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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got two budgies, one has always been vibrant and healthy and strong, the other has been a tad odd since the day I got her. They're both females, as far as I can tell. Strong one is 4 - almost 5 - months old. The weak one is 1 month younger. She's much more lethargic, she doesn't seem as strong when she perches on my finger, she always moves herself very slow and gently, whereas my older one hops about with confidence and I can feel the strength in her legs when she perches.

The young one has had digestive problems for the longest time, I'd say they started around the 3 month mark. Back when this all started, it was just before bed and she was continuously vomiting seeds up. She'd rush to eat, vomit, wait five minutes, then do it again over and over. The next morning I took her to the only vet that deals with birds. The vet didn't even examine her, just gave me "antibiotics" which weren't even antibiotics, but probiotics and vitamins. They didn't work, and the entire process was so incredibly stressful for my bird. I then started to notice their poop was loose, large and an odd colour (no bad smell), with the lethargy, excessive sleeping, etc. It isn't always the case, though. There will be brief windows where she poops normally, has tonnes of energy, and is extremely active and jumping around and chirping. Days like today, however, she is quiet, sleepy, and lacking in energy. I've fed them the same exact diet since they were babies, a mix of pellets and seed. She hasn't vomited since that ordeal.

Below is a picture, left is strong budgie's poop (it was coiled but when I moved it, it uncoiled), right is weak budgie's poop. They're almost always like this, it just doesn't look good.

poop.jpeg

Strong budgie has never had diarrhea like this, so whatever it is isn't infectious, and they regularly regurgitate for each other. I would take her to a vet again but my experience last time was awful (trust me when I say this, there are no reliable vets). The Middle East is atrocious when it comes to veterinary care. I'm going back to the vet with this picture, but I honestly have no confidence in their abilities. If they do prescribe me antibiotics, I'll be hesitant to give it to the weak one as I don't want to nuke what little healthy bacteria she has, when it might be fungal or parasitic. They don't even do poop screening to determine exactly what the issue is!

Any help would be appreciated, I feel like she gets weaker and weaker as time passes. I forgot to mention that it's a common occurrence to see her vent with poop stuck on it. It can be really bad at times, with an entire poop hanging out.

poop2.jpeg
 

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it could be intolerance to what it’s eating. Have you try switching its food? Also, can you find another Vet? Also, when you take pictures of the poop, it’s better to do it of whatever you use on the bottom of the cage. That’s the only good way to see what the real color and shape is.
 

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Sorry you bird is having a problem, unfortunately without a proper diagnosis the correct treatment cannot be established. When the droppings of the bird in question are abnormal do they always look like the bulky whitish colored dropping in the picture? Try searching for an avian vet in your country in this link and see if you have any success. https://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803 If there are any zoos in your area you could try contacting them and asking if they could put you in contact with a vet that they use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
it could be intolerance to what it’s eating. Have you try switching its food? Also, can you find another Vet? Also, when you take pictures of the poop, it’s better to do it of whatever you use on the bottom of the cage. That’s the only good way to see what the real color and shape is.
Intolerance doesn't make sense, they've been on the same diet ever since they weaned and were fine for a month. Diarrhea / bulky poop / lethargy / vomiting only started up around a month after they weaned. I'll try to get a picture of the poop on the cage liner next time, but it really does look exactly like the picture in real life. No colour correction or photo distortion.

Sorry you bird is having a problem, unfortunately without a proper diagnosis the correct treatment cannot be established. When the droppings of the bird in question are abnormal do they always look like the bulky whitish colored dropping in the picture? Try searching for an avian vet in your country in this link and see if you have any success. https://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803 If there are any zoos in your area you could try contacting them and asking if they could put you in contact with a vet that they use.
They always look exactly like in the photo, bulky and whitish colored describes it perfectly. I know this may seem impossible, but there are no reputable avian vets in this country. There is only one single vet that deals with birds but they're awful and don't have qualified staff, one of the downsides of living in the Middle East. I used aav.org and nothing came up, which I didn't find surprising. Contacting the zoo seems like a fantastic idea and I'll give that a go!

