Hello! As you can see, I have two budgies... they are both males and their names are Kiwi and Kale. Kale has never had perfectly smooth plumage, but within the past year he has been losing the body feathers on his stomach and back/wings off and on. I tried using some feather drops in their food, which didn't seem to do much, but around Christmas he got a lot better, and his feathers were almost smooth! Then, he slowly started losing them again, so now all that's left on his stomach is down feathers, and his back looks horribly mangled. Just a few days ago, he began to loose feathers on his head above his cere. We live in a rural area with no avian vets around, so after this recent episode I decided to try and get help elsewhere.
Other than looking absolutely horrible, Kale acts completely normal. I know this can be a sign of trying to mask the illness, but it really doesn't seem to bother him very much. He sings, eats, and plays like any other budgie. I guess that's what makes it so difficult to figure out what's wrong with him...
I'll attach a few pictures, the one with the stockings in the background is how they looked at Christmas (Kale is the greener one).
The rest of them are how Kale looks today. Kiwi photobombed one of them
Any help/advice would be appreciated and I also don't mind answering any questions. Thank you!
Yikes! I don't know anything about health problems but when was your budgie's last moult? Could it be a French moult? If you can't find specifically avian vets in your area, could you ask the place where you got him for some help? Sometimes dog and cat vets see birds if you call them.
You need to find an Exotic Pet Veterinarian in your area that has experience with small birds.
You may need to travel an hour or more to get to the vet which is something you are hopefully willing and able to do.
If that is truly impossible, then take Kale to a regular vet.
With the right motivation, you can work with a regular or veterinarian to get the proper care for your budgie(s).
The regular vet can consult with an Avian Vet with regard to diagnosis and treatment for Kale's condition.
Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
When you upload pictures as attachments directly from your computer, tablet or phone, the forum automatically defaults to landscape. Additionally, the picture appears as what we term a “thumbnail” attachment.
As mentioned above, he really doesn't look good. I agree with FaeryBee that it looks like perhaps it's PBFD. I truly hope you're able to get him to an avian vet ASAP!
Meanwhile, be sure to read through the links provided above as they include the "best practices" for caring for budgies! If you have any questions after reading through everything, please be sure to ask as we'd love to help!
Please keep us posted on how little Kale is doing!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Thank you all for your very helpful replies! I will continue to read through the forms--what a lot of awesome things on here!!
I agree that the best thing to do would be to get Kale to a vet, but do you all think it would stress him out to be traveling for 3-6 hours? Could that potentially negatively affect his condition? Taking him to a regular vet might be a whole lot easier (there is one not far from where I live), and I'm thinking I should try that. The problem is their "daddy" is not exactly convinced that money needs to be spent on Kale (since they are 20$ to buy, his philosophy is that if one dies we could always easily get another ).
So, while we decide what's best for Kale, is there anything I could try that might help him out at home (bathing him, better diet/foods, etc)? Also, should I be worried that Kiwi might catch something from him? They've been together for all this time and nothing has happened, but I'm still thinking I should seperate them... ?
One last question... if PBFD is extremely contagious, is there any reason why Kiwi is fine? Could that mean it's not PBFD?
We are not Avian Vets and cannot give you an accurate diagnosis which is why you need to take Kale in to have a professional give you a diagnosis and treatment plan.
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.
If you choose to use a regular vet, then I suggest you find an Exotic Pet Veterinarian that has experience with small birds, OR ensure the vet you choose is willing to consult with an Avian Vet if necessary.
A complete Avian Physical examination should be performed and any necessary tests to determine if PFBD is the cause of the feather loss need to be administered.
With regard to the bird's "daddy's" attitude -- that is not acceptable on this forum.
Budgies are NOT "disposable" $20 pets to be replaced if they become sick and die.
The purpose of Talk Budgies is to promote the best practices in care for the optimal health and well-being of budgies.
Any pet, no matter the cost or whether it was "free", is a living breathing creature.
When a person"adopts" a pet, that individual assumes the responsibility of caring for that animal.
The pet is totally dependent on the owner for everything, including receiving the medical care and attention it deserves if it becomes ill or injured.
Those who believe that the expense of having a pet should be only the cost of the pet plus food, housing and toys are leaving out the most important part of the equation.
Giving the animal adequate medical care is integral part of providing it with a safe and loving home.
Diet is ALWAYS a huge part in the health of any animal as is the cleanliness of the animal's housing conditions.
Alright, thank you, that is very helpful! I will definitely update you all on Kale's health when he gets checked out...
I've read some forums/articles on quarantining and I'm wondering if you all think separating them will make a difference at this point? Kiwi and Kale have been together for about a year without Kiwi catching anything from Kale... That's a case I've never heard of or read about before! Has something like that ever happened to any of you? What do you all think is best?
Last edited by BudgieBros; 04-17-2018 at 05:29 PM.
Considering that Kale has been experiencing these symptoms for the past year, (& Iím assuming Kiwi has been living with him during this time) then I donít think there is any value in separating Kiwi & Kale at present.
If it IS Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, then Kiwi is quite likely to either have acquired an immunity to the virus or be infected but asymptomatic at present.
This viral infection can have a long latent period, with a bird infected but not yet showing symptoms. This is worth remembering if you were to consider adding any new birds in the future. If for example you lost Kale and then wanted to get another friend for Kiwi, in that scenario Kiwi should be tested (not 100% definitive, but a good indication) to ensure that he wasnít a danger for the new bird.
Take care that Kiwi doesnít start to bully Kale as this can sometimes happen when one bird is notably weaker.
You may also need to consider adapting their cage so that Kale can still easily get around without needing to fly.
Best of luck