all the usual methods at keeping recurrent infection at bay now isn't working and he's gotten really bad within a few days. There's no Avian specialist anywhere near where I live but I do take him to a vet that "sees birds" and the doctor is out of town. I called emergency and they know nothing about birds but said they could have him mix me an antibiotic - Cephalexen tomorrow. But I'm afraid it's going to be too late, because he stopped eating and drinking because his feet hurt so bad. He barely sleeps too. I don't know what to do for him to either help his pain and/or feed him until he gets antibiotics tomorrow. The only fruits/veg he will eat on a good day is a bit of sweet potato or banana, but he won't now nor any seeds. He won't touch millet spray which usually works for a sick bird in a pinch. He won't eat his crumbles (ground up pellet treats). He wants to eat it seems, but when he takes a bite, he gets distracted by the pain and starts pecking his feet. I am at my wits end. Maybe there's nothing to be done, but any tips? I don't want to force feed him and cause him to aspirate. The usual trick when he's not feeling well is to put water on a mirror toy and it entices him to drink droplets off the mirror, but he won't even do it now.

Basically, any tips for feeding a bird in an emergency? And/or any home remedy to numb the pain of his swollen feet so he can eat? I'm using Healx soother plus cream ointment which is usually amazing, but not helping anymore. I've also tried epsom salt, trizchlor wipes, neosporin, and hydrogen peroxide (not all at once).

ETA: Please see post #63 for updates as of 9/11
 

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I'm very sorry to hear your poor budgies is in pain and suffering so much. :(

Do you know what caused the bumblefoot and why it has not responded to treatment?
Does your budgie have a bacterial infection (Staph) that caused it? Do you know what stage it is in?
Has it reached Stage 3 where the sores are turning black?

How long has it been since he's eaten and drank anything?

Do you have an Emergency Exotic Vet anywhere near where you live that you can call for assistance?

Have you called an on-line Avian Vet for help and advice?

Try soaking a spray of millet in the electrlyte solution and see if he is able to eat any of that.

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you so much for your post, I appreciate your time!
Yes, I can't stand to witness anything being in pain, especially not my little "Baby Bird." :(

No, the sores are not turning black. It's just red and inflamed on the bottom foot pad and sides. There is no visible "kernel" or round spot of bumblefoot either.

I don't know about a staph infection. I don't think so, as this is usually caused by his improper perching due to his crippled foot (three "toes" are pointing forward instead of 2. A former vet injured him giving him nerve damage when they tried to catch him as he was flying away, so this is why the irritation occurs from time to time. He favors one foot and puts his weight on the other, which causes irritation and pressure sores from time to time. I have been using Healx Soother plus and trizchlor wipes almost every day for the past year or two and it usually works to stop the irritation before it progresses. But then this time both his feet have swollen). I only use different sized rope perches and wood, so I'm very careful as to not place anything that would irritate him.

I called the nearest Avian vet as emergency before I called mine and they are across the state and wouldn't give me any advice, but offered to speak to and "council" my regular vet here, but the regular vet wasn't in and the one on call said they didn't prefer to take advice from another vet.

I suspect he may have arthritis as well and although he doesn't really show signs of gout, I worry about that too. I worry about everything when it comes to these little critters, but this time it's serious. Unfortunately my vet has little to nothing to comment on these or any other issue it might be. (The hazard of being nowhere near and Avian vet, I guess as the regular vets can't seem to offer much suggestion or advice. So I've spent countless hours of research myself over the years and he usually gets better). Now, really I'm just worried and tomorrow and the antibiotics can't get here soon enough.

I gave him one tiny drop of fruit juice dribbled in the side of his beak. I was afraid to force feed him further for fear of him aspirating - although the one drop went well. That's all he's had to drink all day and it's nowhere near I enough, I know. I will try the electrolyte recipe PrettyBoy posted and try to give him a drop or two. Yesterday, he didn't drink either, but he did force himself to eat last night before he went to sleep and got a full crop. But today he's only eaten 5 seeds and nothing else. He's flying well and not fluffed up or falling off his perch, but I know he's getting weaker as the day/night goes on.

I'm very sorry to hear your poor budgies is in pain and suffering so much. :(

Do you know what caused the bumblefoot and why it has not responded to treatment?
Does your budgie have a bacterial infection (Staph) that caused it? Do you know what stage it is in?
Has it reached Stage 3 where the sores are turning black?

