This post is LONG, thank you for reading!
I am returning from a long hiatus out of concern for my boy, Tiki. He will be approximately 3 years old in January. His beak looks too long, and he has these spots on both his beak and toenails. I fear it's liver disease, but he is not overweight (weighed 36 grams at the vet,and she told me the weight looked good). He is on a diet of Vitakraft Vitasmart mix, as well as Zupreem Fruitblend pellets, and vegetables are given on a daily basis now. I used to give vegetables less frequently. I would go 4 days out of the week giving veggies, skip a week, and then give them again.
It's odd to me, because a month ago, I actually took Tiki to his first vet checkup appointment for a physical exam, a beak and toenail trim (because they were long at that time too). The vet is an Avian Vet who specializes in exotics and even is the vet for the animals at our aquarium/museum in my city (which consists of reptiles, birds, and fish).She is also a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians.
Anyway, she said everything looked good from the physical exam. His weight looked good, she didn't feel any tumors or lumps on his body, but did say his beak was a bit overgrown and filed it down with a dremel tool. I even had a stool sample done and she told me that looked normal too.
I asked her about the dark spots on his beak and nails and wanted to know if it was anything to worry about. She told me it was normal discoloration and didn't seem to be too concerned about it. With the overgrown beak, she asked me if I had enough things for Tiki to chew on to keep it at a manageable length (which I do have several wood perches, a few mineral blocks and cuttlebones, but they don't seem to help)
A few weeks later, Tiki's beak was overgrown again and he had what appeared to be a seizure when my husband and I got home from work. Long story short, he was dizzy,wobbling back and forth,could not perch,was panting and holding wings from body, and had convulsions at the vet's when we rushed him there again. He has never had this happen, and it's ironic that this starts happening 2 weeks AFTER we took him to his first appointment where I was informed everything looked good with him.
The vet advised against doing bloodwork,keeping him in an oxygen tank unsupervised overnight,etc to avoid putting him under any additional stress. She said that he was already highly stressed out and gave me anti inflammatory meds for him in case he had any physical trauma causing him to behave that way. She could not pinpoint exactly why he was behaving that way.
So, we took Tiki home, and within a few hours he was back to his normal self, just sleeping a bit more (due to stress from what happened and going to the vet more than likely). From that day forward, he returned to normal. He was eating,flying,preening, and playing with my other budgie Peep. He had all of his balance back.
Exactly a week later, it happened again. Husband and I got home from work, turned the light on in the very dark room the budgies were in, and Tiki started behaving the same way. Panting, holding wings from body, dizzy,etc. We put him in his small travel cage so he would avoid hurting himself. Within 10 minutes he "snapped out of it", and was back to his perfectly normal self.
The next day, the exact scenario happens when my husband and I wake up, go out in the dark room to wake the birds by opening all the blinds at once to let the daylight inside. He starts showing those signs of distress again, but within 20 minutes, he's back to normal!
Because of this, my husband and I think that perhaps Tiki is having stress induced seizures because of the sudden addition of light (going from darkness to sudden brightness in the room). Those were the ONLY times that would happen! He never randomly has seizures while we are at work, but ONLY when we seemingly introduce light suddenly. He has never had this problem before. One theory is that maybe he associates the light with the bright light at the vets (from his first checkup) when I uncovered his travel cage suddenly so the vet could look at him. It sounds crazy, but maybe it's post traumatic stress? And because of that, I am really afraid of taking him to the vet again because I don't want him to have another seizure (if that really is true)
Since this, I have started introducing light to the room more gradually, and have not had a problem since.
It has been 2 weeks since Tiki's last episode and he is acting perfectly normal. Energetic,preening,eating,playing,chirping,etc. But his beak has grown so much in a month (I had it trimmed at the vets in early August). I'm just concerned that he won't be able to eat properly, and I fear he has an underlying illness or something. But the vet told me everything looked good, so I'm at a loss :/
As you can probably guess, I'm very very hesitant to take Tiki back to the vet for another beak trim, because I don't want him to have another seizure due to stress. I really wish I could just trim his beak myself, but I'm afraid I will hurt him. I just don't know what to do.
So, if you guys have any advice for what I could do in this situation, please let me know! I did actually buy a vitamin supplement that I mix with water, but I don't think my birds drink enough water for the vitamins to really affect them. Should I buy a powder to mix in the veggies? Should I even add additional supplementation at all? Is it necessary if I'm already giving seed, pellets and veggies?
I have attached pics of Tiki, where you can see his beak and toenails (his nail length looks OK, but his beak concerns me) You can also see the dots on them.
See the dark spot on his beak?
Spots on toenails