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Thread: Budgie Tumors

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg juliebird's Avatar
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    Unhappy Budgie Tumors

    Hi everyone - I'm new to this forum. I had to find a place to talk about our budgie.

    Last night, we had to put another one of our budgies to sleep. This is the fourth budgie that has died of cancer - out of 8 budgies that we've had in total.

    I just can't believe how many we've lost to tumors at such young ages. The first time this happened, it was a female budgie that a friend had given us to join our flock because he thought that she was depressed. In hindsight, she was getting sick. Within a few days, the lameness in her leg worsened and she passed very quickly. We do not know how old she was.

    The second time really hit me hard. Sky was my beautiful blue-white budgie who had the personality of a big parrot in a little bird's body. He was my buddy - he snuggled and could talk, and had paired up with a nice little female budgie. Same story as before - he was avoiding using his foot (I naively thought he may have hurt it somehow). We took him to the vet, did an x-ray, and found he had an internal tumor pressing on his leg nerve. We took him home and spoiled him for a couple of days until he was in obvious pain and couldn't feed himself any longer. He was put to sleep not long after that. At the time, he was barely 4 years old.

    The third was awful. One of our males started showing a bulge on his tummy and we hoped it was a fatty deposit or something. By the time we got him into the vet, the thing had split open . It turned out to be an extremely fast growing agressive tumor. We put him to sleep last October. He was only 3.

    Last night was Pippin. This time, the minute I saw the lameness showing in his leg, I knew what was going on. He actually did quite well for a couple of weeks - we let him spend time with his girlfriend and spoiled him rotten. Over the past few days, he got much worse and wasn't able to get off the bottom of the cage. He went to birdie heaven last night. The vet confirmed that he had a large tumor growing. He was just over 3 years old.

    What is with all of these cancers? 3 years is much lower than all of the expected budgie lifespans that I've seen. And half of our budgies have died around then.
    They're in a huge flight cage, get fresh veggies/fruit every day, I've switched them over to eat pellets in addition to seed.

    Has anyone else had this much trouble with their budgies? All of the ones that have died are the fancy colored ones... does that make a difference? We got them from the same pet store - maybe the breeder that supplies the store isn't careful about healthy genetic breeding?

    When I see our other budgies, it's hard not to look at them and wonder how long it will be before they die, too. Now I don't want any more budgies because it seems as though they die way too easily.

    Thanks for listening. Have to get bad to work, trying not to cry .
    - julie

  2. #2
    budgiecrazy Egg's Cracking...
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Julie, I am really sorry to hear about your losses. There is no easy way to deal with the loss of an animal, they are such an important part of our lives. You're in my thoughts, and try to think of the good times and how happy you made them.
    I don't have enough knowledge to give you any advice but there are many people on this board who will probably be able to offer you suggestions. Sorry again.

  3. #3
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    hello julie.. i am sos sorry .. i can relate to your grief.. I also had a budgie name timothy grey.. he was such a biter ohh and he was so intelligent u could see it in his eyes..I am not good at tamming , but i spoil my budgies.. and in the last day s i sat up with him in my hand crying... he was in so much pain he would even scream ... but ther are no vets here where i live ..only local breeders and they could not put him to sleep.. i only prayed...after two night he passed away..
    then i had a whole brood taken at a very young age (less then a month) only one survived , sunshine.. he really was sunshine.. i knew something was wrong withhim..he neve grew in size much never could fly ..but he was a jumper and gave me many heartattacks by jumping off things... and one day i knew he was going .... he felt so cold... i tried warming him with heat lamps but his time had come and he went away.
    we can never forget them or the joy they brought in our lives or the emptiness their passing had brought.
    the only consolation is that the time they spent with us was a happy one.. atleast they were happy...

  4. #4
    Brand New Egg juliebird's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Thank you for your support... Right now, I just feel so helpless about these birds. Like no matter what I do, they still get sick and die.
    But you're right - I know that he was happy right up until the end.

    gilca13 - I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've faced. That must have been so heartbreaking. Do you have any birds left?

