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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

So one of our budgies always has a bad time with molts. We can generally tell when he is going to start molting, because he will start to sleep a lot more and be generally less active. We put it down to his age (6+ years from what we know).

About a week ago, our budgies had multiple night frights in the same night, so we had to keep taking the cover off and help them calm down. For that day and the day after he was completely knackered (sleeping for most of the day). Although this was probably to be expected, I noticed his poop was very watery (basically. a 2cm ring of water with a tiny amount of urates etc. in the middle). This rang alarm bells for me, so I decided to see how he was on the third day.

Thankfully, his poop returned to normal, and that day he was more active. I know that budgies like to hide illnesses, so I've been keeping an eye on him since all of this happened. What I've noticed is that his activity levels are returning to normal (the last two days especially, he's been almost back to his insane self). His poos however are sometimes quite watery (occasionally they return to normal).

In my experience, if poos are 100% off all the time then it's a sign of illness. Also, if budgies perk up very slightly but not any more then I know they are trying to hide something. I'm confused about him though. My only guesses are:

a) A bad molt is about to happen and he had a very poorly timed bad night (he is definitely been preening more over the last two weeks)
b) Something is stressing him out. Again, could well be the molt as he suffers quite badly
c) He's eaten something he shouldn't have. I've taken out a seed bell thing but it hasn't affected poops. My other option is the millet sprays we have are going off (I'm scrapping them anyway and getting new ones just in case)
d) He's picked up some kind of infection. I'm keeping a close eye on him for this reason in case any of my 'instincts' are wrong. I can only go based off knowledge and previous experience, which is why I haven't yet booked an appointment as I'm almost convinced that I'm paranoid.

Oh, also we checked him for a few things:

1) Weight - we could feel his keelbone very slightly, but we know this is normal: we have another budgie in the same situation and he is completely fine. No sharpness or anything
2) Temperature - his feet were warm - not hot or cold. This indicates to me that his body temperature is OK. If he was cold I would have immediately called the vet
3) His nostrils etc. are all clear.
4) Behaviour - when he's awake and not relaxing he is alert/chatting away to other budgies/the mirrors etc. He likes to stand on one foot and relax, so that behaviour has not changed.
5) EDIT: Diet - All of our birds are on this 'premium' seed mix (it's different seeds mixed with dried fruits). They all love the stuff and chug it down! They also get some carrot in the cage daily, as well as broccoli or spinach, and on occasion some celery (although we try to avoid it too much, mainly because it's full of water but also because of the crunching noises :D). Other things we occasionally give them are strawberries, lemongrass (which is expensive and they like to chuck it off the cage) and other veggies and a bit of fruit. Again, they all like it to varying degrees (some like to fully it eat whilst others like to nibble/play with it and chuck it off the cage)

What does everyone think? My gut tells me that if he keeps having weird poops and can't find a reason why (such as a sudden appearance of pin feathers) I may well book an appointment. This situation just seems so weird to me. I've had ill budgies before, and none of them behaved like this.

(P.S. thank you for reading my long story :001_tongue:)
 

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I agree with you. If the weird poops continue for another day or so then I'd definitely have him checked by your Avian Vet.
It's always better to find out early if there is a hidden illness.
 

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I think you’re on the right track. If the unusual droppings persist for no apparent reason, I agree with booking a vet visit. Best to have peace of mind and know all is well, or if it’s an illness it can be caught and treated right away. Best of luck. Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hello again everyone,

He was doing well until yesterday morning, when I noticed he was looking a bit tired again. After coming back from work in the evening, he was the same. I also noticed that he was only eating millet (usually he's a junkie and eats everything). His feet were still warm, but he was a bit thinner. He also still had polyuria.

Anyway, I took the cover off this morning, and with his slushly poops and general fluffed up look I pulled the 'alarm'. At 8:30 in the morning he should not look like he wants to go back to sleep (humans might, because we're lazy ;) ).

The result of it all is that he is underweight, and is now in the vet hospital. He's had an x-ray and they've found that his liver is a bit enlarged (they're concerned it's fatty liver) and are doing blood tests etc.

I think regardless of our balanced diet that we give all of them, we're going to eliminate the seeds altogether and get all of our budgies on pellets instead.

When we got him, he was over two years old and didn't eat any vegetables
(I don't think he was well looked after and was given seeds only). I do wonder if his 'previous life' affected his health in some way. Anyway, now we have no choice and I don't want to go down this route again with on of ours and the only way to solve it is diet.
 