I would pay however much I had to, to get this bird back on the mend. I spend every day with them due to the pandemic and I've grown so close with them both. I think it may be AGY. I just saw them begging my other budgie for food, despite the fact they just ate and had some millet as a treat to get them used to a new toy. About 30 minutes ago, they flew into the cage to drink some water, then flew back out onto my knee and proceeded to vomit up some mucus liquid substance.

It's honestly one of the worst feelings caring so much about a creature, but knowing there's nothing you can do (in terms of taking them to a vet) to get them sorted. All I can hope is whatever this is, they manage to fight it off. I would be absolutely destroyed if they passed away. I also wish other posters would follow through with updates! I've come across multiple posts that perfectly match the problem I'm having, and the final post is always "I'll take them to the vet" and then not a single update.
 

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Sometimes the bulky whitish droppings can be a sign of a problem in the pancreas. Aside from contacting a zoo you might try and see if you can locate someone that breeds birds in your area and see if they have any suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Breeders here are basically the bird equivalent of puppy mills. The environment they breed these birds in is absolutely atrocious. The reason I have my two birds today is because I was saving them from one. I usually avoid them like the plague because it just depresses me, but I was dragged along to one and ended up getting these two just to give them a shot at a nice life, instead of inevitably being sold off to some kid that would cram them in a cage with no toys and eventually cause their death. They're not interested in being knowledgeable on birds, they just spew out as much as possible to make a quick buck.
 

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I understand, birds mills are awful and part of the reason there are so many problems with the birds that come out of them, they should be outlawed. If there are any universities around that have a vet curriculum, contact them and see if they have a clinic associated with them, they sometimes do.
 

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I'm so very sorry you are going through this. Thank you for rescuing the birds and for trying your best for them.
Have you tried contacting an on-line veterinarian?

Just Answer Veterinarian for Birds



Dr. Ross Perry
Work (612) 99825831
Calling from US/Canada: 011 61 2 9982 [email protected]
[email protected]
Skype and iChat: DoctorRossPerry

Appointments/Consultations/Skype/ichat/email
This is such good info since there are not that many Avian doctors available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So just to update, I contacted my local zoo and was put in touch with one of their in-house vets. They suggested metronidazole, so I was administering that twice a day for 10 days. I destroyed whatever bond Wasabi and I shared, but it was worth it. She became a different bird, she had energy again, I never saw her fluffed up, she was lively and energetic and had a voracious appetite, and her eyes were always alert and aware. When she perched on my finger, I could feel the strength in her legs. Her poops were no longer like the pictures I posted, they were perfectly normal budgie poops and I was incredibly happy. It felt like all the stress of catching and syringing antibiotics into her mouth paid off.

She's now back to square one! The first day after I stopped the antibiotics, her poops were still great and she was perfect. Day two, she started getting slightly puffy poops and they were a tad runny. Day three and she is back to full blown diarrhea, lethargy, constantly ruffled feathers and a general appearance of being sickly. and struggling to keep her eyes open. She's also back to being weak, when she perches on my finger and I nuzzle her with my nose, she can barely keep herself straight. She also moves about weakly.

Do any of you have advice? We know whatever is affecting her is destroyed by metronidazole. Do I get her back on a course of metronidazole? I'm scared of building up resistant bacteria. I've got them both on prebiotics as it's good for them, and I'm hoping I'll recolonize Wasabi's internal bacterial colonies with good stuff that helps combat whatever it is that's ravaging her.

PS: I am discussing with the vet and we're talking about a new course of action, but replies are slow. I figured I'd get a second opinion here, or just use this forum as a way to vent my frustration and hear from others. Ultimately, I will follow the advice of the vet.
 

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It can be trial and error to get the correct medication unless a fecal exam is done to determine what you are dealing with. If there is a bacterial infection some antibiotics are better with gram negative bacteria and some better with gram positive, it is commonly the gram negative that are pathogenic. It could also be that you are dealing with something in addition to a bacterial infection, for instance it is not unusual for a bird with Avian Gastric Yeast (AGY) to also have a secondary bacterial infection and unless the AGY is cleared the bacterial infection is likely to reoccur. Ask the vet if there is anywhere that you could get the droppings tested and also about switching the antibiotic to another one or maybe adding one to the Metronidazole or incorporating an anti fungal med, but again it would be best if a test could be run on the droppings .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll discuss with the vet again soon. I don't think a fecal sample is possible. The vet did hint at trying a combination of drugs, but as of right now, I'm back to administering metronidazole on their recommendation. They're not an avian vet but they're trying their best to help.