    For everyone - please take the time to give your birds an extra snuggle and tell them how much you love them and how glad you are that you could be their friend.

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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Quote Originally Posted by juliebird
    For everyone - please take the time to give your birds an extra snuggle and tell them how much you love them and how glad you are that you could be their friend.
    Perfect advice!

    I am sorry about your babies. My vet told me that budgies really prone to tumors. The vet that threated my bird that passed away from one also said that from his experience they are more common in the colors other than green.

    I lost my first bird, Grendel, to a tumor on December. It has not been easy. I think it is good you found us on tailfeathers. You will definitely find great support here.

  6. #6
    I love my budgies! Teenager jt_80's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    I'm so sorry about your budgies
    Proud owner of Whisky and Brandy ............. Pictures availible HERE.
    December 29, 2005 ~ Our special day

    And the hammy, Artermis !!! (March 13, 2006)

  7. #7
    Brand New Egg Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    I hope that my experience will become a success story and that it may give new hope to Budgies with tumors or lameness.


    I have an 11 year old budgie named Frosty. I can’t even begin to tell you how much a loved companion he is. He goes everywhere with us talking up a storm and making friends everywhere we go. His health has always been good until 3 months ago. I noticed that the crash landed one day, then it happened more frequently. At first I thought it was funny because he never had this problem before. Soon it developed into a limp, and then within 2 months, he couldn’t control his legs. His breathing has become short and he is always very tired. I took him to a couple of vets, they gave him antibiotics, charged us a couple hundred dollars and sent us on our way. Finally on the third month, I took him to a specialist, Dr. Larry Nemetz of the Bird Clinic of Santa Ana. Dr. Nemetz is the most advanced Avian Doctor / practice I have ever seen. His clinic is one of only six “Avian only” practices. He recognized Frosty’s symptoms of having a testicular tumor and gave him a with his Digital Xray machine. If you want more info

    http://www.thebirdclinic.com/Radiology.html

    The digital x ray showed Frosty’s tumor taking up most of the space in his lower back ribcage. The tumor is so large that it is squeezing all of his internal organs and pinching his leg nerves (giving Frosty lame legs) and pushing against the back of his lungs (causing short breath). Normally most Avian vets would tell you that there was nothing that could be done and that the humane thing to do would be to put your budgie to sleep. Dr. Nemetz had performed micro surgery to remove such tumors with success although it is risky. Recently he has been developing a new procedure using Stontium-90, a radioactive metal, which he injects a metered dosage of to reduce hormone levels, which in turn reduces the tumor/testicles to normal size. I never knew this but bird’s testicles are located in their upper back. Dr. Nemetz has only attempted this procedure one time on a budgie that had complete paralysis of their legs. The treated budgie now has use of both legs and lives a happy life. Here is info on the Stontium-90 Procedure

    http://www.thebirdclinic.com/L3_Strontium-90_Tx.html

    The x ray was about $150 injection was less than $100. As I said Frosty is like a member of the family, I’m just happy that I have a rare chance to possibly add a few years to his life.

    Frosty is the second Budgie to receive this new procedure, it’s been a week now. His condition was more severe than the other birds because the size of the tumor. He continues to tire with any activity and breathes with his mouth open. Looking at his X ray, his lungs are being squashed down to about 1/3 the normal size, I wait patiently to see if Frosty’s condition becomes better. If it wasn’t for Dr. Nemetz offer of this procedure, the only choice I would have had would be to watch him pass away or put him to sleep Tumors are very common in budgies, this ailment most frequently labeled as “lameness” which has been labeled as terminal, hopefully with Dr. Nemetz’s new procedure may become curable.

    If you have a Budgie that suffers from lameness and are wanting to try this radical new procedure, have your Avian vet contact Dr. Nemetz to become part of this study. I happen to live very close to The Bird Clinic but all I know is that if I lived anywhere in the US and could fly to have my baby given this new treatment, I’d be on the next plane….I will add to this reply in about a week to update Frosty’s condition. I never would have believed that I would become as attached to this little bird as much as I have.


