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Thread: odd symptoms

  1. #1
    WPaulW
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    odd symptoms

    Has anyone run across these symptoms before?

    My budgie Houdini is 7-8 years old. Has had no major health problems until recently. He seems to have lost his balance, or maybe motor coordination. Cannot sit on his perch, when he tries to head in any direction he ends up turning right. No trouble breathing but even before the above behaviour he was puffing up his feathers a bit more than usual. He can grip with either claw but can't get them to work together. :sick

    He finds this state of affairs frustrating as he can't get his face orientated to his food, gravel or water. (BTW seems to be able to fly OK, although I don't let him out so he's out of practice)

    Any ideas out there in budgieland? Thanks!

    -Paul

  2. #2
    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    odd symptoms

    Paul - welcome to the board. I love your bird's name! Very cute. Sorry to hear about his troubles, though. I have two ideas of what it could be that is plaguing him - mainly becasue these have been my experiences recently with my little guy. One is arthritis - being an older bird, this is possible. Please check out my article on avian arthritis.
    www.tailfeathersnetwork.c...hritis.php

    It could also be an ear infection if he cannot walk properly and is disoriented. Is his head wobbly, or tilted to one side?

    The puffiness is not a good sign - really, it sounds as though something is wrong with him, and he needs to see an avian vet ASAP. Here is a link to finding avian vets in your area, and I can tell you that my bird has both of these problems, which were easily and inexpensively treated.
    www.aav.org/activemembers.html

    My Mudge (budgie) is 14 years old. He has arthritis, which was very debilitating, but a veterinarian's prescription for aspirin improved the quality of his life dramatically. Mudge is also just recovering from an ear infection, which prevented him from eating enough, because he could not really coordinate properly to get his face into the food dish, which is just what you describe. I made little platforms in Mudge's cage (you can read about that in my article), put some seeds on the platform, and put him there to eat. I took him to the vet and got him meds for his ear infection, and now he's doing great! Don't give up on your little guy!

    Here are some questions for you: Can Houdini walk in a straight line, or does he go in cirles? Does he share the cage with other birds, and if so, how are they treating him? What is your relationship with Houdini like - is he tame with you? If you tell us more about Houdini and about you, we can probably help more. In the meantime, please try to get Houdini to the vet within a day or two, and since medications are probably goign to be dispensed, I would highly recommend that you go with oral meds rather than water meds - it is not the mnost fun thing to have to administer meds orally, but it is the only way you can be sure that your bird is getting the meds. If you put them in the water, the bird may avoid the water because it tastes funny, and then your bird will be sick, unmedicated, and dehydrated! Even if he does drink the water, you have no idea of knowing what dosage he is getting. Also, I know you want your bird to be safe and not hurt himself flying, but I would really encourage you to give him some out time. He probably feels awfully cooped up in his cage, and would really benefit from being out of the cage. Many people on thsi board have found that even birds that have been untame their entire lives become much closer with us when they need help, and we are there to give it, so try to spend lots of time with your little guy.

    Please keep us posted - I'd love to hear what happens with Houdini.

  3. #3
    WPaulW
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    Re: odd symptoms

    Thanks for the welcome and the advice, Duddles. Found your article very helpful, it gave me more info sources to try.

    Unfortunately the nearest vet in the link you provided is over two hours' drive from me, and I am not keen on inducing that level of stress on Houdini when he's so unwell; he might nbot survive the trip.

    Nevertheless I've formed a theory that might explain Houdini's trouble, since the onset of this was so sudden. From what I've now read, deodorizers are toxic to budgies; my wife bought some and mounted one yesterday morning in a bathroom about ten feet away from the cage. Nuts! We'd heard about teflon and were very careful, but never thought about bathroom deodorizer.

    I moved his cage into the room with my iguana (who's very peeved!) but the temperature is much higher.

    Houdini's head is straight but he cannot walk straight, he circles to the right. He has no cage mates, and he doesn't come out of the cage because we have a dog and four cats who would come running to "help" He normally has a funny relationship with me (no one else handles him); he will hop onto my hand, but he has to give me a nip to show me who's boss. Right now he's too messed up to acknowledge at all.

    I've rigged up some perches and mesh to allow him to set almost normally, but he's basically sleeping when he can.

    We'll keep an eye on him, and I'm heading out to get an eye-dropper to try and can keep him from getting too dehydrated.

