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My bird has diarrhea and is sleepy

14657 Views 15 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  FaeryBee
Hi, I am quite new to this, but I really need help with my budgie Kiwi.
She will be 3 in six months and lives in a cage with a male budgie. They mainly have seed and fresh veg/ fruit diet.

She has been having watery droppings for about a week, but she was acting very normal, playing, chirping and eating normally. I thought it was due to some greens I've been giving them. She has always had a bit more watery and greenish color poop, ever since I got her. It was never a problem, she was acting the same as the other bird, maybe a bit less active, but I thought it's down to the fact that she's female.
A few days ago she was acting very sleepy and I noticed some undigested seed in her poop. I got worried and started to mix her water with cider vinegar, to see if it improves. It didn't do much so I ordered probiotics. After two days there was no improvement and she got worse.

She bobbs her tail a little and her breathing seems a bit hard, like she moves up and down a bit when she's breathing. But again, she was like this from the day I got her, and I thought it's normal and just her nature. She's been alright for the past 2 years so I never had a need to take her to the Vet.

When I woke up on Sunday and saw that she looks very weak and very sleepy I tried to offer her some food. She wasn't interested in food at all. Her droppings got worse, even more watery. I booked an emergency appointment to the Vet and was there in a few hours.

The vet examined her and said that she might have an egg, as she was breathing a bit heavily and she sensed something hard around her lower stomach area. She said it could also be tumour or some kind of inflammation. The only way to find out and treat appropriately would be having an x ray which requires anaesthesia and it has its risks, especially as she's quite weak atm.

I am very scared about an X-ray and had a bad feeling about it. I said I will wait one more day to see how she gets on. Kiwi got prescribed some antibiotics, pain killers and calcium.

I set up a hospital cage for her and separated from the other bird (which I think is a bit stressful for both of them). I've been giving her medicine and the next day she looked much better, she ate from my hand- broccoli, pear, seeds and millet. She was also chirping and even moving around a bit, but still was quite sleepy.

I put her in bathroom and ran a hot shower, so she is warm and comfortable. The vet said it might relax her to lay egg if she has one. I also got a nest as advised. I have feeling that it's not an egg, as she had a bit of these symptoms back in January but without watery droppings, I was also thinking she has an egg as she was kinda expanding her womb and sitting in a strange position. It passed in a few days.

Today she is the same- eats a bit if I give it to her. She preens herself and even chirped a bit. She doesn't seem as weak. I have uploaded a photo of her latest droppings. The only thing that concerns me is that she sits with her eyes closed so much and was even shivering at some point, even if I keep the room super warm. She doesn't move around, just sits on her favorite toy and occasionally has a drink or eats something. She was on the bottom of the cage eating sandpaper. I heard it might help their digestion? Maybe that's the reason she does that.

I am still very worried as I'm not sure what to do. I want her to get better, but not sure if this medicine will be enough for her. I am also scared of going through with an X-ray, as I would hate myself if she wouldn't wake up from it.

Do you think she has some kind of illness? Could it be temporary?

I appreciate your help!!!!


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Welcome to the forums!

I'm sorry your budgie has been sick... Did you take her to an avian vet specialist?
When budgies are about to lay an egg, they have very characteristics poops, they are massive in size and have more of a flattened out appearance.
The ones in the photo you posted don't correspond to this.

Having a nesting area available for her is not the best option.
Also sandpaper is harmful for budgies and can cause sores on their delicate feet, it's a misconception to believe sandpaper helps with digestion, this can in fact lead to serious digestive problems, like crop impaction, for example.
Please remove the sandpaper and don't offer her grit for the very same reasons.

If you didn't take your budgie to an avian vet specialist then I urge you to book an appointment. It's imperative that your budgie is properly examined in order to have the right diagnosis and treatment plan.

Best of luck!
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Thanks for your reply!

Ok, I'll remove the nest and sandpaper. They never really walk on the paper, as they are always on the perches. I just use it cause it makes it easier to clean the cage by changing those sheets constantly. This was the first time I saw Kiwi doing this.

The vet I say was an exotic specialist and has a good experience with birds. That's the best I could find in my town, as all the others are just a regular ones.
She needs to do an X-ray to have a diagnosis. Is it really that risky to put a bird under anesthesia?

Thanks for your help!
You're very welcome.

Instead of the sandpaper you can use regular newspaper to line the bottom of the cages.

Unfortunately, there are risks to anaesthesia, especially on such small birds that are already debilitated.

Did the exotics vet analysed the poops to check if there is a potential bacterial or fungal infection?
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No, she didn't check that. I think she just jumped to conclusions because she thought it's an egg and prescribed some medicine to see if Kiwi responds to that.

I will finish the course and if she doesn't get better I guess i'll have to ring to arrange some samples to be taken.

She is so happy when she sees the other bird as he's now alone in the big cage. When would you think be the best time to put them back together?
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Until you know what is going on with your budgie, it's best to keep her quarantined as a precaution, just in case the illness is contagious.
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Hi there and :welcome: to the forums!

I'm so sorry to hear your little girl has been sick! Given the symptoms she's had, I doubt very much that she's carrying an egg. My first though was AGY or Megabacteria, both illnesses which last a while before being detected and cause differences in droppings. They can be tested by a simple fecal test, which you can ask you vet to do.

Alus has given you excellent advice, and I hope you're able to figure out what's wrong with your little girl soon!

Please keep us posted on her condition :fingerx:

Meanwhile, be sure to read through the forum articles and "stickies" (threads "stuck" to the top of each subforum for reference) to ensure you stay up-to-date on the very best of budgie care! :thumbsup: If you have any questions afterwards, please do ask as we'd love to help!

