This might be a long post so bear with me, I'll put a tl;dr at the end too for those of you with less time on your hands.
So about a week ago my sister and I adopted our first budgie from a girl who couldn't keep it any more, she said she had two budgies and one of them died, which forced her to find another home for her other one. We were so excited to give this little bird a new, loving home, and brought her in straight away. At first the budgie, Luna, seemed stressed, as one would expect, having just lost her partner and now moved to a strange place, but I kept her covered and spoke to her softly for a few days in the hopes that she would settle in... Fast forward to the Tuesday after (we brought her home on the Friday), I decided to look up signs of illness in budgies so I could be more aware of anything should it come up, and recognized the dreaded tail bobbing in our new friend.
We took her to the vet immediately and were told she was extremely sick and has probably been for a long time. Apparently the conditions she had been living in with her previous owner were comparable to us sleeping on the floor every night, and this was apparently her life for the past two years. Naturally, I was furious and horrified, and we've been trying to make things easier for her since. She's on antibiotics that I give her every night, but she has been trying to bring it back up afterwards, and sneezes or coughs for a few minutes after I give it. On top of that, the past day or so she constantly chirps when I'm around, but it sounds distraught and scared, so I have her half covered and kept warm in another room. I have music and other budgie noises playing for her on and off, which she happily responds to, but I don't want her to get stressed when she can't find the mysterious flock.
The vet said that if she was going to recover from her illness, we would know within 72 hours of her first treatment, but while some things have improved, others seem to be getting worse. Her posture has straightened, and she is less fluffed now, but her cere went pale (it was dark brown which I've been told is related to breeding moods?), the feathers under her mouth are slightly discoloured, and she seems constantly distressed. I'm trying everything to make her new home comfortable but I can't afford another vet bill. She still has the rest of the week left on her course of antibiotics, so I'm hoping things will brighten up after that, but otherwise I'm totally at a loss. She's a beautiful little girl and it breaks my heart to be so useless in helping her and giving her the luxurious life she deserves.
I'm posting here because I absolutely just don't know what to do. She has been chattering today but then sounds sad afterwards, and I can't tell if she's happy or not. Do any of you have experience with anxious budgies, confusing sounds, or birds trying to regurgitate their medicine? If so I'd love some help with making her more comfortable.
Tl;dr: adopted a dying budgie unknowingly, now trying to make life better for her but I have no idea how to.
If here cere changed to light sounds like she is coming out of breeding condition. it sounds like she is getting better. her anxious behavior is probably a combo of being sick and in a new home. I am very proud that you took her to a vet and you are doing all you can. Are you allowed to mix the medication in her food/water? if so that may be less stressful. I do not know if this helps but i add vitamin drops to my birds water, it seems to help a lot when they are sick. you can get it at petco/petsmart. I am no expert and there are more experienced people here than me, I am just suggesting what seems to help my birds. My birds will not eat vegetables so i give them drops in water. I would also see if your bird will eat vegetables. Good nutrition should help i would think
Nairobi, firstly I want to say THANKYOU for taking in this poor little budgie.
Ok , you have done wonderful so far with Luna taking her to the vet was a huge positive, was it an avian vet you took her to?
Some budgies will vomit after having medication. If I were you I would ring the vet and tell him what she is doing, perhaps another sort of antibiotic would be better. Also get some probiotics sprinkle these over her food .
The chir[ing when you are around her is most probably a good sign, she wants to be with you her flock, place her cage where she will see you and hear you have the cage covered on three sides to help make her feel safe. Budgies like to hear and interact silence to a budgie is assign of danger.
her cere changing colour is normal as well she has come through her being in condition.
Her feathers will discolour from taking medication and eating her food. Do you offer her vegies and egg and biscuit mix?
Offer her a bath, or slightly mist her with a spray bottle that has tepid water in it don't soak her gently mist around her.
As Luna was used to having a budgie friend she will missing her partner and grieving.
You are doing extremely well and with time I am sure Luna will improve. Please let me know how she is again soon.
Welcome to talk Budgies Nairobi. I agree pretty much with everything Heidi and Cathy have posted. You seem to be doing everything right, especially keeping her warm while she is sick. You can soak millet in pedialyte and give it to her, the electrolytes will help her. Also, as Cathy mentioned, pro biotics are good, and will be a big help as Anti biotics unforunately kill off their good bacteria also. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the "mother" in it is very useful when used regularly for digestive tract health and also for it's bacteria fighting abilities. 1/4 tsp added to 4 oz of water is a good mixture to give as her drinking water every third day. I think with your great care for her, she will recover...we will all be pulling for her...
He came down from Heaven unto this earth below
He came down from glory and praises untold
He came down to man fashioned in their way
He came down to rescue, He came down to save
Thank you all so much for your advice, you've made me feel so much better about this whole situation! I've just moved her close to my desk so that I can talk to her and she can see me, like you guys suggested.
I will look into getting some pro-biotics, but unfortunately Australia doesn't have many nice big pet superstores like the US, so it might be difficult but I'll surely do my best to find some. I'll call her vet tomorrow and ask about the medication, he is an avian vet and asked me to keep him updated on her condition, so he's obviously very compassionate which is wonderful.
She does love veggies, especially kale (picture for proof), but also seems to enjoy broccoli
I don't know if they like listening to people sing, but I have been singing some songs for her and I want to believe that it makes her feel better. I can dream, right?!
I'll try all your suggestions, you've been such a kind and helpful community and I'm so grateful for that. I'll keep you all updated on her condition in the next few days.
You can buy probiotics via the net, ebay I get them from my vet or a pet shop that stocks it. I also buy my egg and biscuit through ebay as my guys tend to only like one brand. There are recipes here on the forum for birdie bread and egg and biscuit mix. Have a look. I am sure she loves your singing my guys love my singing.