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Thread: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

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    Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    Hi,

    I have 6 budgies. Since two days I have seen one of them looking a little unwell (She was sitting all fluffed up). But her appetite seemed ok. So I dosed their water with a few drops of organic apple cider. But today, I have noticed, that she has stopped eating.

    So I put her in a separate cage under a 40 watt bulb. She is still reasonably active and chirps. However, she is still not eating. Rather, she goes to her food and seems to pick at it, but does not eat. Also she appears a little restless and confused. She was trying to chew on her newspaper bedding (Which she has never done before). I think she wants to eats, but is not able to. At the moment, there seems to be no vomiting or head shaking.

    Her stools are very scanty and bright green. Since there are no avian vets here, I'll have to medicate her myself. Request your suggestions:

    I have tried Flagyl and Ivermectin in the past. Should I go ahead with this?

    Also, since she is not eating, should she be force fed? If yes, what and How?

    warm regards,
    Shailaja
    Last edited by shailaja; 11-19-2013 at 04:46 AM.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    Do not give ivermectin to small birds please thats a very strong med that can kill them and its not made for birds it was made for dogs,cats, cattle , horses, sheep, etc. There is a version for birds that is not so pure, only available in USA.
    Baylee SF Violet D Turquoise female white faced lovebird
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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    You could consider trying some "soft foods". Budgies really don't eat many soft foods, but it seems to me she may have some problems in her esophagus, or in her stomach, so she is not eating. She may not be able to swallow. I do have to tell you that sometimes budgies do get tumors in their throat/esophagus stomach. It may be she has developed one and it has grown enough that she cannot swallow.

    I would suggest you boil some white rice. I would say brown rice, but it is not as soft in texture after cooked. Mash a little of the white rice up and put some in a food cup, while warm . . not hot. You also could cook a hen egg, and mash some of the white and yellow of the egg together, and try that. Try the rice and the egg separately, because she may eat one and not the other. If she goes for both of them, then you could mix them. Another food you could try would be cooked sweet potato. Again, mash it and feed warm. Also, try feeding some whole wheat bread pieces. You could soak the pieces in a little apple juice, so they are softer. I would first try the bread without the apple juice, because the juice may make her droppings runny. I feed whole wheat bread to my budgie all the time and he loves it.

    There are baby bird formulas that are powdered you can get at a pet shop. You also might consider getting a can and trying to put some of the mix in a food cup, or see if she would let you hold her and perhaps eat a little off of a small spoon. Again, be sure to use distilled or pure water when you mix it. The directions on the container will most probably be to heat the water and then mix the powder. You should feed it warm but not hot. This will give her some good nutrients as well, because as I stated above she just may not be able to swallow seeds now. You might have to add a little more water to the mix than the directions say so she can swallow it better.

    Is she drinking any water at all? I would be very careful with the apple cider vinegar. I'm not sure at this point it will help the problem. Do you give her pure or bottled water. I would get a gallon of distilled water, and put it in a very clean water cup. She could also have gotten a bacterial infection from the water she drinks, or even in a seed mix, because sometimes seeds have mold in them and that can cause sickness as well. I would not give any medications without first consulting with a Vet.

    Is there any Vet in your area? Even if it isn't an Avian Vet, I do think you need to take her in for an evaluation. Budgies hide their illnesses very cleverly, and she could have been sick longer than you realized.

    I'm so sorry you have to deal with this challenge. I will be praying that she will get better.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    Dear Maria & Ellen,

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I have started her on Flagyl (Metronidazole) because I am very concerned that she might have trichomoniasis (though there is not any apparent regurgitating or vomiting at the moment). The main symptom thats hinting at Tricho for me is that, she does seem to be hungry but seems to only pick on her food. Also her keel bone has become very sharp.

    I have lost birds in a row in the past, where they just kept on getting too thin and unable to eat. My vet had then prescribed baytril and cephalexin. Both dint work. Then I started the rest on Flagly and that horrible spell ended.

    I am worried that there might be an outbreak again. Anyways for now I have isolated her. After the heat lamp, she looks a little better. Also I had put in some dampened whole wheat bread, which she nibbled on a little. Since then, two of her recent stools look better. I will be continuing the flagyl for 5 days. If its tricho, I am hoping the medicine will help her to start eating again.

