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Risk vs Benefit on X-ray for Budgie?

898 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  justmoira
Hey guys,it's been a long depressing, and at times infuriating whirlwind of trying to get vet help for my budgies.

I've finally found a vet clinic who seem advanced (as can be on this island) and willing enough to help me figure out what's going on with them. They are general vets,but have been vets for years,and I believe the team will be referring to the expertise of one vet who has interests in Avian Medicine.

She used to work at the Kennedy Heights Animal and Bird Hospital in Surrey,Canada. The reason I'm going to them is they are the only vets able to do a crop swab/crop wash in my country. However,the primary patients for them here are cats and dogs,with the occasional exotic.

I had been planning to get an X-ray done when I went for my budgies in addition to getting a crop wash/swab done and a fecal wet mount to determine mainly the causes of their coughing fits,detect possible AGY and why Percy's cere has changed to a deep brown from rich blue recently.

I wanted to get the X-ray done is I wanted to see if we could detect any issues with Percy's gonads,given his cere colour change,and why he has been having a tiny fresh blood droppings twice each month,the past 3 months. Also to determine if both budgies have ingested anything they shouldn't have,and to see if we can find an enlarged proventriculus as seen in Avian Gastric Yeast in case the other tests don't work.

Also to see any air sac issues as Percy and Annabeth have had these coughing fits since they were 2 months.

However,the vet warned me of the possible risks.She told me sometimes birds have a heart attack,and pass away when doing an X-ray. I think she mentioned due to stress. Typically,she mentioned that they are anaesthetied with isoflurane and taped down to get the best images.They are using digital radiology and it would take about 10 seconds to get each shot.

But I plan to ask her more of the circumstances,like if they were very sick,not used to being handled,not good with stress,if it was during the anaesthesia,and they couldn't be revived.

I really wanted to get one done for them both,but now I am really afraid of the risks.And budgies weigh so few grams,compared to bigger birds. My birds are both generally hardy,yes they do get scared,but Annabeth has flown away twice and survived the wild. Also they are generally active and alert,exercising and singing most of the day.

I'm going to ask if I can do the x-ray without anaesthetic. But I'm not sure if that would be even more risky for them.being conscious and taped down.

The vet said if he did have a testicular tumour,they would probably be able to feel something. But I would like to check for the other things.

I don't know,I'm just quite scared now. I had been so sure about the x-rays after hearing people's experiences,now I'm second guessing. I don't want to do something that would make me lose them,after fighting for them for so long.
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In the end you have to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons. I don't think the vet would recommend x-rays if they thought your birds were at high risk for passing away; personally I would think it more stressful for them to not be unconscious while pinned down and x-rayed
Thank you so much. Upon speaking to the vet, they said they only had 2 patients pass, who were already pretty sick at the time, an owl and budgie.

And it was due to the stress of handling that they got a heart attack, not due to anaesthesia for the X-ray.

Given that they will be supplementing light anaesthesia and oxygen, for maybe a minute max to capture the digital radiographs, I think the benefit currently outweighs the risk. My birds are also generally robust and alert, aside from their occasional symptoms.

Hopefully, the test goes well tomorrow.

Again, thank you. I didn't know how uncommon it was for vets to not offer birds x-rays, so I see this as a good sign.
I've had to get x-rays for my girl budgie when she had an egg laying problem. She was fat and so I was also told there was a potential risk, but we did it anyway because the egg laying was becoming chronic. She always was fine so I'm glad I did. I'm sure your babies will be fine too :)
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