What a great place this is. I introduced our dear budgie Robert in a post some days ago, but will have to turn to you again for some advise on our little friend.
We're afraid Robert has some (hidden) health issue. Naturally, as we only have him now for close to two weeks, we don't really know yet what is his "normal" behavior... But I can say, that in the first three days that we had him, he showed some remarkable aliveness and was quite investigative and vocal for a 'new' bird. We were surprised in fact by how easy he seemed to adjust to his new home.
However, I think that on the night of the third to fourth day (which was suddenly cold) he might have contracted something, due to also maybe lowered immune system because of stress. Since that night, we feel he became less inquisitive, in principle he does not "look" like a sick bird, but he gave us the feeling he is hiding something. He is less vocal, sits more still. More passive. Initially he was interested in investigating his swing, flying towards it, now he prefers to leave it alone. He appreciates us communicating with him, but he is more to himself. He is not fluffed up though, and sleeps on his highest perch. His eating behavior seems normal, and he also lets us feeding him water and seeds by holding his cups close to him.
However, now we have started to see some more indications that indeed something might be wrong with him. Let me include two pictures:
We have grit on the ground, but with some paper we were able to see something is off with his poop:
This is from one night, so some normal (at least they look normal to me), but then suddenly also some diarrhea.
Also, since yesterday we noticed that Robert's left eye is balding slightly:
So these things quite alarm us.
Perhaps there are some forum member who could shed some more light on his condition? Anyway we got a phone number of a local avian vet, so that is good. We will contact her on Monday. But your opinion would also be very much appreciated.
Seeing a vet experienced with birds is always a good idea when something is of. Re.: the first picture: What is he eating? Does he have any way to get at/chew on something he maybe shouldn't?
Re.: Second picture, can you get a closer-up shot of his beak, or specifically cere, on that side, or is what you see there in the picture just a shadow?
As far as the first picture: I don't think he has anything he could get to which he isn't supposed to... The people at the pet store advised us a week ago to have him for now on a seed diet, although I think slowly we could now add some other ingredients. But basically he is currently eating a seed mix. Then also, they gave us some supplement for in his water for stressed out birds. It contains mostly vitamins, but yesterday we also learned it was an antibiotic... Not sure whether that was immediately needed. It's called Velemicin M, not sure whether any of you know it... So we gave that for five days in his water, last time was Wednesday.
Ad for the second pic: Not sure which shadow you mean, but here I have two more pictures which are more clear on his cere:
I'm glad you've made an appointment for Robert to see an Avian Vet on Monday.
If Robert were female, then the cere would be turning brown and crusty because she is coming into breeding condition.
A male budgie's cere only turns brown if there is a nutritional deficiency or a hormonal imbalance which may be related to liver or testicular issues.
It's difficult to tell from the picture if the area around the eye is due to molting or caused by something else. I would suggest asking the vet to do a blood test for Chlamydophila psittaci. Primary symptoms of this disease in budgies would be an upper respiratory infection with nasal and/ or ocular (eye) discharge, poor feather condition, diarrhea with the possibility of conjunctivitis.
Having Robert examined by an Avian Vet who will be able to do the correct blood tests to get a proper diagnosis is assuredly your best course of action.
We'll be thinking of your little one, sending lots of positive thoughts and looking for an update once you've seen the vet.
To familiarize yourself with the forums, please take the time to read through all of the How To Guides, the FAQs and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
You'll find most of your basic questions are answered after you've read through all of them.
I've seen antibiotics affect droppings, so if lucky that <i>might</i> be part of your answer. In any case, though, please do talk to your the avian vet that was recommended to you. As FaeryBee pointed out, if the cere of a male changes like that there's something going on. Liver-related problems can also affect the droppings.
Dear all! Thanks so much for your elaborate answers! It's very much appreciated. So basically you're saying that his cere even shouldn't be looking like this?? Well, that's good to know. To be honest I didn't notice this at first as a possible symptom... Think that indeed he should be checked out then! I will check out the forum section that were recommended to me, and let you know what is the course of action once we talked to the avian vet. I hope she'll be able to take us a step further.
Thanks a lot!
Edit: Guys, I read a lot about discoloration in male cere and cancer... That worries me much... We only just got him, he is a young guy. Could there be any other reason for his discoloration? I'm not sure I remember his cere when we just got him, but this picture
seems to indicate it was more blue back then... This was one day after we got him. So the change seems to be sudden and since we got him. We now have him two weeks... Any ideas what this could be?
Last edited by wgerven; 03-28-2015 at 02:12 PM.
We can speculate - the things mentioned by FaerieBee farther up in this thread are likely candidates - but you'll only get certainly from a good vet. If it helps any to get you through the weekend a little less frantically, considering that you say he's very young and this happened fast, hormonal imbalance is in my opinion (which is only an opinion) much more likely than cancer. That would be some very rapid cancer.
I read a lot about discoloration in male cere and cancer... That worries me much... We only just got him, he is a young guy. Could there be any other reason for his discoloration?
I'd like to ask if you can post a close-up picture of Robert's cere taken in natural light.
It would be best if you could open a free PhotoBucket account and post a full-sized picture (as described in the thread linked below) as those are easier to see. https://talkbudgies.com/how-guides/17...otobucket.html
If Robert is actually a female, then the brown color of the cere would be a natural occurrence as she came into breeding condition.
Sometimes looking at pictures we can't see what you see in person and a change that happened so quickly sounds as though your budgie may actually be a female.
I too am wondering if Robert is really Roberta... That would be a lot easier to deal with than a serious medical issue turning the cere brown.
Sweet-looking little budge. I'm glad you are seeing an avian vet for your new little friend. I wouldn't dare speculate what might be wrong, but I'm sure you and the vet will figure it out and I hope it doesn't cost too much!
I had to grab my bird when he was pretty new. He took 3 days to forgive me, and sometimes I think he re-lives the experience at random times when he's trying to punch a hole in my nose, but they do get over it, if you counter the bad experience with enough kindness and gentleness and millet and sweet talk.
Dear all, thanks for the replies!
I made a picture in daylight, but I don't know if it will help, it's less sharp, and this was the most zoom in I could manage:
You can also see a bit his left eye and above his nostril which are somehow affected by something (it seems). Or maybe he's just untidy and ruffled? Like his owners.
(Edit: It looks in the picture worse than he looks in reality!)
Well, we will contact the vet tomorrow. I'm pretty sure Robert is a male though... He already has a bit of grey around his iris, so he is not a baby anymore, and when we got him his cere were deep blue (as can be seen in my earlier post)... However, we only have him for two weeks now, so it must have happened during this time, which I completely missed actually until you point it out. So perhaps it is indeed related to some hormonal or nutritional imbalance as FaeryBee pointed out. Also, during this time we found out he in fact got antibiotics, which may have impacted his liver? In fact, I'd say it looks a bit like the pictures in "Male budgies who are ill" and then the set related to "Examples for disturbance of the hormone release not caused by a testicle tumour" Birds Online - General facts about budgies - How to find out about a budgie's sex?
We'll try to shed some light on this tomorrow. Other than that, he seems healthy. He eats good, he trusts us, let us touch his belly, although reluctantly still. Every day he seems to get 1% more active, very little steps...