Buddy went from not eating or drinking to hyperactive constant eating
My budgie Buddy has been really sick lately. I noticed Friday that he was not singing and sat on his perched fluffed up a lot, he wasn’t eating or drinking much. I took him to an emergency vet on Saturday, and was prescribed Baytril and Metacam. They said he was very thin, which is unusual for a bird on a seed diet. I refused to let them do a blood test or X-ray because he is not finger tamed and very easily frightened. He spent the rest of the night petrified and clinging onto the side of the cage.
I’ve been giving him the antibiotic and anti inflammatory once a day. I also gave him a little bit of water while feeding his medication to him. I regret doing that now because it’s really dangerous and I hope he didnt aspirate. I was so concerned about him being dehydrated. His eyes looked sunken in and weak. He stopped eating and drinking almost completely and looked so weak, staying on his favorite perch. I thought he was going to die within days, due to not eating or drinking.
Monday he started to eat again, but he ate mostly the pellets in his seed mix, whereas he used to ignore them entirely.
Anyway, today he is hyperactive, wings shaking, and crawling all over the cage bars (he didn’t usually do this to begin with). His eyes are brighter. He has wet feathers on the sides and under his beak, but I don’t know if it’s from drinking water, the meds I give him dripping down, or if he’s been vomiting (I don’t see any regurgitated seeds). He is eating constantly. He is chirping a bit, but his voice sounds weak. His poop is still liquids, often it’s like clear straight urine, other times a bit green. He is pooping very often but no solids. There are occasional gurgling noises that I first noticed after giving him the meds yesterday. I am concerned it may be a sign of fluid getting into his lungs, or a yeast infection in his crop from the use of antibiotics. The vet didn’t mention to use probiotics or anything like that.
I have another vet exam with an avian and exotic vet scheduled for tomorrow. I was considering canceling it because he seems so much better. But the extreme eating, pooping straight liquid, and gurgling noises are a concern to me now. Should I still take him? Should I let them do all of the diagnostic tests? Again, he is a very easily frightened bird so I don’t really want to subject him to that stressful environment if I don’t have to. I am also concerned about the meloxicam since I heard it can be bad for their kidneys, should I stop giving him that?
Edit: he just pooped again and it was a more solid form, but still wet green with clear urine and no white urates.
Edit 2: the droppings with poo in them seem rare now as he’s just releasing clear liquid very often, like every 10 mins, with no feces or urates.
Sorry Buddy is ill, I would not cancel the appointment you have tomorrow. Did the ER vet do any test on the droppings? The 2 meds you are giving are very commonly used, I actually have a bird on the same thing currently for a GI tract issue. Don't stop the meds unless the vet stops them. The Metacam is an anti-inflammatory and also has a pain relieving aspect to it, I have had birds on it for extended periods of time will no ill effects to the kidneys. When you see the vet tomorrow ask about doing a gram stain on the droppings and maybe a mouth/crop swab, all that is needed for the test on the dropping is a fresh one and the crop swab is not too invasive, the vet will just swab the mouth and smear it on a slide. Since Buddy has been on the Baytril the vet may say that doing the tests now will not give an accurate picture of what the problem is but an antibiotic will only effect bacteria so if there is anything else causing the problem it may show up. If Buddy is dehydrated the vet can give him some fluids under the skin. You can try offering him some Pedialyte in addition to his water and that will help hydrate him.
The ER vet did not do any test on the droppings. They basically said that they do treat birds, but they are ER vets and I’d have to go to the avian certified vet for things like that. Although she did suggest the blood test and x-ray which I declined.
Right now I don’t know if he is still dehydrated. He’s actually drinking and eating a lot and he’s now having clear water like poops very often, like every 10 mins it seems. Most of the time they have nothing to them but clear liquid urine, without any feces or urates. He looks quiet restless and shivering a lot, very active when he’s not on his perch. Still fluffed up.
