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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear TB forum members!

What a great place this is. I introduced our dear budgie Robert in a post some days ago, but will have to turn to you again for some advise on our little friend.

We're afraid Robert has some (hidden) health issue. Naturally, as we only have him now for close to two weeks, we don't really know yet what is his "normal" behavior... But I can say, that in the first three days that we had him, he showed some remarkable aliveness and was quite investigative and vocal for a 'new' bird. We were surprised in fact by how easy he seemed to adjust to his new home.

However, I think that on the night of the third to fourth day (which was suddenly cold) he might have contracted something, due to also maybe lowered immune system because of stress. Since that night, we feel he became less inquisitive, in principle he does not "look" like a sick bird, but he gave us the feeling he is hiding something. He is less vocal, sits more still. More passive. Initially he was interested in investigating his swing, flying towards it, now he prefers to leave it alone. He appreciates us communicating with him, but he is more to himself. He is not fluffed up though, and sleeps on his highest perch. His eating behavior seems normal, and he also lets us feeding him water and seeds by holding his cups close to him.

However, now we have started to see some more indications that indeed something might be wrong with him. Let me include two pictures:

We have grit on the ground, but with some paper we were able to see something is off with his poop:
IMG_8256.jpg
This is from one night, so some normal (at least they look normal to me), but then suddenly also some diarrhea.

Also, since yesterday we noticed that Robert's left eye is balding slightly:
IMG_8253.jpg

So these things quite alarm us.

Perhaps there are some forum member who could shed some more light on his condition? Anyway we got a phone number of a local avian vet, so that is good. We will contact her on Monday. But your opinion would also be very much appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

-Willem
 

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Seeing a vet experienced with birds is always a good idea when something is of. Re.: the first picture: What is he eating? Does he have any way to get at/chew on something he maybe shouldn't?
Re.: Second picture, can you get a closer-up shot of his beak, or specifically cere, on that side, or is what you see there in the picture just a shadow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi AlterEgon,

Thanks for your reply.

As far as the first picture: I don't think he has anything he could get to which he isn't supposed to... The people at the pet store advised us a week ago to have him for now on a seed diet, although I think slowly we could now add some other ingredients. But basically he is currently eating a seed mix. Then also, they gave us some supplement for in his water for stressed out birds. It contains mostly vitamins, but yesterday we also learned it was an antibiotic... Not sure whether that was immediately needed. It's called Velemicin M, not sure whether any of you know it... So we gave that for five days in his water, last time was Wednesday.

Ad for the second pic: Not sure which shadow you mean, but here I have two more pictures which are more clear on his cere:
IMG_8259.jpg
IMG_8260.jpg

Thanks a lot!
 

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Hi and :welcome: to Talk Budgies!

I'm glad you've made an appointment for Robert to see an Avian Vet on Monday.

If Robert were female, then the cere would be turning brown and crusty because she is coming into breeding condition. ;)

A male budgie's cere only turns brown if there is a nutritional deficiency or a hormonal imbalance which may be related to liver or testicular issues.

It's difficult to tell from the picture if the area around the eye is due to molting or caused by something else. I would suggest asking the vet to do a blood test for Chlamydophila psittaci. Primary symptoms of this disease in budgies would be an upper respiratory infection with nasal and/ or ocular (eye) discharge, poor feather condition, diarrhea with the possibility of conjunctivitis.

Having Robert examined by an Avian Vet who will be able to do the correct blood tests to get a proper diagnosis is assuredly your best course of action.

We'll be thinking of your little one, sending lots of positive thoughts and looking for an update once you've seen the vet. :hug:

To familiarize yourself with the forums, please take the time to read through all of the How To Guides, the FAQs and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
You'll find most of your basic questions are answered after you've read through all of them.

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If you have any questions after reading through everything, please be sure to ask!

Glad you decided to join us and I'll be looking for your update after Robert's vet appointment.

:wave:
 

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I've seen antibiotics affect droppings, so if lucky that might be part of your answer. In any case, though, please do talk to your the avian vet that was recommended to you. As FaeryBee pointed out, if the cere of a male changes like that there's something going on. Liver-related problems can also affect the droppings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Dear all! Thanks so much for your elaborate answers! It's very much appreciated. So basically you're saying that his cere even shouldn't be looking like this?? Well, that's good to know. To be honest I didn't notice this at first as a possible symptom... Think that indeed he should be checked out then! I will check out the forum section that were recommended to me, and let you know what is the course of action once we talked to the avian vet. I hope she'll be able to take us a step further.

