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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 02-04-2019, 09:30 AM
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Default Stringy Feathers and Constant Shivering?

My budgie ("Pudgie") has some strange symptoms that have been going on for over a month now. He is about 2 years old, and has never been sick before as far as I can tell. The symptoms are:

- Feathers very stringy and disorganized looking. Pudgie drops like a rock when trying to fly (did clip his wings but that was like 7 months ago).
- Seems to be "shivering" all the time, which is noticed when holding him. Initially I thought this was nervousness, but it seems to be constant. The temp is always ~70 F in here.
- Droppings are green, liquidy, and grainy-looking (as if many specs of sand are in them)
- Lost a lot of weight out of nowhere. Could visibly see and feel breastbone.
- Less energy than usual and sleeping a lot more.
- Tail bobbing was pretty bad.

I took him to the vet, who thought it was a simple infection and put Pudgie on antibiotics (Baytril) for 16 days. That seemed to resolve the weight and energy issues somewhat, but it's a month later and his feathers just continue to look worse to me. Tail bob is still there, but he lost his tail-feathers so it's harder to see. He gained about 4 grams of weight since going to the vet (up to 39 from 35).

The vet seemed clueless about the feathers and shivering problems. I just know he never looked like that before or shivered all the time. Any ideas?

HQ Images of Pudgie - First one old for comparison

*Note: Pink color around Pudgie's mouth is from antibiotics which he hated taking lol.

Thanks!
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Last edited by Flagg; 02-04-2019 at 09:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2019, 11:51 AM
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Hi Flagg,
Your bird does not look at all well. One of the first things I think about when I hear about green droppings is a liver problem and often with liver problems the bird becomes more prone to infections. Also when the liver is not functioning properly other things can be effected and if the liver function is greatly compromised there can be effects to the central nervous system that can cause tremors etc. Did you see an avian vet and what tests were done? What are you feeding the bird? I would suggest that if it was not an avian vet that you try and locate one to further access the problem with your bird. This is something that you should not wait on, please seek medical attention for the bird asap.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:13 PM
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OK thanks Cody, I just scheduled an appointment in a few hours with the vet. What exactly about the pics is the indicator that he looks sick to you? Just the feathers or weight, etc? I only have one budgie so now that I saw pics from a year ago it's more obvious the difference.

Yes it's an avian vet, there weren't any medicate tests done last time, just an examination. I feed him seeds and pellets.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:35 PM
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Visually just the feathers, I would at the very least want a gram stain test done on the droppings. Could your bird have ingested something toxic? Can you still feel the keel bone, I would not expect that at 39 grams. There is a huge difference in the feather quality between the old and new pictures and that is very concerning. Please question the vet on the liver issue and the poor feather quality. There are blood tests that can be done but sometimes depending on the condition of the bird the vet may wait until there is some improvement. If the vet can confirm that it may be a liver issue there are meds that can help, one of the most frequently used is milk thistle.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:00 PM
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Yes I can still feel his keel bone, it's pretty sharp. The vet said last time he had a lot of water in his crop (and he has been drinking a ton of water compared to before) and that could increase his weight artificially.

I noticed Pudgie getting sick after going to my parents for a week. The only thing I recall about toxins is both Pudgie and Violet (my parrotlet) were climbing around in their Christmas tree, which was a Douglas Fir. I looked it up and according to websites that was nontoxic. Both birds liked chewing on the pine needles. I noticed pretty fast and took them out of the tree just in case, but there was some exposure there.

I should also say, my parrotlet looks fine feather wise but her droppings have been greenish and watery as long as I can remember. Really it's been so many months I just assumed it was normal because she seems happy and healthy. Specifically I feed both of them Volkman Seeds (Parrotlet and Parakeet editions mixed) and I believe Zupreme pellets. Sometimes they will eat fresh food but very rarely.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:11 PM
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Was Pudgie at your parents with you? Take a look at this link and see if perhaps there could have been any exposure to any.
https://nilesanimalhospital.com/file...-for-Birds.pdf
Drinking a lot of water is a red flag for many things, diabetes, kidney problems etc.
Ask the vet about Psittacosis and PDD as I think both of these can have neurological complications. Please update us after your vet visit.
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:12 PM
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Hi there and to the forums!

Poor scruffy boy I agree, the poor thing looks ill for sure. Especially consistent watery droppings, inactivity, his feathers, low weight, etc. all point to a more chronic and serious problem.

Please let us know how he's doing soon! I hope he hangs in there

Meanwhile, be sure to read through the forums' many budgie articles and "stickies" to ensure you're up to date on all the best practices for budgie care. If you have any questions after doing so, please do ask as we'd be happy to help!

We hope to see you around and to hear updates on Pudgie. I'm sending lots of healing vibes for your little one!

Cheers
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:12 PM
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Just got back from the vet. His findings were surprising to me, but here's what he said:

- Pudgie's feather issues likely caused by Violet (parrotlet) over-preening him. Violet has been more aggressive as of late. They preen each other often.
- Droppings look normal (brought both birds). He said green would only be a concern if the (urinates) part was green.
- Weight is good. Pudgie is actually over the average weight @ 39 grams.
- Keel bone is fine and there is adequate muscle around it (guess I am misinterpreting how it's supposed to feel).
- New feathers are growing in, including flight feathers. He spent the most time "analyzing" Pudgie's feathers it seemed.
- Can't explain shivering, but oddly enough Pudgie was not shivering at the vet. The temp is not lower here so no idea...
- Vet asked about sneezing, which hasn't been excessive lately. Told me to keep an eye on that and the weight.

I pressed pretty hard on asking about diseases, liver, kidneys, etc. The vet just didn't seem to have any other conclusion to Pudgie's symptoms other than Violet over-preening him. Since all of his diagnostics seemed normal. He suggested I split them up for 3 weeks, then report back. He sounded very reluctant to do a blood test, due to the bird's small size.

Certainly it's unsettling to think Pudgie could have some chronic condition and is suffering, but this avian vet is pretty highly regarded around here. He seemed confident that there just isn't enough evidence to prove any chronic illness at this point.

PS - Thanks for your kind words and thoughts! I will certainly read up about some Budgie Best Practices!
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:32 PM
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Yes, I agree it is unsettling to think that your bird has any type of illness. I hope that splitting them up gives proof to the vets thoughts about over preening, that would certainly be better than to attribute it to some illness. If you don't already have one it would be a good idea to get a gram scale so you can keep track of the weight at least several times a week if not daily. Please keep us posted on his progress.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:47 PM
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I just want to take a moment to say "Hi" and welcome to Talk Budgies.

I'll be looking for your updates with regard to Pudgie's condition and hope he will soon be back to 100%.

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.

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