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I have an all-white female budgie named Snowy who has been very sick for about two weeks now.

We took her to the vet as soon as we noticed something was not right. She was fluffed up and kept nodding off even upon getting her out of the cage. Her poop had been looking a bit yellow for the past two days and we hadn't thought anything of it (though should have known).
My 10yo usually feeds her once per day but if the seed doesn't look like its all eaten he just gives it a bit of a stir. Problem is we were giving her Coles brand Budgie and Canary mix for the last 12-18months after we moved house. As it didn't contain any vegetable oils I thought it was a good choice plus it had all these added ingredients, pellets etc that I thought would be good for her. As it turns out she has been picking over it all and just eating the millet. I had walked past her cage about a week before she started getting sick and had noticed her seed badly needed changing. I tipped the whole lot out and gave her a fresh containerful. The poor thing was starving she was so keen to get to the seed. She acted very similarly when I switched out her Coles brand seed for some fresh finch mix from the animal produce store, after we discovered she was sick.

As soon as we noticed she was sick we took her to the vet for some free emergency treatment - 1/2hr in the humidicrib. They wouldn't let me out the back while they examined her and she screamed and screamed. It was so distressing. Apparently they wouldn't let me hold her due to "Workplace Health and Safety" issues in the event that my own pet bit me! (She does this at home anyway!) Anyway, it was such a foreign environment for her that I just wanted to get her back home where I could give her less stressed out care. That and the vet wanted to charge $150 per day to keep her in their hospital.

I was told that without running tests they believed it was probably a liver problem as I had suspected but that it would cost a minimum of $50-$70 just for their consult, extra for tests etc. I was told that if they kept her in they would likely give her a course of aggressive antibiotics and fluids and then send her home for me to do the same. I declined their antibiotics and said I would prefer to give her colloidal silver as I had heard of people giving it to their show birds with great success. I have now been doing just this for the past week or two. They gave me a little syringe to do this with, which she gladly accepted fluids from for the first few days before become quite distressed by it so I stopped and just put it in her water container.

I have been doing my best to keep her in the warmest part of the house each day which has managed to defluff her feathers when she is warm enough. She is still quite sleepy and depressed however with only the very very very occasional chirp.

Usually quite keen to eat carrot, apple, parsley, milk thistle etc she hasn't wanted any of it since becoming sick. I gave her a piece of orange peel a few weeks ago from a friends farm before realising recently that the orange peels weren't washed....I do wonder if perhaps that could have been a factor as well.

Whilst I was syringe feeding her I made up lots of goodies in a blender which I fed to her for a day or two before she baulked at it - parsley, chives, milk thistle, broccoli, cauliflower, apple, orange, scrambled egg (no fat or salt added), aloe vera juice, natural apple cider vinegar, cabbage. I have also been syringing or putting aloe vera juice in her liquid. I am unsure if I have been giving the correct dilutions of aloe vera juice/colloidal silver/apple cider vinegar and whether it is OK to mix all three. I have been trying to change the water every 3 days due to the aloe's potential to go bad.

After all this her poop went from being yellow all over - poop, urates and urine to a light green now dark poop but still yellow urates. Her urine has also at times been yellow. I have taken everything out of her liquid today and just given her straight filtered water (fluoride still left in unfortunately...don't know if that could be making things worse as I know that's not good for humans or animals yet they still add it to our water supply). I have also syringed her some water today. Her urine is looking clearer but I have noticed overnight that her poop is getting quite large now.

I give her a sock filled with rice and closed with velcro as a heatpack on her perch at night which she seems to appreciate. She climbs up on top of and snuggles up next to her mirror which seems to keep her company. When its taken away and put back in the cage she cheers up slightly and goes to almost talk to it. Usually I just flick the dry poop off the sock but today it was too large and wet that I had to give her a bath to wash it off her feet and feathers.

I've been told that both the mirror and patting her, whilst she likes it, could be sexually stimulating her and causing her unnecessary stress if she cannot then release her sexual tension. Reluctantly I stopped patting her after this and took the mirror out for a day or tow but to encourage her to sit on the heatpack I reintroduced it. Now that she has the idea I guess I could take it back out again. I also put a towel in the dryer at night to warm it up and place over her cage along with a small baby quilt to keep her well insulated.

Whilst bathing her today I noticed that her keel is becoming very prominent and her breathing is sounding like a ticking clock. The feathers around her bum are also looking a bit untidy but if shes had diarrohea I guess that is to be expected. What also alarmed me upon placing her back in the cage is that one of her toes on her left claw was pointing a bit sideways. I took her back out to have a look and cleaned up some dried up poo on the toe and could see a red spot nearby and in the crack between the toes. Yesterday she got herself caught on the heatpack as I was placing it in the cage - she gets quite excited and climbs all over it. Her claws have gotten very long...which is my fault for not trimming. I'd trim them now but I am thinking I might need to get a seperate pair of clippers to the household I will look into that...but I am not sure whether this is a seperate issue to the general sickness or somehow related. I am also unsure what to do for her toe which now looks rather skewed. I am thinking it may have already been curled before the incident with the heatpack which is what caused her to become hooked in it in the first place.

