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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 11-04-2016, 01:48 AM
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Default Budgie Suddenly Died (long post)

So, for a little background, we rescued a neglected budgie (Sebastian) from very bad conditions almost exactly a year ago.
When we got him and since, he'd never shown signs of sickness, neither did our original budgie (Happy) whom we've had nearly four years now.

We went on vacation Friday before last (October 22nd) and left our pets in the care of roommates. When we returned this past Sunday (October 30th), I noticed that Sebastian was acting completely out of character. It was around 6:30 pm, but he was sleeping. Very unusual. When I attempted to wake him, he wouldn't respond. I blew on him, called his name, poked him, etc. My husband pulled him from the cage and he didn't go into a tizzy as usual he just...let it happen. He seemed to have trouble opening his eyes, lifting his head, walking, lifting his wings, everything. He just stayed in a fluffed ball.

At first, we thought he'd gotten cold, so we put him under a heat lamp. Nothing. I tried to offer him food. Nothing. So, we took him to the emergency vet. He started to look a little more like himself, eyes open and looking alert, but as soon as the vet tech came to take him from us, he instantly had a seizure. A few minutes later, he was dead.
They didn't even have the chance to examine him and find out what was wrong. Our roommates said he was completely normal the entire time we were gone.

I took Happy to the vet the next day to make sure it was nothing contagious and his test results came back clean. These are my very first birds and I did extensive research before getting either of them. I don't use chemicals around them, in fact all of my house hold cleaners are completely homemade and even still I make sure nothing gets sprayed around the cage. They are housed in a large aviary that my husband and I built from a bookcase (which I scrubbed with soap and water, then obsessively rinsed) and chicken wire. I painted it with lead-free latex paint after triple checking that it was ok to do so.

Their cage is kept in our living room, which is a decent-sized room. I do have one single scented plug-in and one single automatic sprayer, both on the complete opposite end of the room they're on. I have those in there due to a covered litter box. I know of their sensitive respiratory systems, so I never add more litter to the box without first taking it to a different room. I have one other automatic sprayer on the opposite end of the house, in a completely different room. Keep in mind: after all of my research, I never came across a single thing saying that I couldn't use these things (or burn candles, also never on the same side of the room as the birds), but even still, I never let them be on the same side of the room.

We got another Budgie just today since Happy was beginning to get a little sad without his buddy. Everything was fine until I decided to Google "sudden parakeet death," so now I'm paranoid and fighting the urge to get out of bed and fly downstairs to remove the scented devices, but I don't actually know what caused Sebastian's death. Did we misjudge his age and he was just old? Could he have had an unknown genetic condition? Could it have been a latent problem from his neglectful life that suddenly reared it's ugly head in full-force?

I suppose I'm looking for reassurance, ideas to his sudden death, so that I can avoid it with Happy and Yet To Be Named Budgie.

Tl;Dr my budgie unexpectedly died and now I'm paranoid about my other two.


Last edited by FaeryBee; 11-04-2016 at 06:56 AM. Reason: Removed details of neglect budgie suffered
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:55 AM
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Update: immediately after posting this, I gave in to my paranoia and went downstairs to remove the scented devices.
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:42 AM
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Hi
Sorry to hear about Sebastian, take comfort in the fact that the last year you gave him was happy. He could have died from any of the reasons you mentioned.
I'm new to budgies, but I thought I'd like to share that I used to use plug in room fresheners in the past. I stopped because my son complained that they irritated his throat - he could notice as soon as he entered the house and doesn't appear to have any allergies or asthma etc. I think removing them was a wise decision.
Would it be possible for you to move the litter tray into another room? The bathroom?
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Old 11-04-2016, 07:06 AM
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Hi! to Talk Budgies

I'm sorry for the sad circumstances that brought you to us and you have my sympathy for the loss of little Sebastian.

Unfortunately, unless a necropsy is performed by your Avian Vet, there is no way to know for sure what caused your little one's death. Any speculation will be just that. Seizures, strokes, heart attacks are all possibilities which may cause sudden death in our little ones.

