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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Budgie Regurgitating?

    Hi, my name is Allison and I have a 4 year old budgie named Sanibell. I took her to the vet today because she was regurgitating her food and water and was acting slow and tired and was all puffed up. Her forehead is covered in her regurgitated food, but I have done my best to clean it off. The vet couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    First - welcome to TailFeathers!

    Second-I am very sorry to hear about your sick budgie. It is very hard when our birds are not well.

    Was the vet an avian specialist? Your average vet (cat and dog patients) has no clue about birds. I am guessing the vet is not an avian specialist for the following reason.

    Material all over the head and face of a budgie is vomiting, not regurgitation. When birds vomit, they start out with head bobbing like they are going to regurgitate, but then quickly whip their heads from side to side as material comes up, slinging the material everywhere, including up and over and around their heads (hence the face and forehead being covered in food). A regurgitating budgie has clean feathers, is trying to feed another bird or object, and the food is carefully placed, not flung all over the cage. Also, your bird is tired and fluffed, another sign of illness.

    Your bird needs to see an avian veterinarn ASAP, who will likely prescribe medications. Birds go downhill very quickly There are a number of causes of vomiting in budgies, each with different treatment. To help your bird until you get her to an avian vet, keep her warm and quiet in a hospital cage (partly covered cage with a heating pad on one side set on low) and give her millet (easily digested) and Pedialyte (unflavored variety) for drinking (replaces electrolytes and provides some energy).

    To find an avian veterinarian, look at www.aav.org or www.abvp.com

    Best of luck with your little girl.

  3. #3
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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    Thank you so much for being so helpful! I am following your advice and hospitalizing Sanibell at an avian veterinarian for about a week while I am gone over the fourth of July. I am keeping her warm and quiet in her portable cage before I leave for the vet very soon.

  4. #4
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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    How is Sanibell doing? Good for you for taking good care of Sanibell.

    Has the avian veterinarian diagnosed the cause of her vomiting? (At least it seems like Sanibell has been vomiting from your description.) Hopefully, this veterinarian was able to do the proper tests to find a cause of the vomiting and get her started on the correct medication(s).

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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    Sanibell is currently at the vet. The veterinarian specializes in birds, but said he couldn't diagnose her yet because he couldn't do all the tests. He was able to do a few, but he said he couldn't do the blood test because she had so little blood in her, or the x-ray because it would stress her out too much. He did say that all the tests he could do turned out normal, like nothing was wrong with her.

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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    The primary causes, but not the only causes, of vomiting in budgies are avian gastric yeast infection, trichomonas infection, gram negative bacteria and/or Candida in the crop, hypothyroidism, and liver disease. The easist to test for are avian gastric yeast, trichomonas, and gram negative bacteria and/or Candida in the crop. These are fairly easy to diagnose from poop and crop flush or crop swab samples. The diagnosis of hypothyroidism or liver disease seems to be based more on signs and symptoms because budgies are so small that the vet can't enough blood for the tests or because the tests for budgies don't exist. I have experience with my vet diagnosing avian gastric yeast, gram negative bacteria in the crop, and liver disease in birds in my small flock. She also thinks they may have mild hypothyroidism, which we are treating.

    Bottom line, you might ask your vet what he has tested for and what he has eliminated as possible causes of Sanibell's problems. You also might ask him specifically if has looked for and ruled out the some of the primary causes of vomiting.

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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    Sanibell has been at the vet these past couple of days, and has gotten much better. I think the vet gave her a long-lasting antibiotic shot that lasts about a week. I'm guessing the combination of the antibiotic and being in a warm environment helped her get better. The vet never did say what the problem with her was, only that he didn't get vomiting budgies very often. I actually think you might know more about the subject than him. Thanks for all your help.

  8. #8
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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    Reguritating is a perfectly natural function,from the moment a cock is introduced and accepted by the hen he will begin to regurgitate partly digested seed from his crop and feed her,this courting process soon turns into a duty once the eggs begin to hatch .He will spend the day packing his crop with seed,allowing his digestive juices enough time to get the digestive process started and then bring the whole lot up to feed the hen and the chicks.This is a male bird in breeding condition and if no mate is available he will feed the mirror,his toys or your finger,this is an instinctive behaviour and nothing to worry about.

    Retching looks just like regurgitation where the bird stretches up the head and neck and makes convulise retching movements,the difference is nothing comes up.This could be a tumour in the throat but more likely it will be a obstruction in the throat often caused by a small feather swallowed when the bird was preening .Within two days the symptons should stop after the obsruction was dislodged by the passage of food and water.

