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Discussion Starter #1
What to ask the vet this afternoon!

Hi all,

Sorry I frequently post only when things are going badly :(. Anyway, my older boy Petrie seems ill. His behavior has gone from his usual grumpy-old-man-pecky attitude to "oh yes, I would like some cuddles" in 24 hours. Besides for the obvious physical symptoms of being ill, the attitude change really freaks me out.

Other than that I've noticed that he:
- isn't eating as much as he normally does
-has had trouble pooping (and had a dirty butt this morning that I did my best to clean up. There was a chain of clogged poo, but the color of the poo was normal.)
-keeps picking at his butt and at his preen glad
-is napping a lot
- and seems a little off balance and also feels lightweight (I haven't gotten him on a scale yet)

He's still playing a bit and chirping, and being SO amorous to everything (his usual MO). But I'm definitely taking him to the vet later because he's pretty old and I worry about him.

The trouble is, I'm not a huge fan of my current vet, but it is an avian vet office and really the best the city I'm in now can offer (I'm spoiled because my old avian vet in the last city I was in had 50 years of experience and was just the best. Saved one my babies lives and gave us an extra 3 years together).

My experience with this new vet is that they don't always thoroughly check things unless I ask them to do so. So my plea for help is: does anyone have any suggestions of what to bring up with the vet (given the listed symptoms above)? My appointment is in a few hours.

Thanks in advance,

Alba
 

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I’m sorry to hear that your Petrie is ill :(. It’s good you’re taking him in today.

An ‘avian’ vet most likely will know which tests seem necessary or not, after you describe the symptoms you’ve been observing. It might help the vet by telling them any environmental factors that might have been different lately, near any other birds, ate anything out of the ordinary, could have gotten into anything, etc. or really anything you can think of off hand that might impact his health.

I would say that “telling” the vet as much information as you can, will benefit Petrie more than you “asking”. Of course then, ask whatever you wish as questions come to mind.

A good idea to bring a fresh poop sample from this morning or from overnight. Since he hasn’t been eating much, he might not have enough to give on the spot.

Good luck for Petrie, and please keep us posted :)
 

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I would expect a complete physical exam to see if there are any lumps or bumps where there shouldn't be, a test of the birds reflexes, a look at the eyes, ears throat and vent area. A test on the droppings to see if there is anything there that shouldn't be, maybe a crop swab depending on what the vet sees in the mouth/throat and they should get a weight. Depending on what the vet sees on the initial exam , maybe some bloodwork, but that may not be necessary yet.
Hope he feels better soon and the vet can determine if there are any problems to be treated. You might want to talk to the vet about possible nutritional issues that may be applicable as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all, heading out soon. He's doing a bit better, munching slowly on millet and a few pellets.

Just want to point out something funny: That the vet I used to have that I mentioned spoiled me in terms of amazing avian care WAS Dr. Sakas ... the author of the article FaeryBee posted! I lived in Chicago and would drive all the way to Niles IL to see him.

Hahaha, now you understand why all avian vets since have seemed less impressive by comparison, apparently my old vet literally wrote the book on avian care.
 

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Dr. Sakas is my vet, absolutely unsurpassed in avian care, I don't know what I would do without him and his entire staff. Have you moved away from the area?
 

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Ask all the questions related to the health of your bird that you wish to. If need be, write a list of what to ask. Listen well to what the vet tells you. Also, if any other questions you want to ask him, do it. You will feel bad later if you do not. Do the best on the visit that you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all.

Cody: I moved from IL to GA... so very far from the area! But I agree, Dr. Sakas is the absolute best.


The vet appointment went okay. She didn't feel or see any swelling, Petrie is pretty underweight... 4 grams lighter than the last time (he's 35 grams but he's like a 1/4 English budgie so he should be closer to 40). His poop stain didn't show any gram negative bacteria (and usually the bad stuff is negative), but it did show a lot of undigested material so clearly he's got some GI issues going on. :(

They put him on standard antibiotics and L-glutamine (to reduce any internal inflammation) for now. I coughed up the big bucks for a culture of his poo, so in a few days I should know more about if it is bacterial, yeast (though she ruled this out because she didn't see the typical signs of this), etc.

I'm just hoping it is nothing more serious, like PDD or tumors. Bless his lil heart, he's always been such a healthy boy... he just turned 10 and has really never had a serious health issue (unless you count having terrible molts).

I just wanted to thank this community once again for the helpful advice. It is really nice to be able to hear from fellow budgie parents who understand how much our feathered babies mean to us.
 

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Thanks all.

Cody: I moved from IL to GA... so very far from the area! But I agree, Dr. Sakas is the absolute best.

The vet appointment went okay. She didn't feel or see any swelling, Petrie is pretty underweight... 4 grams lighter than the last time (he's 35 grams but he's like a 1/4 English budgie so he should be closer to 40). His poop stain didn't show any gram negative bacteria (and usually the bad stuff is negative), but it did show a lot of undigested material so clearly he's got some GI issues going on. :(

They put him on standard antibiotics and L-glutamine (to reduce any internal inflammation) for now. I coughed up the big bucks for a culture of his poo, so in a few days I should know more about if it is bacterial, yeast (though she ruled this out because she didn't see the typical signs of this), etc.

