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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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  #1  
Old 12-22-2020, 09:59 PM
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Default Help with giving antibiotics! Giving up!

So my very young new budgie, Spree, started to show signs of illness a few days ago - vomiting then lethargy, but eating and drinking ok - so I took him to an aviary vet. He checked vitals, which were fine, and swabbed his crop and it came back with a bacterial infection (type not specified). He gave me a syringe and Enrofloxacin to give 2x a day for 14 days.

I've tried 3 times to give it and all I managed to do was get it all over his head and eyes. It is simply impossible to administer a slightly cream-like liquid in a dropper too big for that tiny mouth! I towel him but leave his head open and he just squirms so much, all while keeping his mouth closed. Tonight was the worst, getting it all in his eyes, and I just cried and felt terrible. He looked so sad afterwards. He's just too small for this (only 25 grams).

So I don't want to do this to him anymore. Prior to feeling this way I did order some seemingly smaller syringes from Amazon and they should arrive tomorrow but I'm not sure I want to do this. I have two questions.

1. Could his infection possibly get better on its own? He has improved the past day or two, no more vomiting and more awake.

2. Is there a way I can hold him (no one to help) that will hold his head stable and perhaps open his beak?

Thanks for your help.

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  #2  
Old 12-23-2020, 12:39 PM
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Generally these types of infections will not clear up on their own and by not giving the medicine you risk the chance of it becoming worse. If you absolutely cannot manage it ask the vet for something to put in the water, Enrofloxacin is commonly a first choice for bacterial infections but there are other options that may work. Putting meds in the water are not always as good because you cannot be sure that the bird is drinking enough for the meds to be effective. I will tell you what I do when I medicate, maybe it will be a help to you. First you have to stay calm. I medicate in a very darkened room with just a small light on, enough just to see what I am doing and I do it first thing in the am before I uncover the birds. I very quietly and slowly reach in and cup my hands around the bird and remove from the cage, my birds are in flight cages with large doors which makes it easy, if your cage has a small door it may not be quite as easy. I sit down and place the bird on my thigh or a table with my left hand gently restraining the bird, let the bird calm down while sitting and then tap the beak with the syringe, sometimes the bird will try to bite the syringe and that is your chance to administer the medicine, if the bird will not open its mouth you can try to get the medicine in through the side of the beak. It can be difficult at first but I have been able to medicate successfully this way. After you get the medicine in put the bird back in the cage still in a darkened room and let him calm down. When you hold a bird never compress the chest, the bird will not be able to breathe. I do the same thing at night if I have to medicate twice a day, I put the birds to bed and come back in about 30 minutes and repeat what I have done in the am. How old is this bird, 25 grams is small.
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Old 12-23-2020, 05:23 PM
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Hi Cody,

It's not a problem for me to handle Spree, as he was clipped when I got him. I don't know his age but he has full stripes down to his cere, and that's after having him for a month. So my guess is around 3 months? I chose him because he was so young and seemed mellow. But in hindsight perhaps he slightly sickly then even though he looked ok. He hasn't gotten any bigger over this past month which is worrisome.

I saw a youtube and it appears you can hold them around the neck ok with your thumb and forefinger. Do you use this method? I'm thinking I'll try it tonight to stop his head from moving around too much. Previously he just would not open his beak for the medicine even with it all over his face!

This is soooo stressful...and heartbreaking. I've had a parrotlet for 10 years and he's been extremely hearty, never sick, so this is new to me.

thanks for your help!
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Old 12-23-2020, 08:18 PM
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How are you holding the bird at current?

If you place your hand above the little one, have your first finger and middle finger either side of the birds head, then gently wrap you thumb and remaining 2 fingers around the birds body to keep the wings in and support the body. You should be able to hold the bird safely but firmly.
As said above if they bite the syringe gently squeeze some of the medication out into the beak or if not try from the side.
I also do this in a darkened room.

Failing that can you mix the meds into any sort of food that the little one will eat? It would need to be something small so you can ensure the entire amount has been eaten, and it would need to be absorbant.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:07 AM
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Hi Captain,

So I'm having a little more success. I try the method you say but he still squirms so much, probably because I'm not keeping a firm enough hold. He ends up in a weird position but I've been successful in getting some of the fluid into his beak, which is what matters. Those little tapered cones that go over the end of the syringe are a must-have! Without them it wouldn't work (for me). It's only been since Wed eve that I've had any success so I anticipate a little more time before I see a real change, though he does seem more alert today so that's good.

Merry Xmas!
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