I just feel so awful that she is like this....and that it could be a result of something we have or haven't done. We have had her for 5 years but couldn't ascertain exactly how old she is as she was given to us by another family who could no longer have her as a pet for their autistic child as it wasn't working out really well. We were told at the time that she was still a baby but just how young that was we wouldn't know. If I had known things could become so bad and so expensive with even a bird I would not have taken her on as I don't believe in having dogs or cats unless we can afford Pet Insurance. There are no avian vets in our area and the local vet could charge us a fortune for as much of a hit and miss game as we are already taking. I figure if we can work out what the possibilities could be and treat her as though she could have any of those conditions then we are providing the best care for her that we the comfort of her own home without the stress of strange people and noisy cats and dogs. The vet has already advised us that either way this could be a palliative care situation but they certainly weren't expecting her to still be alive after this long.

Can anyone advise what natural remedies I may be able to offer my bird that I am not already doing or what dilutions I should be using etc?

Super Moderator
5,604 Posts
Sorry to read your bird is ill. An adult should always be overseeing a child taking care of any pet as a child may not have the patience or proper understanding to care for the pet properly. Based on what you have said it does seem that your bird has a liver issue, the yellow urates are probably a result of a compromised liver. The fact that you can feel the keel bone and are hearing sounds when breathing is not good and medical intervention is really needed at this point, if she does have an infection she needs the antibiotic to clear it and the longer you wait the less chance there is of a successful outcome. I am not aware of any natural remedies that will clear a bacterial infection and at this point your bird's immune system is compromised. Birds tend to go downhill quickly when they are ill and you need to act quickly. I would go back to the vet and get the antibiotics. I don't know where you are located but I am not familiar with the brand of food you were feeding but you need to provide a quality seed mix that is made for budgies and not canaries, you can also provide pellets in a separate dish. You need to be changing the water and food on a daily basis, more often if necessary.

Super Moderator/Member of the Month October 2015
6,764 Posts
Excellent advice given by Cody :thumbsup:. While Holistic/Wholistc (it can be properly spelled either way) remedies are often good as preventives, and for certain issues, we generally believe that if your budgie is as ill as described, it may be best to turn to traditional medicine under the guidance of an avian vet.

Don’t blame yourself for this. You said it could be the result of something you could have done or haven’t done. But not necessarily. Many times, budgies just have the genetic likelihood of things going wrong, despite the best care. Then there are other budgies who beat the odds regardless of what they’ve been through. All we can do is know that we are doing the very best we can for them. :hug:
I wish you all the best with Snowy. Please keep us posted on her vet visits and progress.

* Please make sure you read through all the Stickies and Articles here. There are some interesting topics, excellent advice, and answers to other questions you might have.

MOTM March 2012
5,289 Posts
You should not be mixing all of those things in one go. You should also be changing the water daily at a minimum not every 3 days.

This bird needs a vet and will likely need antibiotics and failure to provide this care really is not on. Even if it is a palliative care situation you should still be doing the best you can for them and vet treatment is absolutely necessary at this point. You should really have taken the antibiotics to begin with rather than trying to treat at home on the cheap.

This may seem harsh but I only have the birds interest in mind here.

And I've just noticed that you don't always replace the seed daily. This must be done everyday regardless of if it looks eaten. A seed pot can look full but it could just be husks.

59,441 Posts
Hi! :welcome: to Talk Budgies

I'm sorry to hear your little Snowy is so sick.
At the very minimum, I recommend you call your local vet and ask them to prescribe an oral broad spectrum antibiotic for her.
The vet should be able to give you an antibiotic that will help with the respiratory issues that can be administered orally via syringe twice a day. The type that is administered orally will be more effective than the type given in water.

While she is on the antibiotics, she should not be receiving Apple Cider Vinegar and I would stop the aloe vera as well.

Mixing milk thistle and dandelion root into her food can be continued however.

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These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.

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43 Posts
I am not a vet, but I am a dietitian (for humans). It sounds like you are doing a huge variety of natural remedies. However, I think the focus should be high calorie foods if your bird is underweight. Are you able to take a weight with a food scale? All the natural remedies in the world won't matter if your birdie isn't getting enough nutrition overall.

From what I have gathered from others, I would suggest foods that are easy for a weak bird to eat like seeds soaked overnight (softer to crack open for the bird), steel cut oats, nuts or sunflower seeds chopped really small or ground into a powder. There is also a weight gain supplement powder called Avigain. Just some ideas. Hard to know what other wholistic remedy to try if the problem is not specifically identified...
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