  4. #4
    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: odd symptoms

    Paul - yes, those scented items can cause a lot of damage. If that is what caused this, your little guy is lucky he didn't die, because they usually do not survive if they get sick form these things. A few other things to avoid are - deoderizing spray, cleaning chemicals, pot pouri, scneted plug-ins, basically anything that gtives off strong fumes. I can see you already know about the Teflon.

    Did Houdini's symptoms come on suddenly? Is he able to eat now? If he has a platform he can stand on, you can put seeds on it and let him eat them from there. Also, if he has no trouble hanging from the bars of the cage, you can hand spray millet and veggies for him, and those might be easier to access. I would also suggest trying to find a food dish that might be easier for him to eat from, if you can find one with a larger surface to stand on, or a wider dish so he can get his face in there - just watch him and try to figure out what the problem is, and see if you can find a dish that can correct the problem.

    I guess the avian vet is too far for Houdini, but maybe some regular vets in your area treat birds. Actually, my avian vet is not on that AAV list. I found him by calling around, and he's wonderful with my birds. There may be an avian vet, or a regular vet that treats birds closer than you think. You could even call that vet a few hours away, and ask them for advice, or if they can recommend someone in your area.

    The eye dropper is a really good idea. If he is afraid of the eye dropper, you can just sit in front of him with a little bowl of weater, dip[ your finger in the water, and try to use your finger to put a drop of water on the side of his beak. He will probably drink it, even if it's just accidentally! I used to do this with Mudge, but most of the water ended up on his feathers. I am not sure what kind of shape Houdini is in right now, but if he likes baths, you could give him a bath and he will like water off his feathers. Just make sure he has time to dry before going to bed.

    How is Houdini now? Is he fluffed up? Is he eating at all? Is he getting better or worse?

    If it is some sort of poison that caused this, maybe giving his liver a boost can help him fight it. Anyone have any ideas on food that are good for the liver?

  5. #5
    WPaulW
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    Re: odd symptoms

    thanx for hangin in with me duddles.

    sorry for the lack of punctuation, houdini's using my left hand at the moment. he's much better, but now i am wondering if he damaged his leg mayvbe during a fall while sickened by the deodoriser. it looks as if it's at an odd angle, but he's now able to perch (mostly!)

    he drinks happily from the eye dropper, and hasn't lost his appetite. he's still a little puffy, and if he does fall off his perch he can't hop back up. but he doesn't look so depressed and energyless today, so i am keeping my fingers crossed. he has been sittin on 2 of my fingers for about 20 minutes now w/o trouble, which is a good sign (of course normally he would have flown away to explore . . . but i thot he'd be dead by now so all-round, i'm pretty pleased!)

    i'll continue to keep u posted

    -paul (houdini's human)

  6. #6
    WPaulW
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    Re: odd symptoms - update on Houdini

    Happy Monday!

    Well, we seem to have made it through the weekend. I think that Houdini has maybe acclimatized too well to our Canadian climate: he is pretty lethargic in the 90 degree heat over by the lizard's cage.

    This morning he tried doing his usual singsong - a sad effort! He would sort of fizzle out after a few breaths, but didn't give up. He has continued to eat, and although I believe he's drinking I am supplementing with the eyedropper every so often.

    As of yesterday he began trying out a perch (he's there at the moment) but he can't stay for long periods - I guess the act of balancing does use up some energy.

    Overall,I'd say we are improving v-e-r-y slowly, but we're headed in the right direction at least! ray

    -Paul

    P.S. My iguana Diablo is very much NOT happy with all this going on :burn and wants it to be resolved as of immediately!

  7. #7
    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: odd symptoms - update on Houdini

    That's great news. Is Houdini still unablew to walk straight? Is the weakness his only problem now? Is he eating well? How is his poop?

    I would still suggest getting him to a vet. If you can't find an avian vet nearby, maybe a regular vet could consult with an avian vet for you.

    If you can describe a bit more how Houdini is doing now, we may be able to give you more advice. Hope he continues to get better!

  8. #8
    WPaulW
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    Re: odd symptoms - update on Houdini

    Hi Duddles! Houdini is able to walk straight again, but his left leg drags a bit. He's still weak but he's eating rather well I believe. Poop appears normal.