I honestly hate this. And it's only this one budgie that is sick, the other one is healthy and perfectly fine, despite the fact they've been living together for 4 months! All I can do is give them good food, as much prebiotics as I can, and hope this time around it's sorted out for good.

Seeing her healthy and happy for those last 2 days on the antibiotics made me feel so relieved, and now I'm devastated seeing her weak and lethargic again, argh!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hope that now she is back on the meds that she perks up again.
The change was almost immediate. It's the 2nd day of antibiotics and she's already back to her younger energetic ways. I just hope it sticks, this time around. How well she's doing is directly proportional to how easily she escapes my grasp because she's getting stronger. And I can confidently say she's a tough little squirmer lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
That's great news, was is the dosage you are giving?
Vet told me to get metronidazole (flagyl) but I couldn't find anything but tablets. It was prescription only but thankfully the pharmacist didn't bother to check. They're 500mg tablets. They told me to quarter the tablet and dilute it in 2ml of water, and then administer 0.01ml (the barest drop), which I do with a syringe diabetics use for insulin, as it's a 1ml syringe that lets me clearly see where 0.01ml is. I've removed the needle, obviously, so it's just a plastic nub that I put on the corner of Wasabi's mouth and drop the solution into. Most of the time it goes in first try, sometimes she'll wiggle last minute and I miss. If my math is right, she's getting about 0.625mg of metronidazole.

I asked if I could instead crush and dissolve the entire 500mg tablet into 8ml of water and was given the go ahead, it's a lot less faffing about. I keep the mixed solution in a plastic bottle so it doesn't evaporate and get stronger, as before I was making fresh batches every time which was ridiculous! I give it a vigorous shake then syringe up 0.01ml and we're good to go. The vet messaged me today and told me to bring Wasabi in sometime this week, so it'll be good to finally have her examined properly!

The next 3-4 days I'll be spending getting her used to the new travel cage, it'll be filled with treats and seeds and everything good in the world. I leave it on top of the cage and let her explore it whilst she's out all day. Figure if she's comfortable going in by herself, travelling to the vets will be a cakewalk. Funnily enough, despite all the trauma, she'll still fly to me when she's scared and sit on my shoulder. So getting her back in the cage once the vet visit is done shouldn't be too difficult.
 

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I'm glad she's still coming to you. Getting her used to the travel cage before the vet trip is excellent. I hope the vet visit goes well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I've started Wasabi on Legalon (milk thistle, or silymarin). Has anyone used this in the past? Paging Dr Cody. I've done my due diligence and it seems like a homeopathic kinda thing, I don't have any optimism regarding its efficacy. I give her some twice a day via syringe. The vet said I can put it on stuff she eats but I have a feeling she said that due to my track record of being a stupid fool that has previous experience overdosing his budgie.

Wasabi is almost 100% in terms of coordination. She's still quite weak, but she's flying confidently and moving around with ease. We had a little sing along today when I played music, she chirped up a storm sitting in the sunlight. I give her a teaspoon of seeds in the morning (after I've given them plenty of time to try the chop and pellets), then again in the afternoon, and one more right before bed, so the weakness isn't from hunger. She was equally weak when I had her on all the seeds she could eat.
 

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I am currently giving milk thistle to several birds. The product I use I get from the vet and it also has lactulose in it which helps rid the body of any ammonia build up which can happen when the liver is not functioning properly. It is in a thick liquid form and I give it right into the mouth via a syringe also. The stuff I have read about the treatment is that there has not been any definitive proof that it helps, then I ask, why do so many vets use it??? In the past when I have had birds with a severe liver issue they have also been on Metacam for it's anti inflammatory properties, and Ursodiol which is a bile acid., and antibiotics as necessary. So glad to hear that Wassbi is doing well.
 
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