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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 07-13-2016, 05:22 AM
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I'm back over here again!

Can you tell I'm slightly paranoid?

Today's concern: tail bobbing.

Bluebell and Aero both have had a tail bob lately and becoming get quite worried. As said before, we live in a desert area and we are in winter, so rapid fluctuations of hot and cold over days and within a day. We also live in a poorly built house which is ALWAYS cold. Recently, we've noticed mainly Bluebell has a tail bob when she's cold and first thing in the morning. As their going through a moult, their slightly watery droppings aren't a major concern. There's no staining above their ceres, but they both seem to be breathing heavily at times.

We're in the process of a change over from seed, but due to the weather I don't think it's appropriate since they need some body fat for warmth.

Are there any other reasons for tail bobs to ease my mind?

Thanks guys!!

Also! Bluey makes a very noticeable head jerk like when their regurgitating to feed another budgie.


Last edited by FaeryBee; 07-13-2016 at 06:34 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2016, 06:46 AM
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It is impossible for us on the forum to gauge the severity of the tail bob problem. Budgies have a slight tail bob when breathing. A pronounced tail bob is movement of about 1/2".

This video demonstrates a pronounced tail bob -- you can see it most clearly at about 40-45 seconds in on the video.

Dr. Ross Perry showing bird with tail bob

If you hold the budgie up to your ear, do you hear a clicking or wheezing sound when it breathes?
Are the budgies eating, drinking and pooping normally?
Are they normally active or lethargic and fluffed up?

With regard to your comment about Bluey's "head jerk", is this an ongoing behavior?
How frequently do you see this happen throughout the day?

Bluey may simply be adjusting his crop but if the action is something ongoing, that is repeated every few seconds, it can be a symptom of a crop infection.

If you have concerns about their health, the best course of action is to take them to an Avian Vet for a check-up.

Avian Vets have special training to determine the cause of symptoms resulting from illness or trauma. This is important as "regular" vets will often overlook symptoms that are quickly obvious to an Avian Vet.
When you rely on anyone who has not had training in Avian diagnosis and care, you may be delaying effective treatment. This can prolong suffering that may be avoidable.
The bird will often require a more intense, prolonged treatment with a poorer chance of full recovery than it would have if you seek prompt professional diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of illness.

Distinction between an Avian Vet and a Vet that "Will See Birds"

Having your budgies examined by an Avian Vet allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet in case your bird needs care for an injury or illness in the future. Additionally, it is always helpful for the vet to have a baseline for your birds to refer to should it need future treatment.

Best wishes and please let us know how things progress.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:00 AM
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Budgies can have a slight tail bob right after a moment of exertion, for example after flying a few laps around the room and this will quickly subside.
Their breathing can also become abruptly heavier when they are startled/scared by something or when someone they don't know approaches their cage and they get stressed due to what they consider a "threat". In this case you can notice a tail bob, the rhythmic movement of the chest and this can also be accompanied by a little panting.
Again this will be momentary and will only last a few short minutes till the budgie calms down.

It's up to you to decipher if your budgie's tail bob is something of concern or not. If your budgies have a pronounced and rhythmic tail bob on a daily basis in the colder morning hours and this didn't come as a result from a period where they were actively playing and spending their pent up energy, nor as a consequence of a scary/stressful situation, then you really may look into having your budgies checked by an avian vet specialist.
It's important to keep them in a protected environment where there are no drafts, as these can promote the development of respiratory infections.
Keeping them warm in the colder Winter days is also important.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:09 AM
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Thanks FaeryBee!

I've watched all the videos, thank you though!

Bluebell can be heard breathing in the morning, kind of like a whistling sound, but that's it. Oh! Also when she gets freaked out (panting) you'll hear the clicking sound but the AV said it was fine. Aero also whistled in the morning/night when we first got him and the weather was super cold. Once their warm and awake, their absolutely fine and there's only little tail bobs.

Both are eating and drinking normally, but poops are a little watery, which could be broccoli or moulting but it's not all the time or diarrhoea. With food, they have moved away from pellets again and aren't eating unless they have seed, which is about 1 heaped teaspoon a day each, but due to the weather I don't think it's enough and am going to make it available more often again as Aero is ALWAYS starving and hungry.

Because it's winter and cold, they are less active when the heaters aren't on (when we're not home or it's not necessary for us). Once it's warm though, their super energetic, running around, playing, etc. Bluebell is normally a bit fluffy (English) and is only completely flat when she's panicked or hot. Aero though is always flat and rarely fluffy except at bed time.

The head jerk is like one you would see when a budgie pair are bonding and has only recently started to worry me more. It's very very rare when Aero isn't around, but she also doesn't try to feed him. She does regurgitate seed and then reconsume it. It's not repeated every few seconds, she'll do it a few times once or twice around Aero then not again for ages. She did it a couple of times before we got him but it was a random and rare thing.

I'd have her to the first Avian vet I could, unfortunately, it's not an option as were a plane ride away from ours and our local vet is incompetent with them.

Thank you though!


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