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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 12-10-2019, 01:49 AM
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Default Clicking sound when breathing

I noticed that sometimes when my new english budgie is breathing she makes a clicking noise. She is somewhere around 4 months old and was shipped to me across the country 6 weeks ago.
She eats fine (picky about pellets though, as usual for my birds). Her poop is a bit small but is normal besides that.
I noticed a teeny bit of tail bobbing sometimes but when i record it, it is super hard to see at all. Its hard for me to tell if it is normal breathing and moving feathers or something more pronounced.

Honestly I dont want to take her to the vet because I am trying to bond with her and I dont want to scar her with all the scary handling at the vet. Since i am not bonded with her yet i dont want this to break our trust. I am also just scared of doing any tests as well at the vet. My male budgie whom i loved like my own baby recently started acting sick. I took him to the vet a week ago and he had organ failure that couldn't be reversed. However, the worst part was that he couldnt come out of anesthesia (for xrays and bloodwork) and had to be put down on the spot.
It was the hardest thing in my life to do and i miss him so terribly. He was the most amazing and sweet budgie in the world (to me, i know everyone loves their own budgies to most). So that experience has kind of scarred me in a way.

I am wondering if this clicking is something that will go away on its own, or if there is a way for the vet to help without having to exam my bird physically.

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Old 12-10-2019, 08:23 AM
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A clicking sound while breathing is a sign of an air sac mite infection.

I know you don't want to go to a vet, but it's best to get her checked out just in case. Remember, we are only people on the other side of a computer screen and we can't really give a true diagnosis, we can only speculate on what it is with the information you've given us.

With that being said, make sure that you are following strict quarantine procedures.

Air sac mites can be treated with drops or a spray. Personally, I have not had any success with SCATT, but others have! You'll need to disinfect the entire cage, toys, perches and seed dishes so that they do not return.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:27 AM
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Taking a new budgie to the vet for a well-birdie checkup to ensure it is in good health is always a recommended practice.

Tiny tail bobbing is not an issue. If you can "barely see it" it is nothing to worry about.
The tail often moves very slightly when a budgie breathes.

Pronounced tail bobbing is what one looks for as a sign of respiratory infection.
Generally the tail will move about 1/2" or so with pronounced tail bobbing.

Pronounced Tail Bobbing

Tail bobbing - YouTube
Are you certain the "clicking sound" is from your budgie (name?) breathing?
Could the noise be her simply clicking or grinding her beak?

With regard to not taking a sick bird to the vet because of being worried that would break the bird's trust in you -- I would be more concerned with the budgie's health.
Trust can always be rebuilt.

If you hold the budgie up next to your hear and hear a pronounced "clicking" noise with each breath then the budgie should be seen by an Avian Vet. If there are no Avian Vets in your area, then an Exotic Pet Veternarian with experience with small birds is your next best option.

Best wishes
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:49 PM
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I don't really think its air sac mites. I looked up the symptoms and she displays none of them besides clicking sounds sometimes. Theres no coughing, sneezing, wheezing, lethargy, etc.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:30 PM
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Have you held the bird up to your ear and determined for sure that the clicking happens when the budgie is breathing?

If it is very dry where you are located, I would recommend you use a humidifier in the room with your budgie to ensure the air is moist which helps with breathing issues.

If you are concerned about your budgie's health and believe the "clicking" is associated with the bird's breathing, then please it to the vet for a well-birdie checkup, proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Best wishes to your budgie for a full and speedy recovery from any issues she may be having.

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Old 12-11-2019, 06:04 PM
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I will try adding a humidifier. Now that you mention it, she is from Florida and i am in Washington, which have very different climates. Maybe that is affecting her a bit.

I will make sure to get it checked out.

Oh and its definitely when she is breathing. Its not too hard to hear.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:09 PM
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You may wish to put a drop or two of pure 100% eucalyptus essential oil in the water in the humidifier for her.
Doing so will help her breathing.

I'm glad you'll be taking her in to the vet to be checked.
"Clicking" when breathing is not normal.

Please let us know how the vet visit goes.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:30 PM
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Do you notice any labored breathing? Watch the chest area and see if you can determine more than normal movement.
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:59 PM
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No she doesn't have labored breathing. The only thing I'd say is that she occasionally opens her beak when breathing (kind of like panting) but that is usually after moving a lot or if gets a little scared of something. However that doesn't concern me very much because in basically every video that the breeder has of her baby budgies (where she is holding them) they do the same exact thing. So I am guessing it has something to do with being an english budgie not a regular one. It is normal with her birds and they are all healthy long term in their new homes so it is not something that concerns me.
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:15 PM
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I have good news!
Turns out it is WAS most likely air sac mites and had a very simple solution: Ivermectin (the kind thats safe for birds and you put it in their water). I was told to do one dose for a day (then replace with fresh water the next day), then 6 days later another dose, and I just have one more treatment left until done (and was also recommended to treat again in 3 months to make sure nothing comes back). All the clicking went away after day 3-4 of the first treatment. Was also told to add some probiotics to food for a day and keep antibiotics ready just in case she starts acting sick, as sometimes dead mites can build up in the airways if it is a serious case, and cause infection. But I was also told that if a bird would get an infection from dead mites, it would most likely happen by day 4 of treatment, and since my budgie looks like she feels all good and it's week two, she is considered 'safe'.

Super simple solution, wanted to share with everyone in case someone comes across this and needs this info
I wasn't expecting it to be air sac mites since it was only clicking, nothing else. But it's good to get this out of the way

Last edited by FaeryBee; 12-24-2019 at 09:27 AM.
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