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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again! This may be completely unneeded information, but it drove me crazy so I thought I'd share. Our budgie has been on extensive antibiotics, and because his little bird mind interprets my gently giving droplets of medicines as aggressive water boarding, he resists. So those missed droplets were drying into feather glue all around his beak. Of course, veggies want to join the glue party, and the situation gets out of hand quickly. I was very concerned about keeping him clean since he's already battling infection! All my efforts to groom him were being interpreted as further attempts at torture, and the Internet failed me here. My vet gave me some suggestions, and Spiral and my son and I worked and experimented until we found success.

Here's what worked for us: Spiral perches on my bent arm, facing away from me (his choice- your budgie may vary:p). I tuck him close to my chest and bend over to put my nose on/ near his head, talking softly. Then, I use a tiny baby toothbrush and warm water to gently and carefully stroke his feathers, focusing around his beak. This sounds obvious, but we were trying q-tips and cloths with nothing but failure and sore fingers. He seems to interpret this posture and approach as us grooming/preening him (my son helps). Spiral will close his eyes and tilt his little head so we can get just the right spot. He loves the brush, and it worked wonders- we can see his beautiful purple cheek patches again. It also seems to restore his calm and trust after antibiotic time. You don't have to work the brush into the feathers- if you brush aggressively you could pull their feathers. The water does the work loosening the goop, and stroking the brush softly over the feathers is just enough to work the water in a bit and dissolve the antibiotic. Of course, Spiral sits with us and let's us handle him-you may have to modify this for your bird's personality.
Anyway, maybe this will help someone. Blessings!
Leslie
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, we are very lucky Spy-spy has decided to love his "toothbrush time." I'm pretty sure he still thinks we are trying to gas him with the nebulizer, but he's decided to hold up stoically under torture and not tell us his budgie secrets. In his little birdie mind, I was one step away from slowly stroking a cat and saying things like, "Well, well, what have we here- a little birdie who won't sing? What should we do about that, Snowball?" :p
 

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Are you using an eye dropper to give him his medication? I find it much easier to use a syringe you gently hold the budgie in one hand or even better make it a two person job. One holds the bird the other administers the medication. When you are giving the medicine gently tap the side of the beak with the tip of the syringe, some times they will actually then open up of their own free will. If not gently use the tip to open the beak then slowly press the plunger . I used to then use a wet cotton ball to wipe around the area before I let the budgie go again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Cathy! My medicine technique has evolved since September, when it was pretty rough. I think I've watched every YouTube video made on the subject, but it's hard when they are so little! My husband is in the medical field, and he had a stroke of genius. He brought home some tiny baby syringes and IV catheter "thingies". (Keep up with me here- medical terminology!):laughing: They are tiny nozzles that screw on to the end of the syringe with impossibly tiny tubes on them that I guess are meant to go in people's veins. I trimmed the tubes pretty short so he wouldn't bite them off. I can slip the tube in his beak from the left side and deliver one drop at a time. He either cooperates and swallows, or snake spits it into my eyes. Well, not really, but we are getting better at cooperating with each other! I tried the cotton swabs and balls, but as he's felt better he just attacks them, and then I get scared he will pull off enough cotton to choke on. I learned the hard way that saying sternly "Open," to Spiral when he's clamped his beak on something is completely ineffective:rolleyes:. Little stinker.
I wish I had someone to help- my son doesn't quite have the hand coordination and size to do it, and my husband doesn't have the patience. But my son does help with toothbrush time. He's actually doing it right now, in our laundry room, and I can hear him singing the Budgie Bonding song while he's doing it. We are a weird family.
A lot of the antibiotic accumulated during those early days, and by the time I addressed it his feathers had dried into spikes! I really wish talkbudgies had a "local chapter" - there is so much to learn as a new bird owner.

Thanks- I hope your sweet birdie is doing well! Your recommendations are SO helpful to those of us with long term budgie health issues!
 
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