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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health


Your Budgie's Health Learn about avian health and vet care. This forum does not substitute for veterinary expertise.

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Old 05-04-2015, 01:25 PM
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Default Feathers sticking up on head?

So, as I posted a little while ago my budgie is sick and the vets can't figure out what is wrong. The first vet said that he was probably vitamin deficient, and suggested I give him pellets, but thus far he has refused them. I then took him to an avian specialist who put him on antibiotics - she couldn't figure out what was wrong with him either, but said it was possibly psitticosis. She said he didn't have mites, inside or out.

Needless to say, he's on antibiotics now, but he's still fluffing and sleeping a lot (and squeaks once in a while). I'm wondering if maybe he is iodine deficient AND depressed. I wouldn't blame him for depression, seeing as he hates it when we catch him to give him medicine. He isn't eating his regular food today - only the treat seed and fruit stick that I put in his cage (although that could be just the preference given the choice). I've been playing budgie sounds today and rearranged his cage but he hasn't perked up yet.

Anyway, he's started fluffing up his feathers on the back of his head, and it's really strange. They stick up even when the rest of him isn't fluffed. Did they dry funny after he had a bath? Is he also moulting? When he stretches and preens I can see more skin on his neck than usual, but I haven't seen tons of feathers around so I don't think he's losing them or plucking. I think he's just fluffing his neck feathers up oddly so I can see through. What's going on?

EDIDT: I will admit that a lot of his head feathers look like they have dark tips, which makes them look like pin feathers - but these are the crazy short feathers around his eyes so it's hard to tell a pin feather from an open feather. Also I can't be sure that the dark tips aren't caused by feathers sticking together because some medicine got on them.
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Last edited by RobinTheBudgie; 05-04-2015 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 05-04-2015, 01:37 PM
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Oh, and now he's enthusiastically eating some millet I put in his foraging cocoa bean.

Is he not feeling well because he's not eating enough? And is he not eating enough because he suddenly decided he doesn't like the food he previously liked?

Could he be scared of the regular food now, since one time I tried to put antibiotics in there instead of giving him medicine from a dropper, and he didn't like the smell so didn't eat it?

OR, is he afraid of the dish because recently he knocked it over and scared himself?
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:03 PM
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I didn't know your bird was sick, but feathers perked up on most birds to me is a "Happy" Bird. When they are aroused into Happiness their Head feathers Perk Up on their Head. Sorry about your sick bird, I am having a sick bird myself and its going to the Veterinarian today.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:14 PM
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What I would do is go to your pet store ASAP and buy the vitamin drops and add to his water and food. I add 1-2 drops to my birds water every time i change it and it has done wonders for their health. . if one vet said he has a deficiency this should help a great deal. also if he loves millet soaking it in electrolytes( pediasure I believe ) will help. Why his feathers stand up on the head can be the sickness or it can be happiness. I may be wrong but being sick they are fluffed all over. I know my bird fluff on the head (only) when they are happy and flirting with the females an when they sing to me
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:34 PM
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Didn't the avian vet do any testing ?
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:30 PM
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Jonah, the vet did do a test on Robin's droppings. Apparently the bacteria wasn't too out of line to draw a complete conclusion, but she concluded that he has "possible" psitticosis. She said it might also be some other kind of untreatable bacteria (I forget the name), but said it seemed highly unlikely.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:11 PM
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For an update -

I soaked some millet in pedialyte, and Robin the Budgie happily went for it. We'll see how he feels tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:35 PM
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I am at a loss when it comes to a vet even thinking psitticosis is possible and not testing for it. Glad your bird is eating the pedialyte soaked millet, I am sure it will help him but if he continues with sign's of illness, i would seek out another avian vet...
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:44 PM
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I feel like I must have been the one missing something - because a bunch of people have recommended the vet to me. So perhaps I misunderstood how they came to the conclusion of "possible" but not completely definite psitticosis. They did do a gram stain/poop analysis, so there was a test. And like I said they also checked for mites. But Robin is my first bird to get sick so I'm not quite sure what other tests to expect. I can always call and ask what else can be done if the antibiotics don't end up working.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:46 PM
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(He's happy and active right now, for the record.... just sneezing a bit because he squirmed while I was holding him and got medicine on his cere. *sigh* Uncooperative birdy.)
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