How long has it been since he's eaten and drank anything?

Do you have an Emergency Exotic Vet anywhere near where you live that you can call for assistance?

Have you called an on-line Avian Vet for help and advice?

Try soaking a spray of millet in the electrlyte solution and see if he is able to eat any of that.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello I have flagged your post as urgent and hopefully some of our more experienced members will be here shortly.
In the mean time give him some Pediolyte or home made electrolyte via a syringe if you have to.

http://talkbudgies.com/your-budgies-health/295617-guardian-angel-pedialyte-pedialyte-recipe.html

Keep him extra warm use a hot water bottle or heat pad. He is a great age I do hope he manages to get through this .
Thank you for your kindness and the recipe!
 

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I can tell you love your budgie very much, I wish there was something I could offer, he really needs to get some nourishment into his system, sending healing thoughts and hugs to you.:hug:
 

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Blessings to you and your little fellow. :hug:

I wish I had more to offer. I'm glad the problem has not progressed to a more advanced stage so hopefully the antibiotics will be able to cure his problem.

You've obviously given him a great deal of love and excellent care for him to have been with you for 10 years now.

Sending lots of healing energy, positive thoughts and prayers.
 

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Hi there, I'm so sorry to hear about your little pretty bird.

He is very lucky to have you, and you've been given good advice so far.

Does he stand? I would try this: Make a chamomile tea and mix it with some tumeric powder and cool it to room temperature. Try to make him stand in a shallow bowl or something similar, as chamomile is a natural soother and tumeric fights inflammation. Other than what FaeryBee and the others have mentioned, I can't add anything.

I'm really praying for the health of your little boy. :hug: Please keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thank you - I am overwhelmed you guys' kindness when I (and he) needed it the most. I don't post publicly that often, but it reminds me of one reason I've always adored this forum - kind and helpful people like you all who share the love of these beautiful creatures. Very helpful too - such a wealth of information on here from everyone.

And thank you, I will certainly try with tea as you suggested.

Hi there, I'm so sorry to hear about your little pretty bird.

He is very lucky to have you, and you've been given good advice so far.

Does he stand? I would try this: Make a chamomile tea and mix it with some tumeric powder and cool it to room temperature. Try to make him stand in a shallow bowl or something similar, as chamomile is a natural soother and tumeric fights inflammation. Other than what FaeryBee and the others have mentioned, I can't add anything.

I'm really praying for the health of your little boy. :hug: Please keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You did help! You and FaeryBee recipe you posted was fantastic. I made a batch and gave him two droplets and a little over an hour, he perked up enough to eat some food (to the point his little crop stuck out visibly and he drank a drop of water on his own)!! He's really thin again today and hasn't eaten much but I will give him a bit more of the electrolyte solution and hopefully he will eat again at least before bedtime and I know he's not going to bed hungry - I can't stand that thought. And today I got the antibiotic. Will keep you guys updated if anything changes either way.

Thank you all for caring about his health and offering support and advice <3

I can tell you love your budgie very much, I wish there was something I could offer, he really needs to get some nourishment into his system, sending healing thoughts and hugs to you.:hug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm glad to hear he ate a wee bit yesterday and hope he will be able to do so today as well.
May I ask what antibiotic the vet prescribed for you?
Do you give it to him orally twice a day?
The antibiotic is Cephalexen and yes it's orally twice per day.
He's only had two doses and suddenly his poop is halfway runny and green. Does anyone know if this is normal while taking antibiotics? :S It wasn't like this before only after taking it today and it's been a couple years since he was on it, so I can't remember if it was common before due the antibiotics.
 

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Yes ,that is a perfectly normal reaction to taking antibiotics. if you are at worried ring the vet for confirmation and peace of mind. I am so happy he is taking in the medication and some nourishment, keep up the positive thoughts and tell him you love him it helps.
Wonderful news, I will be waiting to hear more. sending healing thoughts for him and painless times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thank you Pretty Boy and Faerybee - I appreciate it. :) I had him on antibiotics for two days now and the good news is that his diarrhea stopped. Also his feet aren't getting worse, but not better yet (but it's only been 2 days).