    Although you suggest getting him to a vet, I have had some experience with the local vets with regard to my late cockatiel friend Phil. They are very caring, but not very bird- knowledgable (despite what they themselves believe). Plus, they're very expensive (I don't mind it if you get what you pay for, but you don't)

    Today he tried to climb up the cage bars. Didn't get too far, but when he lost his footing he flew to the other side of the cage and grabbed on there. He tired of that right away though, and went back down to the mesh I've put across the lower part of the cage. Anyhow that's a fairly big leap forward.

    I can't think of anything more to add. Progress is slow, but it is progress!

  9. #9
    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: odd symptoms - update on Houdini

    Good to hear that he is making real progress. I don't really know what it is about those air fresheners that makes birds sick. I wonder what part of their system it attacks - sounds like the nervous system. I just wonder if anything can be done to make sure that he makes a full recovery, and without understanding what causes it, it's hard to guess.

    I understand your point about the vet - yeah, sometimes non-avian vets can make a mess of things, but then sometimes you haved no choice. If Houdini is improving so well, it sounds as though you can avoid those local vets this time, but it's still good to figure out who to take your bird to in a future emergency. I thought there was only one local bird vet, and they were so awful to deal with that I really did not want to go there. After some investigation, I found out that there are actually three places, plus some emergency clinics that deal with birds. You never know!

    Anyway, keep us posted about Houdini. I wonder what will happen when you move him out of the iguana room, besdides your iguana leaping with joy at the bird being gone! Houdini might benefit from a heat lamp when he is no longer in the warm room. If you use one, just make sure that at least part of the cage is cooler, in case the heat lamp is too strong for him.

  10. #10
    WPaulW
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    Re: odd symptoms - update on Houdini

    Yes, a heat lamp is what killed our cockatiel (he was dying at the time) Despite his weakness, he somehow got a metal shield loose from around the lamp and just hung against the side of the cage too close to the bulb. It was terrifically sad, although I suppose it put him out of his misery sooner. We did our best for him over the 2 years or so that we tried to get him well, but he never really had a chance, poor little guy. A very tragic early life I fear.

    But back to Houdini.

    Yesterday evening he hopped onto a perch and was still there when I came i ntoi the room this morning. His fluffiness is down and he looks like his old self (when he weighed less that is!)

    Actually,the day b4 yesterday he had a bath or three, so I was already optimistic but now I'm really pleased. I'd like him to clean up his vent again, so I'll watch for that.

    I think we're getting close to the home stretch!:haha

    -Paul

  11. #11
    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: odd symptoms - update on Houdini



    I'm so glad to hear that. Is he still in the iguana room? Is the iguana still peeved and sulking? Does Houdini still have any paralysis at all, or is he completely back to normal?

    Thanks so much for posting. I am sure many of us were wondering what has been happening with Houdini.

  12. #12
    Chick annabnana's Avatar
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    Re: odd symptoms - update on Houdini

    ..like me!!

    Hee hee...Hello there! I've been keeping up with these posts...glad to hear that Houdini is slowly getting back to his old self. Didn't have much to add...just wanted to welcome you to TF. o

  13. #13
    WPaulW
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    odd symptoms

    Thank you for the welcome!

    I've been busy and didn;'t reply until now, but things appear mostly back to normal with our budgie Houdini. I think he may have some residual damage affecting his one foot but it doesn't bother him much.

    Because there is no way to control the environment where he usualy hangs out, I'm gonna keep him in with Diablo (my iguana.) It's awful warm, but I hope to take care of that by building a better iguana cage. Houdini will really miss the action and attention, but I think it's safer for him to be away from the bathroom and kitchen where he has always been before, since a number of the substances mentioned by Duddles could be used without my knowledge.

    I thank you for your enormous help, I know where to go when I need solid advice!

    -Paul

  14. #14
    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: odd symptoms

    Hi! Glad to hear Houdini is doing so well. It sounds as though life is pretty well back to normal for him. That's great. Glad we were able to help you out too! I hope you stick around - drop in whenever you have a chance, and if you have any questions, or tips for others, please share!

    I thought you might be interested in the links below:

    Here is a page on bird dangers - things you may never have thought would be harmful. (Thanks to Mel for posting the link!) www.parrotparrot.com/bird...alerts.htm

    And here is a thread that has lots of links to lists of poisonous and safe plants for birds. pub98.ezboard.com/fthecoc...=119.topic

    Hope to hear from you again soon.

  15. #15
    WPaulW
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    odd symptoms

    good links, Duddles
    Thanks again!
    -Paul and Houdini

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