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Thank you very much. I covered him and put the cage near the other one so he could at least hear and see the other budgies. He calmed down a bit and ate some of the millet. I know too much millet is far from ideal, but given what happened, I was just happy he was eating. He seemed calmer later in the day.

That is perfect. You want to ensure that he continues to eat and drink.
Sending lots of love and healing energy for your little guy.
💜💜
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
Thank you. I was wondering, however. As I said, I have one hen who's been laying eggs that I've been replacing with dummy eggs. I don't know for sure because I didn't see what happened in the moment but I suspect she might have hurt Napoleon given how he was running from her. This morning she was a bit angry towards her other cagemates, and they were also avoiding her. If this is because the egg laying is making her hormonal, would it best to isolate her until this passes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #106 · (Edited)
Two others, another female and a male. The two girls have always bickered, but it's never been serious, and she gets along well with the male. She had recently been pecking Napoleon if she got an opportunity, but only after his sickness got worse. Originally she would let Napoleon feed her and sing to her, and even followed him expecting to be fed. I've read that budgies will sometimes chase off a sick member of the flock, so I thought it was that.

I'm still unsure about separating her, if I'm honest. I may have overreacted when I wrote the post. She did open her beak at the other female, but the other female went to a different perch and it didn't escalate beyond that. I'll be keeping a close watch on all of them, in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 · (Edited)
Good news! Napoleon's vet visit went pretty well. The vet said he could hear Napoleon breathing better during the physical exam, not fine yet, but Napoleon's not breathing as hard as he was before. He had lost weight to 30 grams at our visit last week, but after last week's visit and doxy injection, Napoleon's back to 32 grams. The vet also checked the injury on the toe. While the injury is a stress that Napoleon did not need right now, the vet said it wasn't sprained and the bone wasn't injured. There's a little discharge from Napoleon's nose, but not much.

The vet gave Napoleon his second doxy injection and we scheduled a check-up for next week. The vet said some birds are okay with two injections, while others end up needing three or four, so we'll decide what to do based on Napoleon's condition next week. Does anyone have any experience with doxycycline injections? Is that the process?

Today Napoleon still seemed uneasy in the hospital cage, but he was eating more than yesterday and even chirped a little. He had been chirping quite a bit a couple days after the first doxy injection, but stopped chirping for a bit after the injury, so it's nice to see him feeling a bit better.
 

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That's good news, so glad he has gained weight and the toe injury is not serious. The frequency of the doxy injections depends on what is being treated, under some circumstances it is given as often as weekly as in the treatment of Chlamydiosis (Psittacosis).
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Thank you very much!

I ended up keeping Napoleon in the hospital cage from the Tuesday when he was bitten, to Sunday. I was uneasy about returning him to the cage with the others, but over the course of the week, I noticed he just wasn't eating as much as he used to. Throughout all of this, the most hopeful thing was that he kept eating so well, and it made me nervous that he was now eating less. So Sunday I decided to put him back in the cage with the others. So far, there haven't been any major problems, and I'm keeping a very close watch on them.

Napoleon's appointment at the vet this week also went well. The vet said he didn't hear the raspiness in Napoleon's breathing that he used to hear, though he said Napoleon was breathing faster than usual. The vet thought that might be stress. Napoleon was again 32 grams, so he didn't gain weight, but he also didn't lose weight either. The vet also said he checked Napoleon's ability to grip with his feet. Previously Napoleon had a very weak grip, but during this last visit the vet said Napoleon was gripping better. Napoleon is still having difficulty balancing, but the vet says the neurological symptoms accompanying infections could take some time, possibly weeks, to completely disappear.

The vet had two recommendations: a third doxy injection to make sure we get rid of the bacteria and a beak trim. The vet had previously agreed that Napoleon's beak was too long, but hadn't wanted to stress Napoleon while he was sick. Since Napoleon was now doing better, the vet believed the beak trim could help at this point. Next week I'm due to call the vet with an update to see if a fourth injection is necessary.

Everything going forward is dependant on how Napoleon's condition progresses. For now, I'm seeing a lot of positive signs. While wobbly, he doesn't lose his balance as much as before. He can do a lot more that he couldn't before. I see him frequently scratching his head with his leg, which before used to either be a struggle or just impossible for him. Preening is less difficult for him as well, and he's able to open up his tail and preen his feathers, where before he would lose his balance if he tried. When he walks on the bottom of the cage, he's again not losing his balance as much as he used to. And periodically throughout the day he'll chirp, not as loud as before he was sick, but he is chirping more often where before he wasn't. Progress is slow but noticeable.