I'm just hoping it is nothing more serious, like PDD or tumors. Bless his lil heart, he's always been such a healthy boy... he just turned 10 and has really never had a serious health issue (unless you count having terrible molts).

I just wanted to thank this community once again for the helpful advice. It is really nice to be able to hear from fellow budgie parents who understand how much our feathered babies mean to us.
10 years old is great, I hope nothing serious is going on with him. I would be happy to ask Dr. Sakas if he could recommend a vet in your area if you would like, just let me know the city, I know he knows avian vets all over the country.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Cody, I would gladly take any recommendations Dr. Sakas has. I'm in Atlanta.

Cheers.
 

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Thanks Cody, I eagerly await any suggestions Dr. Sakas has.

I may take Petrie back to the vet this afternoon, he is not improving and he has been on the Baytril and L-glutamine for 4 doses now (5 days though... I give him his meds in the late afternoon). I've never had a bird remain sick for so long since my Charlie (RIP) who was chronically unwell due to tumors.

I'm not totally positive he's gotten the full dose everytime, because its a war with him. I wish I had trained my babies to eat from the syringe... because when he knows the meds are coming he clamps his beak shut so tightly.But I don't know what else to do... I'm going to call the vet and see if they can do anything for him if I were to bring him in.

Still waiting on the results from the culture...
 

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The waiting is difficult. Maybe a different combo of meds is needed. I know that whenever I have used an anti-inflammatory it has been Metacam. The antibiotic Metronidazole also has some anti-inflammatory properties to it. One of my birds has a liver problem and he gets infections easily. Recently he was on a ****tail of meds that required me to dose him 6 times a day, he sees me coming and is not happy, my birds are not hand tame so it is stressful for both of us. I turn the lights down and after I get hold of him I let him sit on my knee with my hand over him and while he is there I am able to squirt the meds in the side of his mouth. Have you tried tapping on the beak, sometimes that will get them to try to bite and you can then get the meds in.
 

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So as described my previous post (don't know how to link to it , but it was about taking him to the vet and what questions to ask) things have gone downhill rapidly.


I took him back to the vet this afternoon, and they gave him his baytril dose and then a ton of injections: subcutaneous fluid, onsior (20 mg/ml), and metoclopramide.

His culture did finally come in and he does have Bacillus. I took him to the vet anyway because he wasn't eating that much today (though he was still chirping and flying a bit) and wasn't showing much improvement on the Baytril and they told me to bring him in and they'd give him some fluids and some anti-nausea meds to give him a little boost to fight the infection.

Anyway, I took him in and they did the aforementioned injections, and well as syringe fed him his daily dose of baytril. He looked terrible after they returned him to me (which I figured was because he had injections) and then in the car ride home I think he had a seizure. He flapped around, was on his back for a little bit, and might have even briefly been unconscious.

I tried to turn around and go back to the vet but they were closed (they close at 2). I've called three emergency weekend vets and the only advice they gave was to bring him back in but when I asked, none of the vets on staff were avian vets. I don't want to freak him out by taking him to more vets today if I can help it, and I can't get a clear answer from any of them whether they could even do anything to help him (I doubt he can handle more injections).

I honestly don't know what to do, please help me. I even tried calling my old vet in IL to get advice. I feel so helpless, I feel like taking him to the vet today was what put him in his current state and I don't want to make it worse by taking him to a non-avian vet tonight.

I currently have him in his carrier, with water and 2 bins of quinoa (his favorite food... there's 2 bins because he has decided to perch on the first 1 I put in there) and some millet in there. It's wrapped in towels on 3 sides and I have a heat lamp shining down on it (but I have half the carrier covered so he can be in the dark if he wants to be.

I've seen him take a few sips of water, but he hasn't eaten a thing since this morning (he ate a 1/4 inch piece of millet before I took him to the vet, and a little avicake).


Ugh, I feel so helpless, I don't know what to do. Will taking him to the emergency vet stress him and cause another seizure? If they hospitalize him overnight I'm worried he'll die alone, at least here his brother is singing to him sweetly from across the room. I feel like I'm watching him die . He had 1 other seizure years ago (at home, while we were watching TV, it was completely random). I remember he was pretty fluffed and not eating after it for maybe an hour ... but its been about 3 hours so far.

Any help of advice would be appreciated. My nominal plan is to wait out the night at home and then maybe take him again in the morning (if he could handle more fluid injections). My normal vet though isn't open until Monday... so tomorrow would also have to be the emergency vet (none of them today are avian certified... but maybe tomorrow they'll be one).
 