But I'm having another problem. I've gotten him to eat a tiny portion about 8 times today but his crop is absolutely empty and he feels like nothing but pure bones. He has never ever been like this before. I don't understand how he lost all his body weight within a few days yet I have been feeding him repeatedly just small portions but multiple times per day and before he goes to sleep he gets a full crop and yet still not gaining any weight - he's losing weight still. I don't understand what's happening. Could it be handling him several times per day for treatments is making him burn so much calories (because he struggles constantly)? That's the only thing that makes any sense to me, but I don't have any alternative but to handle him. It feels like a losing battle and I'm at my wits end. But as long as he's alive and not suffering horrendously, I am going to keep fighting for him. He's a little fighter himself, been through a lot in his life.

ETA: Forgot to mention I purchased Avix healx booster that the emergency Avian vet across the state that I called today recommended just in case he has vitamin A deficiency despite the sweet potatoes and crumbles he eats, I believe it's possible. So I had that overnighted and hopefully will start administering that to him, but he's practically skeletal transformation within a few days and I don't know how I can ever keep enough food in him to build back a tiny bit of weight. Doesn't make sense - has this ever happened to your birds suddenly so skinny even though they're eating?
 

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My guess is that your little fellow just isn't getting enough calories to keep the weight on. He should be getting about 2 tsp of seed per day plus his pellets and vegetables and I doubt you're getting that much into him right now.

Try giving him the millet soaked in electrolyte solution.

If he'll eat it, give him cooked quinoa mixed with Harrison's High Potency Mash and flax seed. Hopefully that will help him gain some weight.

There is a condition called "Going Light" which I'm hoping your little fellow isn't suffering from at this time.

Thin Budgies, Going Light and Weight Loss in Budgies - Budgie Health

A G Y - Barrie's Budgerigar's

Megabacteria - Barrie's Budgerigar's

What's Killing Our Budgies
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thank you - I very much appreciate the suggestions and info!! :) I am willing to try about anything I can.

So with updates, there are a few small victories! He seems to be doing a bit better. His poops are normal, the diarrhea didn't return. The swelling is about halfway down on his feet and they are less inflamed. He's been on antibiotics for a few days now, but in addition to that I've soaked his feet as best I can in epsom salt, and also applied the Healx Soother Plus cream which I had been using the last couple years. And once a day neosporin pain relief, plus orally the Healx Booster in case he's vitamin A deficient (and will give my other bird who's almost 9 years old too in case he's defienct, though he appears healthy). I hate putting this little guy through so much stress by all these treatments, but there's no alternative, I just have to get him well and do all I can. He is eating on his own half the time now and still goes to sleep with a full crop. But I also feed him multiple times per day and offer him water - but he drinks on his own now (I just pour droplets on a mirror to entice him to drink).

So he's doing a bit better and I'm so glad for that, but he's still really thin. His one foot though the swelling has reduced about half the size and is not too far from "normal", but the bottom pad looks red like it did when the infection first started. *sigh* But there's progress.

ETA: Turns out that random little brown stain that appears on some birds' feathers above their cere that many have wondered about is a sign of vitamin A deficiency. Another sign is occasionally clogged nostrils (not with a cold or illness and no discharge, just randomly appearing). When the Avian vet suggested a potential deficiency (though they hadn't seen the bird - it was over the phone), I started doing tons of research and wish I had known sooner! It could be one contributing factor over time. The informative articles you listed are fantastic info source! I do hope it's not one of those and it's just due to him being ill right now, because he only within this week became thin.

My guess is that your little fellow just isn't getting enough calories to keep the weight on. He should be getting about 2 tsp of seed per day plus his pellets and vegetables and I doubt you're getting that much into him right now.

Try giving him the millet soaked in electrolyte solution.

If he'll eat it, give him cooked quinoa mixed with Harrison's High Potency Mash and flax seed. Hopefully that will help him gain some weight.

There is a condition called "Going Light" which I'm hoping your little fellow isn't suffering from at this time.

Thin Budgies, Going Light and Weight Loss in Budgies - Budgie Health

A G Y - Barrie's Budgerigar's

Megabacteria - Barrie's Budgerigar's

What's Killing Our Budgies
 

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You're doing a wonderful job taking care of your little friend. I too will add my prayers for a speedy and full recovery....:)
 
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