    Curtis

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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Juliebird -I am so sorry for your recent loss and for the budgies that have passed before. I didn't know how prevalent this is and I understand your not wanting to go through it again. They are such wonderful little birds and so very hard to resist. I had two budies who had fatty tumors that I believe took their lives too although they lived to be around 8 or nine. On Sunday I lost another budgie only this time I think it was liver disease. She was only about 5 or 6 - young for a budgie to pass. I wonder if they are becoming so inbred that it is happening more. I feel for you and glica 13. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you both.

  9. #9
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    I am so sorry for your loss too. My budgie, Duncan, the only one I have and have ever had, was found to have an enlarged kidney last year, which my vet says is most likely cancer. She said there is nothing we can do but basically wait until he becomes lame and put him to sleep. I am so heartbroken especially since he is such a happy bird and very active. I have only lately, after over a year, started to notice him maybe favoring one leg a tiny bit. But it may be my imagination. I wish there was something I could do to help him but no one seems to know of anything around here. I can only hope he will outlive the vet's expectations but I can't help wishing an option would come up. With so many budgies having these problems you'd think more options for treatment would arise.

  10. #10
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Oh Julie! I feel so bad for you!
    I stumbled on to your forum because I was Google-ing Budgie tumors. I have two budgies, one beautiful lime green/yellow one, and one gorgeous blue / white one. My lime green one (Timon) is my little angel! Hes sweet, and LOVES to sit on shoulder or hand- no matter what I'm doing! However my blue one (Pumba) was wild when I got him. He was just there for company for Timon. I have been working on taming him-even though he bites!
    The REAL thing is though- that I about a week after I got him, he began walking on his one foot funny! He sort of puts it sideways and hobbles around on it like that. I didn't really worry about it too much, because he seemed totally unaffected-like he didn't mind. But yesterday when I was holding him-I noticed a strange wart-like growth on his left wing/shoulder. It's round and about .75 cm big. It doesn't bother him too much- but now I'm worried! So I googled 'budgie wart growth' and found your forum. I quickly became a member, and wrote this to you. Do you think my budgie has cancer?! I cant afford to take him to a vet, so what should I do? Should I separate him from Timon? I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!!
    Please help! Write back as soon as you can!
    Good Luck With your other 4 Budgies!
    ~ April Lieuwen

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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    My parakeet developed a large fatty tumor on breast area about 6 mo ago. I didn't notice until the feathers parted and it began to ulcerate. We visited an avian vet who said options included surgery, wait it out with pain killer and milk thistle or euthanize. I had been searching for answers online and chose to instead take her home and keep searching for a solution (I did give her the milk thistle). I read about a few ingredients, including tumeric & vit e that I combined with other natural plant based products and developed a formula that (miraculously) worked for her ("Birdess").

    I've been controlling the growth since then with my own formula. I'm posting today to tell people that I have something that has worked for me, and am preparing to offer samples for testing purposes. I welcome all questions and if you'd like to reach me, find me through Florida Equestrian Magazine (I don't know that it's appropriate to post my email here). I'll be providing samples for cost of shipping during testing and further research.

    I'll also be back to post some b4/after photos of Birdess. She's 7-8 btw. She was given to me by a neighbor who's wife had passed away. I've had her for about 5 years. She's on a low-fat seed diet. I've TRIED to get her to eat leafy greens, etc without success. Also wish I'd known better than to feed her millet spray all those years.

    Think of all the possibilities through simple, natural remedies. Medicine has its place- but so does nature.

  12. #12
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Quote Originally Posted by April Lieuwen View Post
    But yesterday when I was holding him-I noticed a strange wart-like growth on his left wing/shoulder. It's round and about .75 cm big. It doesn't bother him too much- but now I'm worried! So I googled 'budgie wart growth' and found your forum. I quickly became a member, and wrote this to you. Do you think my budgie has cancer?! I cant afford to take him to a vet, so what should I do?

    ~ April Lieuwen
    This bothers me, April, the bit about "Can't afford a vet." Is this a temporary situation that will soon be changed (as you'll have your monthly salary coming in in a few days but can't afford till then) or is it your finances in general.