Hope to see you around and I hope for the best with your little girl! :wave:
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Hi! :welcome: to Talk Budgies

I'm very sorry little Kiwi is so ill. :(

When there are simply no Avian Vets in your area, it is important to try find an Exotic Pet Veterinarian with extensive experience in small birds. It can take some time and research. I don't know if the vet you saw is experienced with small birds or not. If not, I would suggest you get a second opinion. I agree with Star that the symptoms could be due to AGY.

I've managed to locate a couple of exotic vets with experience with small birds who I believe are in your area and will send you the information via Private Message.

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 about budgies and caring for them will have been answered after you've read through all of them.

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How-To Guides
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
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Why Quarantine?

When you upload pictures as thumbnail attachments directly from your computer, tablet or phone, the forum automatically defaults to landscape.

To upload full-sized pictures with the proper orientation, please use a photo-sharing service such as PhotoBucket and follow the steps in these instructions:

For gender and/or mutation help - Lighting and Angle DOES matter

By the way, all photos entered in any of our forum contests must be a full-size photo and not a thumbnail attachment so it's good to know how to upload them! ;)

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

Glad you decided to join us and looking forward to seeing you around the forums.

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Many thanks for all your help. I really appreciate that!

I will try to make an appointment to get her droppings tested.

She woke up this morning and her poop looks a bit better. It is more formed and there is no clear liquid around it.

It's a nice and hot day in Brighton so she just naps now, she looks comfortable.
I fed her a bit of carrot.
Every time she drinks antibiotic water, she keeps rubbing her beak against the perch, I bet she hates the taste.

Also, she got prescribed pain killers to give twice a day in her mouth, but I only did it once, as I was worried of mixing so many drugs together. And it is not as easy to handle her, it stresses her out a lot.
Do you think she might be in pain and should i follow this course?

Thanks for advising.
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The antibiotic is the most important medication at this time.
Many budgies rub their beak/face on their perches after drinking even when they have just pure spring water. ;)

When you talk with your Avian Vet, tell her that handling Kiwi stresses her out and ask if she believes the pain medication is really necessary at this time.

Please be sure to keep us updated on Kiwi's condition. :hug:
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I just spoke to the Vet and they said that bacterial test won't show accurate due to the fact that she's on antibiotics now. They said that they can do parasite test, but if there's an improvement I should just continue with the course.

That's the she is much worse than yesterday.. she only ate what I gave her in the morning.. a little piece of carrot and a tiny bit of broccoli. She is sleeping all day, and every time I come to check on her, she stretches. That's all. I didn't see her drinking water at all and she had only one poop so far. It's not a diarrhoea at least, but it's green and quite big, also it has like a shine to it.

We just gave her pain killers, as maybe she felt worse because we skipped it yesterday.
I'll leave her now for a few hours so she gets some rest.

How can I encourage her to drink antibiotic water?
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Did you explain the the vet that there has been no improvement and you are extremely concerned?

Antibiotics administered through drinking water are not as effective as those administered orally by syringe or by the vet giving the bird an injection.

It is very important you stay in contact with the Avian Vet and provide updates regarding your budgie's condition.
Your Avian Vet is in the best position to provide you with counsel as she is a trained professional who has examined your budgie.

If you do not feel comfortable with your current Avian Vet's diagnosis and/or treatment plan, then I would suggest you seek another Avian Vet for a second opinion. Many times members get second or even third opinions from Avian Vets to ensure they are getting the best diagnosis and treatment for their budgies.

I'm wishing your little Kiwi a full and speedy recovery. :hug:
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Kiwi is looking a bit better today. But her poop is green and very watery again.
She preened her self a lot and ate very well in the morning- apple, pear and a bit of seed with probiotics in them. Still sleepy though.

She had a very bad day yesterday. Her bottom feathers had poop stuck in them and she tried to clean it off. She had it in her mouth so I was very concerned. I gave her a warm bath and this morning it's completely clean again. She vomited a clear liquid 2 times yesterday. She was so sad I didn't know how to cheer her up. I brought her cage to the other room to see Ocean, the other bird, and she completely changed. She was chirping and moving around, even ate a bit. Do you think it would be good for her to keep them in the same room, but different cages, so they can see each other? As she seems very lonely and sleepy when she's alone. Maybe she acts 'fine' around him to hide her illness? I can see Ocean is very stressed as he calls for her all the time and waits for reply.

Tomorrow is her last day of antibiotic and other medicine course. If she's gonna get worse after stopping them, I'll take her straight to the Vet again.
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Eating apple and pear is going to cause Kiwi's poop to be more watery.
Does she eat pellets as part of her diet or just seed, vegetables and fruit?

If she vomits at all today, you need to let your vet know. That is an important symptom that should not be ignored.
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Kiwi passed away this morning. I am devastated.

I woke up super early so I can check on her before going to work. She was laying on the bottom of the cage and moving her legs from time to time, fighting her weakness. Like she wanted to get up, but couldn't. I have this bad feeling that she was in pain. I put a heating pad close to her so she's warm. 20 minutes later she took her last breath and passed away.

I had already lined up an appointment with the Vet on Saturday, as that's the earliest they could've made it with my doctor.

I suspect she had a liver disease from the symphtoms I read.

I am so sad and holding back my tears at work all day.

RIP my sweet baby girl!
I'm very sorry for your loss of little Kiwi. :hug:
I know this is a very difficult time for you and you can feel free to send me a Private Message if you'd like to talk.

I'm closing this thread now.

If you'd like to make a memorial or tribute thread to Kiwi, you may do so in the "In Memory" section of the forum.

Fly high, soar free little Kiw; rest peacefully now wee one.
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