Thanks a lot!

Edit: Guys, I read a lot about discoloration in male cere and cancer... That worries me much... We only just got him, he is a young guy. Could there be any other reason for his discoloration? I'm not sure I remember his cere when we just got him, but this picture

seems to indicate it was more blue back then... This was one day after we got him. So the change seems to be sudden and since we got him. We now have him two weeks... Any ideas what this could be?
 

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We can speculate - the things mentioned by FaerieBee farther up in this thread are likely candidates - but you'll only get certainly from a good vet. If it helps any to get you through the weekend a little less frantically, considering that you say he's very young and this happened fast, hormonal imbalance is in my opinion (which is only an opinion) much more likely than cancer. That would be some very rapid cancer.
 

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I read a lot about discoloration in male cere and cancer... That worries me much... We only just got him, he is a young guy. Could there be any other reason for his discoloration?
I'd like to ask if you can post a close-up picture of Robert's cere taken in natural light.
It would be best if you could open a free PhotoBucket account and post a full-sized picture (as described in the thread linked below) as those are easier to see. http://talkbudgies.com/how-guides/175818-how-post-pictures-photobucket.html

If Robert is actually a female, then the brown color of the cere would be a natural occurrence as she came into breeding condition.

Sometimes looking at pictures we can't see what you see in person and a change that happened so quickly sounds as though your budgie may actually be a female. :D
 

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I too am wondering if Robert is really Roberta... That would be a lot easier to deal with than a serious medical issue turning the cere brown.

Sweet-looking little budge. I'm glad you are seeing an avian vet for your new little friend. I wouldn't dare speculate what might be wrong, but I'm sure you and the vet will figure it out and I hope it doesn't cost too much!

I had to grab my bird when he was pretty new. He took 3 days to forgive me, and sometimes I think he re-lives the experience at random times when he's trying to punch a hole in my nose, but they do get over it, if you counter the bad experience with enough kindness and gentleness and millet and sweet talk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Dear all, thanks for the replies!
I made a picture in daylight, but I don't know if it will help, it's less sharp, and this was the most zoom in I could manage:

You can also see a bit his left eye and above his nostril which are somehow affected by something (it seems). Or maybe he's just untidy and ruffled? :) Like his owners. :)
(Edit: It looks in the picture worse than he looks in reality!)

Well, we will contact the vet tomorrow. I'm pretty sure Robert is a male though... He already has a bit of grey around his iris, so he is not a baby anymore, and when we got him his cere were deep blue (as can be seen in my earlier post)... However, we only have him for two weeks now, so it must have happened during this time, which I completely missed actually until you point it out. So perhaps it is indeed related to some hormonal or nutritional imbalance as FaeryBee pointed out. Also, during this time we found out he in fact got antibiotics, which may have impacted his liver? In fact, I'd say it looks a bit like the pictures in "Male budgies who are ill" and then the set related to "Examples for disturbance of the hormone release not caused by a ******** tumour"
Birds Online - General facts about budgies - How to find out about a budgie's sex?

We'll try to shed some light on this tomorrow. Other than that, he seems healthy. He eats good, he trusts us, let us touch his belly, although reluctantly still. :) Every day he seems to get 1% more active, very little steps...

Thanks for your insights!

-Willem
 

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Robert is a lovely budgie, the area around his eye looks a little like scaly Face mites but I could be wrong. If it is the vet will definitely know and treat it with Ivemectin. His beak definitely is not right, has he injured himself recently that you know of? other than sever bruising, and if he is a male then it needs to be diagnosed by a professional. Please let us know how the vet visit goes and what the outcome is ?:budgie:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the reply Pretty Boy. Yes, Robert is truly a nice character! We're very happy with him. Activity wise he seems to make little steps every day. Every day a little bit more variation in his chirps. Every day a little bit more "bird" behavior. He starts to be comfortable turning his back towards us too now. Things like that. We got him from the pet shop, so probably he is not very much used to people other than the occasional shop helper snatching away one of his friends. Plus he's used being surrounded by his fellow budgies. So quite a change for him. But when we got him he was in front of the window, looking at us, flying around, basically the most active, so we just felt like taking him with us. At least he let's us already pet his belly with our finger :)

For the last three days his poop seems to be fine, we haven't encountered any new droppings that were of not so good consistency. Also his vent area is now clean throughout the day.

