We have 4 budgies, our eldest, Dizzy, has been living with AGY for at least 15 months ( I imagine he has had it his whole life sub clinically).
Dizzy is 5 and came from a different breeder to our other 3. He is very tame and had always been in excellent health, perhaps even a bit overweight - he is half english and not as active as the others. He has always taken a keen interest in our food - but always eaten plenty of healthy budgie food and veg.
18 months ago his best friend Sonny died ( probably a stroke). We first noticed a bought of vomiting clear stuff about 3 months later. I tool hm to a local vet, who weighed him - 53g and said he looked fine - which, to be fair, he did.
About 4 months went by and he had another shortlived bout, I took him back - 51g, still very well. From time to time we noticed a spikey head but he seemed very well and eating well - I now realise, of course, that this crashed eating is part of the presentation of this disease. He seemed to sleep more in the day having never been a head under wing type in the day before. I should have twigged.
Then suddenly, at the beginning of September last year, over the space of a couple of days he nose dived, vomiting all the time, sleeping, cold, then vomiting blood. We made the longer trip to an avian vet, who was wonderful. She admitted him for 2 nights. I was amazed he made it through the night actually. After 3 days at home he got worse again and was admitted for 3 nights, I really thought we were at the end and we agreed we would say that to the vet. Of course he then picked up and seemed great and she said she felt this was not the time.
He came home on antibiotics and nystatin. You can't get amphotericin in the UK. Twice daily for 30 days she said - and this went OK, til he felt well again and then catching him became a matter of psychological warfare. 2 adults vs one tiny budgie ( by then he weighed 38g) - after 16 days we had to give up as he outwitted us repeatedly a-the vet said fair enough, if you can't catch him ( our birds live free range in our house), that will have to do.
He relapsed after 10 days and his weight dropped to 34g - we got out our quarantine cage ( our vet had said there was no need to actually quarantine him), just so we could actually catch up reliably, and we set about giving him twice daily nystatin, 0.1 ml, for 30 days. We did this, he had one bout of vomiting after 2 weeks, we changed to a different manufacturer of nystatin which seemed easier for him to take ( it can make you sick in it's own right). The vet said it was unlikely he would ever actually clear it, and that we should expect flare ups.
Early november he weighed 51 g again and we have weighed him every week since. He has had mostly good times, every now and then a bad couple of days - until a week ago we had given no more treatment except the sodium benzoate in the flock water. He was usually around 45g. So that's 2 months off the nystatin. Last Thursday he was very sick so we treated him again, just for the weekend. He bounced back after 2 days, poo normal, no sick, loads of energy - 43/44g, so we let him back with the others. Another 3 good days before yesterday when he sicked a lot overnight and slept loads. Today he is not as bad, sleeping a lot, but no sick.
Poor Dizzy, mostly he is pretty well, cheerful and active and can gain weight well when like that. Then, every so often he nose dives quickly with a bad day followed by a sleepy day and it is so hard to know when to intervene with treatment. The moment he is well he absolutely loaths being held for his treatment - however slick I have become at holding a squirming swarking birdie - it is pretty hard going for us both, so if possible it would be nice not to treat too much. It was requires him to be in a separate cage because, once well, it is impossible to catch him again if he is in with the flock - he is too clever by halves.
So, we are at least 15 months into active AGY disease and 4 months since it became an acute and life threatening disease for him. The vet was right, it is an ongoing chronic illness for Dizzy now. I am sure that his quality of life is mostly happy and he does not seem in any pain - I am watching carefully for that as his happiness and comfort must be a priority. He may pick up on his own - or perhaps we will step in again and treat.
Does anyone have any experience of the vet using fluconazole, I know that is at least available in the uk. I have ordered some Megabac on line to try. the nystatin does work, but is clearly not curative. Maybe nothing will be as the vet says, I'd really like to try though. Of course I can ask the vet about fluconazole. Certainly looking at the literature it is mentioned but there is no trial evidence - to be fair the evidence for any of the treatments is pretty poor quality.
Any thoughts/advice welcome