I hope you are following quarantine practices for the new budgie before introducing him to Happy?

Quarantine means housing your new bird in a different cage in a different room as far away as possible from the room where your current bird(s) are housed for a period of 30-45 days.
Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.

It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.


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

I would strongly recommend you remove any and all plug-in/chemical based air fresheners. Instead, you can use potted herbs such as basil, rosemary, lemon balm, lavender to provide a natural clean scent to your rooms. Baking soda should absorb any unwanted odors from your litter box.

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Old 11-04-2016, 11:43 AM
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Hello all, and thank you for the responses.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to relocate this litter box. I have a rather small house, meaning limited space. I had it upstairs originally but my cats wouldn't touch it there. I am sure to be extremely careful when cleaning or refilling it, however.

Unnamed Budgie is in a separate cage for a quarantine period, but I was unaware that he had to be in a different room as well. I'll make those adjustments today.

I'll look into your potted herb advice. I have OCD that revolves around the cleanliness and smell of my home, so that's going to be a difficult adjustment.

Thank you all very much for your advice!
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerplexyGlass View Post
Hello all, and thank you for the responses.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to relocate this litter box. I have a rather small house, meaning limited space. I had it upstairs originally but my cats wouldn't touch it there. I am sure to be extremely careful when cleaning or refilling it, however.

Unnamed Budgie is in a separate cage for a quarantine period, but I was unaware that he had to be in a different room as well. I'll make those adjustments today.

I'll look into your potted herb advice. I have OCD that revolves around the cleanliness and smell of my home, so that's going to be a difficult adjustment.

Thank you all very much for your advice!
If you like a baking smell in your home you can use a potpourris warmer, a candle warmer or a small crock pot to heat spices in a small amount other, cinnamon, cloves and other present smelling spices will fill your home with a sweet baking smell and are safe for your birds.
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:46 PM
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I do enjoy the smell of baking pastries. I also like floral scents and "masculine" scents. I have some ideas and have done a little research. I'll definitely take your idea to heart, thank you.
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:50 PM
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Hi there and to the forums!

I'm so sorry to hear that your Sebastian passed away so suddenly You have my most sincere condolences.

Although I agree we can't know for sure what was the cause of his death, I do agree with removing the scented things from their room. I still use those but only upstairs, where the birds never go (it's closed off) and in the downstairs bathroom, where the door remains closed and apart from that is on the complete other side of the house. In the room where the birds are, we sometimes use essential oils (vanilla, lavender, mint, eucalyptus, cinnamon) in a pot of water on the stove, which smells good, or just having the warmed spices is good, too. As the holidays are coming up, if your family has the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree, the real ones smell amazing without harming the birds.

I hope Happy is doing well, I hope that when quarantine is over, he and the new budgie become good friends!

Be sure to read through all the links provided to stay updated on the very best of budgie care. If you have any questions afterwards, please do ask as we'd love to help!

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Old 11-04-2016, 02:33 PM
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I greatly appreciate everyone's kind words concerning Sebastian's passing. I do take solace in the fact the he knew love and respect in his last year of life.

Happy has always been a very independent bird. He is little quiter than usual since his buddy went away, but overall he's his usual self. Thank you for the concern.

I've already got a crock pot with some lavender and rosemary going, we'll see if that fulfills my need for good smells d:

Again, thank you to everyone that's responded so far.
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Old 11-04-2016, 03:46 PM
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I've read that any chemical air fresheners are actually also bad for humans. They emit VOC's (volatile organic compounds) and they're just bad for humans. (And therefore I'm sure pets as well.) If you google natural air fresheners there are a lot of options (cloves in oranges, tiny crock pots where you can stew fresh herbs such as cinnamon & clove, or vanilla, and / or add apple, vinegar is also known to remove odors (keep in a jar) etc. I've seen articles that have at least 50 natural and organic air fresheners. Check out martha stewart's website for this as well. So sorry to hear about Sebastian. I know how hard that must be.
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