We called with the avian vet, and she invited us to come with Robert tomorrow, so she can check him out. I'm happy with that. His eye I'm not sure about, it definitely does not get worse, but it looks a bit ruffled. We put white paper on the floor of his cage, and the next morning we could not discover small red or black dots on it. But the vet will tell us for sure if there is a pest problem. It's just his cere that are a bit bothersome.

Will keep you informed about our progress, and thanks for all the help!

-Willem
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok so we went to the vet and all seems to be fine. Indeed Robert seems to have something upsetting his stomach, so for that she took a poop sample for analysis which we will hear on Friday. As far as his left eye is concerned, with the day it seems to be getting better, and in fact is barely noticeable anymore. So her conjecture was that it might be some final stages of his molt.

Regarding his cere she's not exactly sure. She said he's a male, but too young for hormonal issues. She diagnosed some "hemakeratosis" of the cere, with an so far unknown cause, but nevertheless the bird is in good condition. She recommended to switch food manufacturer, because sometimes a certain type of food can just not work very well with an individual bird. Hopefully the analysis will give more clarity. Other than that all should be very fine with Robert, just getting acquainted with his new home, which will take some time.

Furthermore she prescribed some probiotics for him, and she gave some pulverized volcanic ashes to sprinkle over his food. Supposedly to help his digestion and poop. Also we have to keep him extra warm for the coming days.

Will know more on Friday.

-Willem
 

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I am glad to hear that you have taken Robert to an avian vet who will help you determine the problems with his changed behavior. I just wanted to wish you and Robert lots of good vibes for his quick return to normal behavior!

I also wanted to mention that budgies do not need grit and it can even cause an impacted crop as they don't digest it. I would recommend not giving Robert any grit.

Best wishes and please keep us posted! :)
 
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Am glad your budgie has been to the vet! :)

Just as an aside - did you say you have grit on the bottom of the cage? If so, I would advise immediate removal. They do not need it ... in fact it can cause crop issues, sore feet and the glue used to stick the stuff down can poison them when they chew it (and they will - budgies love to chew) . Use plain paper (newspaper has ink fumes and is also strongly discouraged by the better vets - they believe it is part of the "toxic soup syndrome" that we are ALL exposed to. In the wild, the budgies do not have to contend with these things)

Good luck! :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi everybody, and thanks for the many positive replies! Robert is ok, though sits much on one place in his cage still.. Does his bird things, but still remains apprehensive. I hope he'll be fine in time and that Friday after the analysis we know more.

As far as grit is concerned: Well, it's not really grit. It's crushed seashells. But if that's also not ok then I'll remove it. But I think the post of Faery Bee seems to imply that such grit is ok. We kind of bought it because we wanted the best for our budgie you know. But often the enemy of good is better. :)

By the way: Anybody every encountered a budgie that is afraid of broccoli??? :eek: Well, turns out Robert is. I mounted some piece in his cage bars above his seeds, and he is pretty distressed with the suspicous green look of it..!! :S
 

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Robert could be afraid of the broccoli because it's a new element in his cage. If he's feeling under the weather, he feels even more vulnerable and might be less accepting of new things. You could try feeding him fruits and veggies that he's already familiar with or presenting him with fruits and veggies and then pretend that you're eating some yourself where he can see you (you'll have to act like you really like it!). You can also place something by his favorite spots to perch along with a little millet. :)

Good luck! :)
 

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By the way: Anybody every encountered a budgie that is afraid of broccoli??? :eek: Well, turns out Robert is. I mounted some piece in his cage bars above his seeds, and he is pretty distressed with the suspicous green look of it..!! :S
Yes, my budgie was afraid of broccoli, too. But now he likes it (or at least he likes destroying it... I can't tell how much he actually eats.)

I would let him befriend broccoli on his own terms at his own pace. If you put it right above his seeds, you're forcing him to approach it in order to eat his regular meal, and maybe he'd rather hang back and watch this mysterious green thing for a while first.

One thing you can try is putting a treat he really likes (like millet maybe) in a certain dish or clipped to the bars in a certain place. Gradually sneak in some veggies in the same place so he gets the idea that whatever is in that dish/place is possibly food. Sprinkling the veggies with a bit of seed at first can help.
 
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