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You did the right thing by taking him to the vet, since they are doing blood work that should tell a lot. If it is the liver he may also have a bit of inflammation as well. If he is already underweight you will need to be very careful about changing the diet, for him and other birds, it is important that he gets enough food to get proper nourishment so if you take away the seeds completely and he does not eat the pellets that is not appropriate, a diet change is best done very gradually over several months. Please keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!

Yeah, last time we did a diet change we mixed the different foods in gradually until they were completely replaced. I’m expecting the same thing to happen here (may have to crush the pellets up first).

Of course if anybody has a better suggestion please let me know
 

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When I introduced pellets to my budgie, my Avian Vet recommended using Harrison's High Potency Mash and sprinkling it on the budgie's seed mix every day. This way, when the budgie hulls the seed it tastes the pellet mash and ingests bits of it as well. This helps the budgie identify the taste as a food source.

Many members seem to find the easiest pellets to use for introducing pellets to their budgies to be the CANARY sized
(Extra-Small) Zupreem fruity pellets. Most budgies like the taste and the "Canary" sized pellets are tiny enough for them to easily eat them. Once they've become accustomed to the Fruity Pellets, introducing the smallest "natural" pellets is then an easy step.

My budgies all love the natural Roudybush Crumbles and Minis now.
 

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Good advice above for diet. Sending best wishes for an accurate diagnosis and speedy recovery. :fingerx::hug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you!

Picking him up today. I’ve ordered Harrison’s High Potency stuff and will be sprinkling it on their main seed mix and then will gradually introduce them properly over the next month or so.
 

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I'm glad to hear he's coming home today. :thumbsup:

I hope the transition to the pellets using the Harrison's mash works as well for you as it did for me.
Please be sure to let us know how things progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you very much 🙂

We brought him home last night. The good news is that the blood test didn’t show any signs of infection or other issues.

The bad news is that it means it is most likely a fatty liver issue. They’ve given me this stuff that is half way between a supplement and medicine for his liver, which he should take once a day either in food or water via syringe. Because we don’t want to stress him out, I’ve sprinkled it on some millet and he’s been eating some of it. I’m going to keep doing that in the evening to see how that goes. Meanwhile I’ll be transitioning them to pellets.

He’s still looking tired (although he isn’t tired when alert), but I’ve seen him eat and his poop was relatively ok last night (a lot more feces this time and a lot less watery). The other budgies want to interact with him, which he does do on occasion but I think sometimes he just wants to be left alone when he’s feeling tired.

I tried crushing some of the pellets last night, er but it turns out I might have the wrong tools! So I’ve ordered a mortar and pestle just to see how I get on with that. Failing that I’ll stick them in a salt/pepper grinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
UPDATE:

It's been four days since getting him back from the vet. It's difficult to tell on progress, because it's not a simple infection where antibiotics fight it and that's it.

Anyway, Sometimes he's completely mad (right now he's chatting away to another budgie), and other times he's completely asleep. It's more obvious when he's trying to catch a nap and other budgies want to play. BUT he is still interacting, and talking in the mirror etc. so that's good.

What I have noticed is that today he has been a bit of a piggy (seen him eating a lot more than he has in the last week). I'm hoping this means his weight and strength goes up.

As far as droppings go, it's difficult to tell because he is eating more vegetables now. They can be watery, but they're no longer 100% water with a bit of poop in them.

I've been giving him the supplements via sprinkling them on a bit of millet (it's not a 'required' dosage, so if he doesn't have all of it then it's not an issue). At first it was a great success, but as the days have gone by the other budgies are getting jealous of him getting his own personal piece of millet :001_tongue: PLUS he's now getting a bit wise to something tasting different and keeps using distraction tactics to get other bits of millet instead (basically he's outsmarting me). It may mean that I have to start mixing it with water and using a drop form a syringe. If anybody has any better ideas PLEASE let me know.

Diet-wise he's only allowed the small piece of millet I give him. Other than that they've been getting vegetables (as above, he is eating them) and I've sprinkled a load of the pellets mashed up onto their normal mix. I've put more on today and they looked slightly apprehensive, but now some of it's moved they've been eating away. I'm hoping to gradually cake the stuff on their food until they're properly ingesting it and then start to replace it with the full ones.
 
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