    Vomiting by throwing food out of the crop is not unusual and there are a number of causes,the first cause is a chill and warmth and isolation must be offered immediatley.The bird will try and get rid of accumulating mucus in the throat and seeds fly out and gather in little clusters. These can be seen on the cage floors or the cage wires.Vomiting is common in pet birds and can be a sign of disease or courtship.

    The vomiting bird may show one or more of the following symptoms - Weakness - Lethargic and fluffed - Sometimes they will seizure - Pass watery green droppings - Severely affected birds may die suddenly.

    In severe indigestion and after ingestion of poison,the liquid vomited by the bird may have a bad smell,the bird becomes weak and refuses food.The breast feathers and head feathers will be wet with thrown out mucus. Add a small pinch of epsom salts to some water and fill a syringe , make sure the bird is drinking this and then gently massage the birds crop area .Offer some soft food or millet sprays and coax the bird to eat,this may bring about a recovery.Remember the sick bird always needs warmth. Epsom salts must only be used as an emergency treatment and used only once.Too much salts will poison birds.

    Disease causing vomiting in birds.

    Infectous disease– which include bacterial, viral fungal and parasitic disease - Metabolic disease– eg enlarged Thyroid , liver disease, peritonitis - Nutritional cause e.g. high protein diets. - Toxicity – Heavy metal toxicity (Zinc and lead are most common), plant toxicities - Physical obstructions – e.g. foreign body in the crop, overfeeding, tumours - Trauma especially crop burn - Allergic – food - Behavioral – usually not pathological e.g. courtship behavior, crop milk feeding in pigeons - Cancer – causing nausea and obstructions - Iatrogenic / caused by treatments– from drugs especially doxycycline, nitoimadazoles - Other – e.g. motion sickness when traveling to vets or shows. A more common syndrome is that of low level poisoning .

    To help veterinarians work up medical caused of vomiting veterinarians often use the term regurgitation for finely controlled vomiting that is part of normal physiology that a healthy bird may do. They bob their head up and down and then bring up softened undigested food into their mouth and place the reguuritated food carfully in a desired place. Vomiting is more uncontrolled ejection of food from both the crop and stomach that is spat out, and flicked around the cage, often landing on the head and neck and is always a sign of disease.

    The most common causes of a vomiting budgie are Trichomoniasis,Megabacteria,Heavy metal poisioning and after receiving certain medications.

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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    Hi,

    I've read the threads above and am not sure what to think. I have two budgie's - a male and a female. Recently I've started to notice the male making a repeated spitting sound and the doing a funny motion with his neck. I've just seen him do it today and for the 1st time I saw him shake his head to the side and something flew across the cage, he then had a couple of seeds on his back. His droppings are also sometimes green and runny but when I last took him to the vets he just gave me some powder to sprinkle on the seed, which hasn't changed anything. The droppings have been like this for months but the vomiting is only in the last 4 weeks or so and not all the time. The weird thing is my budgie's behaviour hasn't changed at all, he is a very active and lively bird who talks all day long, plays with his toys, climbs all over & preens his mate. I would have thought all this would have changed if he was sick? He seems very happy and the same as always. I am trying to find a specialist Avian vet as I think mine is more used to the general cats and dogs. My bird's are not tame at all though which makes it hard taking them to a vet. I should have bought one and got it used to me and then introduced a mate but I bought them together and their interest is with each other. Any advice would be welcome. I just find it strange that my budgie doesn't 'seem' sick in himself but don't want to leave it if he is going to suddenly become ill and I've not done anything.

  10. #10
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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    Budgie is the nickname or informal name for budgerigar. This is a small, long- tailed seed-eating parrot that is common in drier areas. Thanks for sharing about them.

  11. #11
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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    Our bird also has recently started regurgitating seed and cloudy liquid onto his mirror and fuzzy "cave" toy (the same one he humps from time to time...). Obviously, I have no issue with him doing what nature is telling him to do, but the smell of his toys...and the feathers on his chest is simply overpowering! We have bathed him, sprayed him with mist..washed out his entire cage...etc....but still he repeats his behavior and starts to smell again. The entire cage smells like bad fish only a few hours after we clean everything, including him.

    How do we allow him to "be a male bird" but still control the odor?

    Thanks to anyone who can offer advice....

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    Re: Budgie Regurgitating?

    Well for starters, perhaps try removing the mirror and the cave toy for a while. If your bird waggles his tail like crazy, that's a sign he's trying to mate. So he's probably in the breeding mood. I've never experienced odour problems with my budgie, so I am not sure what you can do about that as you've already tried bathing and all...you should probably ask your vet for help.

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