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How very stressful, sorry to read this. With everything that was done I am sure that it was very stressful for Petrie. I have experienced similar things when one of my birds has had so much done in one visit, one of mine once passed out and was limp after getting fluids but came back around, really scary. Last time I took my guy with the liver issue in (he was not doing well) they took him in the back and put him in an incubator to keep him warm while I was waiting. Dr. S. examined him gave some injections and when he put him back in his carrier he looked awful and was unsteady.I took him home and kept him quiet and turned the lights down and did not let him out for 24 hours, he gradually came around so I think that the stress of everything along with not feeling well was too much. That may be the case for Petrie as well, keep a close eye on him and let him rest however he is most comfortable. The metoclopramide is the anti-nausea med, did they send any home with you, it has really helped my birds in the cases where there was vomiting or prior to giving meds that were upsetting. If he is feeling a bit sick to his stomach that will help him feel better and he may eat more once that takes effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi Cody,

Thanks for the reply, you've been so helpful to me during this situation, I've really appreciated it.

They did give me metoclopramide syrup to give to him via syringe (before the baytril... which he negatively reacts to). I think because they also did the injection this afternoon I'm not supposed to start that until tomorrow (he seems to weak to give medicine to tonight anyway).

He hasn't really improved, but it looks like he was thinking about eating (he briefly put his face in the quinoa bowl and ate one single piece) ... but then he gives up like he doesn't have the strength for it. It is good to hear that your bird made a complete recovery after passing out post vet once... I hope Petrie comes back to. He is perched at least ... and briefly preened himself for 30 seconds. So he is at least a little more responsive than before. I'm just worried that he won't make it unless he eats soon, since he hardly ate before the vet and he even threw up a little post baytril at the vet.
 

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Give it a bit more time, the fluids will hold him overnight, and if they gave the same injections that Dr. S. gives it may have been a sort of vitamin ****tail to boost him a bit.
 

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Anything food-wise that he will eat is good. Not eating isn't good. Millet spray, if he'll eat it, give it to him. Hard-boiled egg pressed through a wire strainer might be tempting.
I understand your stress in these types of health issues. Good luck.
 

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Hi all,

Thanks for all the help. Thankfully he made it through the night, but still is struggling and not really eating (though he is drinking a little). I'd say that in the last 24 hours he's eaten a small bit of millet and bit of quinoa (which I've mixed with Harrison's recovery formula).

I have so many questions regarding the meds I'm supposed to be giving him, and I'm incredibly frustrated that I can't get a hold of a vet. My own vet is closed until tomorrow, and the emergency vet they refer their patients to doesn't actually have an avian certified vet. Plus, they won't discuss details of his medication until I bring him in and they even told me "there's probably not much we can do for him today". So I feel like I'm going to have to wait one more day before I can talk to the vet we normally go to.

Meanwhile, I've got a ****tail of medicine to deal with and I don't know if he should be taking them given his current state. He's supposed to get:

1) .05 ml of L-glutamine (for inflammation I think?)
2) probiotic in the water
3) .03 ml of Baytril to treat bacillus in his gut, the problem is that after he takes the Baytril he sometimes vomits and then he REALLY won't eat.
4) and now .03 ml of Metoclopramide syrup to help him not vomit the Baytril
5) Yesterday pre-seizure (all at the same time) the vet did an injection of fluids, onsior (I think for pain), the metoclopramide (injected form), and they then syringe fed him is baytril (which he threw up, right at the vets).

After his seizure yesterday, I'm a bit worried that one of the new medicines triggered it... specifically the metoclopramide which on websites describing its use for pets seems to warn that it should not be used in animals with history of seizures (Petrie has had at least 1 seizure before that we know about, probably about 2 years ago). So I'm thinking about holding off on that today, just to be safe... though I'm worried because I think this medication was supposed to help him keep eating. But possibly giving him another seizure seems like a greater risk, right?

I know that stopping a antibiotic midcourse is a bad idea, so at some point I should give him his baytril to fight the infection. So my nominal plan now is to:

*Ditch the probiotic water (which he's already had a lot of today and last night) and instead give him a little sugar water , that can't hurt, right?

* Mix the L-glutamine in with his food... he might not get that much of it, but the vet did say it wasn't as important and that if I needed to it could go in the food

* Ditch the metoclopramide until I talk to the vet, and instead just give him the full day to try to eat... giving him the Baytril in the evening when he wasn't going to be doing much eating anyway

Any other ideas, thoughts, or advice? I just don't want to make anything worse for him... the seizure was so scary, I thought those were for sure our last moments together and for hours afterward he wasn't himself at all. He was so disoriented and confused :(
 

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Just want to thank whoever merged my Petrie posts and give a brief update:

I don't want to be too optimistic but I think he is doing better. He just ate more food then I've seen him eat in the last 3 days (a mix of his favorites: quinoa, rice, avicake, a bit of seed, and some millet), and now he's napping all that eating off a bit.

He was not eating earlier today at all, so I've been giving him tiny syringes of the harrison's recovery to help build his strength (and prevent him from throwing up his antibiotic). That Harrison's formula must taste amazing because he hates being syringe fed, but after a little formula he starts smacking his beak like he's surprised that it doesn't taste bad.. and then he basically lets me finish slowly giving him drops of it. I think it padded his little stomach enough to not vomit up the baytril (also helped that post-baytril I gave him a little formula chaser... so maybe he didn't even know that he had his meds).


Hopefully he'll beat this horrible infection. It's been such a whirlwind of emotions the last few days, so I don't want to read too much into one night of enthusiastic eating... but it does feel good to see him act a little healthier.
 
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