Buddy does need to be seen by an avian vet so please keep that appointment. Are you sure that he is actually eating and not just playing with the food? If he is eating you should see the passage of some fecal material. When birds are ill they spend a great deal of energy to keep warm so it is important that you keep him as warm as possible, cover the cage on 3 sides if that will help to keep the cage area warm. Being fluffed up is a sign that he is not feeling well so even though you have seen him being active he is not feeling normal. When you see the green in the droppings is it in the fecal portion or the urate portion?
His poo has changed so many times over the past day or two it’s hard to keep up. The green was initially the fecal portion, very wet and no solids, while the urate was kind of off white maybe a little greenish stained by his diarrhea. The urate looked kind of curdled spread out bits and not solid like it used to be. At one point the poo was like dark green, almost black, pudding consistency. Then sometimes watery light green with very little urates spread out over it. Earlier today, straight urine clear liquid. Then the occasional dark color firmer poo with more normal looking urate, but small. Now i see more normal firm poo with white urates but with undigested seed in it. He is still eating constantly. He downed half of a millet spray. Very, very active but occasionally sits with his head tucked in. He’s still not singing but does a quiet little contact call. I have been keeping a heater in the room, the temps vary around 80-85F.
I am wondering if the meds have really messed up his digestive system. Also concerned about a possible secondary yeast infection. Maybe the little gurgling sound was from his crop?
One of the things that can cause undigested seed in the droppings is Avian Gastric Yeast, there are other things as well but please make sure you address this with the vet as this is not something that will go away on its own and needs immediate treatment if the organism is found. I don't mean to alarm you but based on what you have described I just want to make sure that you address all possible issues. Please also ask the vet about possible liver issues based on the green color you are seeing and sometimes if there is bleeding in the upper GI tract you can see very black tar like droppings. Please keep us updated after you have seen the vet.
Buddy was getting better, eating, even singing a bit. His poops were looking better. I took him to the avian vet Thursday and everything went fine. But now today he is vomiting seeds and has undigested seeds in all his poop. I took him back to the animal ER today and they didn’t even acknowledge the undigested seed in the poop. The ER vet told me to stop the Baytril and metacam and prescribed metoclopramide three times a day to stop the vomiting. Which is so stressful to catch him. I’ve tried to get them to test his poop for yeast but they say I have to go back to the specialist for that next week. This is so upsetting. He’s back to looking ill and fluffed up and not eating again. What can I do? ☹️
What do you mean by everything went fine, were there any tests done? It is critical that the droppings get tested for bacteria, parasites and fungal issues i.e. Avian Gastric Yeast. This test is not anything unusual and in my opinion should have been done already. By not having any tests done your bird cannot get the correct treatment. Please contact the avian vet and explain the symptoms and ask to be seen right away. Has he stopped vomiting with the Metoclopramide, see if he will eat some spray millet, at this point you need to get nourishment in him and keep him hydrated. You can get some Pedialyte and soak some millet in it and offer it to Buddy. If you cannot get Pedialyte there is a recipe in this link. https://www.talkbudgies.com/your-bud...te-recipe.html
No tests were done, you’re right. I really wish I had pushed for that. The avian vet even mentioned looking at the poop himself but he never actually took a sample. I guess he thought he looked and acted alright, although he’s thin. He wanted me to continue the Baytril and metacam (where the ER vet has just discontinued those). Now it will be yet another trip to the avian vet. But I can’t do anything til Monday.
Right now he is switching between being hyperactive and climbing all over the cage in weird ways, scratching, preening, and shaking his tail a lot, eating, chirping, to sitting on his perch looking sick. I have started to hear that gurgling noise again today too. There is still undigested seed in his poop but he does not seem to be vomiting. I question whether it is right to stop the antibiotic and metacam when we were only half way through, but that’s what the vet said. I really don’t want to grab him 3 times a day for the metoclopramide - I wonder if it is still necessary if he is not vomiting since this morning?
What do you think of how he’s climbing all over the cage? It’s really strange