    There's no kind or gentle way to say this, but if it's your finances in general, then you shouldn't own a bird or in fact any pet until and unless you can afford to take it to a vet when it's sick. End of. Harsh but true. It is unfair to keep an animal if you can't look after it. Think how you'd feel if you got sick and your mom said "Can't take you to the doctor/hospital because I can't afford the fees." When you take on a pet, any pet, you have to understand it's not just the initial coists you have to worry about. Budgies can live up to 15 years with good care: that's 15 years of food, chew blocks, cuttle bone, toys, and, yes, if they get sick, vet treatment.

    Now I've got that off my chest, is there anybody you could borrow the money off? Or do you have organisations that would help people on low incomes pay for vet fees? Do you know a breeder who might at least be able to say if it's a tumour or not? Put up a picture titled "Tumour or something else?" on this forum, your description puts me in mind of a pic someione put up of a small purple/black lump on their budgie's wing that someone else idntified as an infected feather follicle.

    Please think hard about whether you should keep these birds if you can't afford their vet care. Whatever happens on that, good luck!

    ArticunoGail
    I was sane once, but I got better.


    My baby boy, Lawrence.

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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    I am sorry to know about Budgie. I really love these birds. They are so cute.

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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    My budgie Sky died of an internal tumor several years ago. He was 14 years old. One of my budgies I have now, Star, also has an internal tumor on her chest. The Avian doctor that I saw (about 1 1/2 years ago) told me that these tumors are usually the outcome of an all seed diet. They really need fresh fruits and veggies. I have had a total of 5 budgies in my life and have never been able to get them to eat anything other than seeds, spray millet and herbs (basil and thyme are their favs) that I grow. He said the tumor would eventually get so large that she would not be able to breathe but, after having read this thread, I am HORRIFIED to think that it may cause her chest to burst open. I don't think I could handle that. I am going to try giving her Tumeric. It is a known cancer fighter. I tried finding Courtney Weinzimer through the Florida Equestrian link provided but had no luck. Please let me know how I can contact you Courtney. Thanks.

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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Tumorsoccur in budgies a lot. I have budgies pass from them. Some breeds are more prone to tumors. Budgies happen to be one. Guess to try to stay ahead of it by often vet care.

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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Hi
    I purchased a pair of proven budgies from a lady about 5 months ago. The female had been preparing her nest box and the male had been feeding her but nothing happened. Two days ago I saw a red bulge coming out from her abdomen. Upon further exam, I see it appears to be a tumor. Can I post a picture of her and can anyone identify if this in fact looks like the cancerous ones? She is not acting ill in the least bit.

    Thanks

  17. #17
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    Budgies are prone to tumors. I have lost many young birds that were budgies. Also, have had 2 that lived healthy until 12 -13 years old. The old ones I bought from a store that sold quality birds. But they are no longer in business. Must be very careful where you get budgies from, as many pet stores sell budgies that just do not last very long. I have switched to Cockatiels, as heard they last longer.

  18. #18
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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    I have tiels ,lovies, conures, budgies and a grey....Ive not seen this before. Shes not acting sick at all.

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    Re: Budgie Tumors

    I have a blue and white budgie that developed a lump in her chest that has grown rapidly...the vet first gave me milk thistle to administer with a syringe but at this point I don't want to man handle her because of the growing tumor. Not sure whether it is a fatty tumor or cancer. She recently gave me a thyroid medication that I put in her water which is helpful. My budgie has had problems most of her life with me - got her as a young bird along with another blue and white. He has been fine but she developed bumblefoot which was a bear to get rid of - the vet told me it was due to perches, but I suspect it is a viral condition like herpes that just continues to erupt periodically - I had changed out all their perches but she still got it. Her beak also began to grow at an alarming rate and I have taken her in regularly to get that clipped. My vet said that blue and whites tend to be susceptible to tumors and other conditions because they have been inbred so much. I believe her on that. Has anyone had a bird with a tumor that wasn't a blue and white? Just curious. Thanks.

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