Hello everyone, I've not been here in a while, since we lost Bobby just before Christmas.
Well Honey hurt herself back before Christmas, we think she had a fall, as my husband herd her sqawking and came down to the lounge to find her holding her foot out. I took her to the vet who did a brilliant exam. I note that in the Isle of Man we do not have any avian vets, so to find a person at the surgery who even knows how to hold a bird was ace, this lady weighed her, checked her wings legs, ears eyes everything... And said she didn't think it was broken from feeling it, and prescribed Metcam. Now my birds don't like to be held, but Honey seemed to understand that when I gave her the meds she got and she started to get better so after about 3 to 4 weeks she was almost back to herself. The only thing is her chirp has changed, it's a little bit squeaky, and she's learnt to fly around the ( large) cage rather than just climb.
Then sadly we lost Bobby very suddenly. I note that Bobby was almost 7 and Honey is 9. So taking into account her age and I no longer have a back up ( spare cage) I made a decision not to get another bird at this time, I feel it would be like putting a teenager with a old person, and she would just get annoyed. I always believed she would cope on her own better. Well she went to a friends for Chirstmas when we were away, all good and fine, loads of attention, fresh foods and love.
I do my best for her, she's older and slower and much more patience with me.
But then just over a week ago I see she holding up her leg again, and not climbing too well, so I think she's fallen again.
So I call the vets and get in for an emergency appointment - by the way I was not told they would charge me £52 for that, luckly I had recently a bonus so I didn't care how much, however I was not happy with the exam, the vet hardly knew how to hold a bird and relied soly on my thoughts. I asked for more Metcam as it worked before, the vet said it wasn't for long term but based on Honeys age it would be ok.
So still not happy with her recovery I call the surgery today and ask or see Kate ( the good bird vet) and get to see her this evening. She looks over her and feels her leg, saying there appears no feeling in the lower leg and foot, and Honey is holding it out more. She's beging to get sore on the back of the top of her leg from leaning on this area. The vet says she's not underweight, and doesn't look as well as last time, but she doesn't think there's anything else she can do for her. She said to X-ray would be hard on her, and they partially sedate them, which is not good at her age, then she's not sure of they could do anything, surgery would be very distressing and dangerous.
So guys what do I do?
I've moved all perches right towards bottom of cage and even made a couple of budgie cushions ( carefully sewed together material without any loops or hitches). She's doesn't seem keen on this yet.
She's got good food and I've offered her fresh foods too,but she's not shown much interest recently in that. I know too much millet is not good but I'd rather she ate something to keep her strength up. Yesterday she fell off and climbed up so many times she was exhausted and breathing heavily. But generally she still chirpy and happy, she's not preening as much, but I do believe this is because she finds it hands to balance. She does sit inside the food bowl and willreen there.
Can I banadage her leg to avoid sores? What else can I do? I know she may not have many years left with us, so I would like to do anything I can to make her happy and comfy.
Sorry to hear of this problem. I can not fathom the frustration of not being able to get good vet help when your bird need's it. Sound's like you have done what you can with the low perch placement, and good nutrition, etc. Obviously keeping her comfortably warm is alway's good. I reported your post so maybe some of our experienced staff folk's can offer up some suggestion's...
Edit to add: Did the vet say what she suspected was causing the loss of feeling in the leg ?
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As Randy has said it is indeed a very frustrating feeling when you can not find an avian vet
Honey sounds like a dear and truly loved budgie.
With her age and the fact there are problems I feel you can only offer her comfort and as much tender loving care as you can. As long as she isn't in pain, which you will know I am sure, you are doing all you can. Keep her warm and place her food on a flat or low plate to the ground, same with water. I hope she recovers from this however only can make the decision regarding her welfare you will know when the time is right. Be strong Honey .
I am so sorry you have found yourself in this situation. Terrible for both you and honey
I would try bandaging the sore spot just to stop it rubbing and becoming potentially infected. The only other thing I would suggest is to set the cage up with some flat perching areas. I have these in my babies/young bird avairy and simply get a piece of wood, drill a couple of holes into it and use large washers and screws to attach to the bars.
Hope it works out and the balance issue is a temporary thing due to tiredness and stress.
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I'm really sorry to hear about Honey's condition. You could ask the vet to x-ray without sedation (my vet does this). They just hold the bird, and since they are looking at Honey's feet, it would probably be even easier than trying to get a picture of organs (like in my Sammy's case). My vet also wraps Sammy in paper towels, like a budgie burrito, to keep him from moving while they quickly get an x-ray.
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Here in the US woven grass mats are available as square swings with toys to preen in Pet solutions and Great companions. Windy city Parrots has handicap
swings/ shelf available if you are not handy. We take home made breeding perches and lay them parallel for budgie to lay across/ and or grasp so that budgie can preen/scratch/rest. our birds like the woven grass mats as they are softer. possible put soft cloth on bottom and cover with paper towel instead of wire floor also ramp with cross bars to higher perch may help. Be careful about falling into water dish -Use lixit or test tube with plastic foot for safety and less contaminated water. Lower every thing so she can reach from the floor. Use the metacam. It can take a long time. I would not bandage the foot. try adding sugar free electrolyte/probiotic and liquid calcium to drinking water to give bones/soft tissue and nerves a nutrient boost. She will climb with her beak and one foot when she feels better but set cage up so she does not have to climb. Watch droppings and weight loss. Soak millet spray in the drinking water and offer to bird the pain med will possibly make her feel better. The Idea is a bird that feels good is encouraged to eat which reves up the oxidation which then sends nutrients to part of body that need healing and excess will go to restore the normal maintenance demands of the body.
Pain can cause depression in the bird. So a bit of birdy chatter on youtube or CD or more people attention may help as well just do not get her moving too much. Some directed PT like gently pushing on pads of both feet not just one to help get blood flow to toes and warm the feet to again move nutrients to injury could help if she will tolerate you doing this. We use edible cream and rub/massage feet and toes with our birds. They relax a bit when they realize you are helping them. Even if they would rather not the PT pushes nutrients around. Blessings on a good recovery for Honey.
I will investigate the pads for perches for sure.
I'm soaking Millitt overnight and rinsing ( always done this to avoid any nastys) and offering this to her often, they used to get one spring between them a week and loads of fresh goods, but since losing Bobby and her not being so well she has been offered millet more, she's a little old lady so a bit of extra for her cant really be too bad now.
I'm also putting AVc in the drinking water, during the day we leave one cd on repeat with woodland sounds, birds and waterfall sounds, she loves it and chirps back.
Thank you all again for your support, I will let you know how things go.