I'm wondering how much I should push for a fourth doxy injection. I read that in cases of psittacosis doxy is given for 45 days, which would be more than the four weeks the vet has mentioned. Then again, we don't know if Napoleon has psittacosis or something else. We do know that he is clearly responding to the doxy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
Thank you very much!

Napoleon continues to improve, though at a slow pace. Multiple times I've seen him chirping to one of my female budgies, or chirping and bobbing his head to the mineral block or to a perch, something he used to do when he was healthy. He's sleeping less, and preening and chirping much more. He's still unbalanced, though.

I'm also concerned that three times I've seen him sleeping on the bottom of the cage: last Sunday, last Wednesday, and Saturday. He'll place his beak under his wing and just nap. Occasionally he goes to the dummy eggs in the cage for the egg laying female, and I've seen him touch the dummy eggs with his beak and bob his head at the dummy eggs, like he used to do to his toys when he was well. I genuinely don't know why he does it. After he wakes up, he jumps back up to the perches and is back to normal (or what is normal now during his recovery). When I emailed the vet about this, the vet said to monitor Napoleon and send an update Monday.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Sleeping on the bottom of the cage is usually a bad sign so I'm really concerned, but at the same time, he is significantly more energetic now than he was say at the end of October.

 

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I have no experience with older budgies sleeping on the bottom of the cage.
I have, however, had budgies that would lay on their tummies on a platform perch, the top of the cage or a seagrass trapeze.
My guess is that since Napoleon is still having trouble balancing, he chooses to sleep on the bottom of the cage (like a baby budgie would!) because it is safer and more secure for him.

He does look more active and happier in the last video you posted.

Please update us on Monday after you speak with Napoleon's vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 · (Edited)
Thank you very much to everyone!

Napoleon's still pretty young, I only got him this February, so I'm guessing he's between 10 and 11 months old. I should also add, Napoleon never sleeps at the bottom of the cage at night. I've checked after I cover the cage, and I find Napoleon either on a middle perch or somehow on one of the highest swings, the ones he can't seem to reach during the day. He only sleeps on the bottom of the cage for periods during the day. When I first emailed the vet about this, the vet had also mentioned that Napoleon might nap on the bottom of the cage because of trouble balancing.

I was so worried this might mean he was taking a step back in his recovery despite his improvement in other regards. If it is trouble balancing, I can definitely make changes in the cage to help. The vet did mention that neurological symptoms from the infection could take longer, even weeks, to disappear.

I tried to get him a flat perch before. Since I couldn't find one at a local store, I bought one very large perch and my father sawed part of it off so it would have a flat surface. It's been in the cage for weeks now, the other budgies use it, but Napoleon only once attempted to use and otherwise ignores it. That said, the platform perching looks a like a great idea. I'll try that and see how Napoleon reacts.
 

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You can make additional modifications to your cage to accommodate Napoleon's problems in balancing.

 

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Discussion Starter · #117 ·
Just finished talking to the vet. I explained everything I had noticed in Napoleon, improvement with some weakness late Sunday, and included some videos. At this time the vet isn't worried about the napping at the bottom of the cage, because it could be due to balancing issues. However, while I was cleaning the cage Sunday, Napoleon jumped to the bars of the cage and from there to another perch. While he was on that perch, I noticed some tail bobbing.






The vet said to keep an eye on that, because tail bobbing could be a sign of respiratory problems. If it continues, the vet thinks we should make a new appointment to decide whether Napoleon needs more antibiotics or further tests.



I've been watching Napoleon closely all day because of that. I've noticed sometimes when he sleeps, he doesn't seem to have a tail bob or if it's there, it's extremely minor, as here:






Other times, I do notice a tail bob, as in these two videos:






I'm sending these videos to the vet, but I'd be really grateful for any insight. Does it look like Napoleon might be having respiratory problems in these videos, or is the tail movement normal?
 

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In the second and third videos, it does appear the tail bobbing is more pronounced than just "normal" breathing.
Are you using a warm mist humidifier in the room? You can put a couple of drops of 100% pure essential eucalyptus oil in the water to help keep the airways open.

I believe, after seeing the videos, the vet is going to recommend Napoleon has another vet visit.
 

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I see a slight bob, a tail bob is not always due to a respiratory infection, it can also be due to abdominal issues or any swelling of internal organs. There is not much room inside so if anything swells it takes up the space that the lungs and air sacs occupy and that effects the breathing because the expansion capability is reduced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #120 ·
Thank you very much for the advice and insight!

It's been great seeing Napoleon happier and healthier lately, so if another visit is necessary to get him back to 100%, that's what I'll do. I just hope this doesn't mean his condition is worsening at all.
 
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