    Planning to additionally use a little probiotic powder and vitamin in her food to counter the medicine's side effects. Also will try the food suggestions...
    Do let me know if there is anything else to be done.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    Quote Originally Posted by shailaja View Post
    Dear Maria & Ellen,

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I have started her on Flagyl (Metronidazole) because I am very concerned that she might have trichomoniasis (though there is not any apparent regurgitating or vomiting at the moment). The main symptom thats hinting at Tricho for me is that, she does seem to be hungry but seems to only pick on her food. Also her keel bone has become very sharp.

    I have lost birds in a row in the past, where they just kept on getting too thin and unable to eat. My vet had then prescribed baytril and cephalexin. Both dint work. Then I started the rest on Flagly and that horrible spell ended.

    I am worried that there might be an outbreak again. Anyways for now I have isolated her. After the heat lamp, she looks a little better. Also I had put in some dampened whole wheat bread, which she nibbled on a little. Since then, two of her recent stools look better. I will be continuing the flagyl for 5 days. If its tricho, I am hoping the medicine will help her to start eating again.

    Planning to additionally use a little probiotic powder and vitamin in her food to counter the medicine's side effects. Also will try the food suggestions...
    Do let me know if there is anything else to be done.
    I will pray for your little bird to get better.


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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    Budgies also get Avian Gastric Yeast (AGY), they call it the wasting disease and it is very common for budgies to get it. One of my girlfriends who fosters budgies for a big rescue here said about 50% of the budgies they take in have AGY. I would give her the Flagyl and if you can find it some diflucan. The Flagyl is an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory which will make her feel better and the Diflucan will kill the yeast. If you look around on the web you hopefully can find out the dose of Diflucan to give to her. The best medicine for AGY is Megabac-S but it is hard to find and it also is very strong medicine. The diflucan will do the same thing but it will take longer to help her get rid of it.

    I have always heard if they have trichomoniasis you can sometimes open their beak and see growth inside of the mouth.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    Hi Deanna,

    She seemed better in the morning and looked pretty active. I even saw some fresh poop. But now again she has become quiet and is not eating. Also the stools now have only the white part and liquid. I forcefed some electrolyte and vitamin drop. Trying the rice now.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    If you find any baby bird formula to feed her that would be good for her along with the electrolytes. It would help her gain a little weight and get strong to fight whatever is bothering her. Hopefully the Flagyl is working to help her. When Boomer got sick once his vet had to force feed him baby formula for two days straight to keep him strong enough to fight his yeast he had.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    If the medicine you tried in the past worked for you, then you must go with your own intuition. I will pray that will help her. I feel sad for you that you are having to go through this with your little bird. It does have to be a worry that the others may come down with this illness. I have been very lucky over the years of having birds in my home. I've never had any of them who had bacteria or yeast. I did have one budgie that passed about 2 years ago, who I believe died because I was giving him parsley on a daily basis, and after he died, I did research on-line and found there is some sort of phyto nutrient or chemcial in parsley that will cause them to get tumors in their thyroid/throat area. Maxi also died because he could not eat. His illness was short lived, and I did not have any time to take him to the Vet.

    Please keep us posted on how things are going. I hope she will get better after taking the meds.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    Right now she is munching on her seeds and boiled white rice. I boiled the rice with a little clarified butter to keep it soft and boost some nutrition. We dont get any baby bird food here.

    Her stools are now very light green in color. She seems to look ok at the moment. But her condition keeps changing, so frankly dont know what to make of it. I have to give her morning flagyl dose now. Another query I wanted advice on:

    Giving her medicine is a big trauma for both her and me. She fights it tooth and nail. Plus a lot of the medicine end up spluttering through her nose. So I am always skeptical about the dosage she is actually consuming. My folks are not very comfortable handling small birds, So I have got to do this alone. Is there a better way to do this (She does not drink too much water, so mixing it in her water is not an option)

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    I am happy she is eating her food, this is a good sign. Hopefully with the medicine she will keep on improving and hopefully get better. You can give her the Flagyl for a long time just to make sure she is actually better and then perhaps it wont come back. We would give it to our bird for up to 4 weeks to make sure his yeast was gone.

    Instead of trying to give her the full dose all at once try breaking it up into tiny sips of it. I use to hold my lovie and give him a tiny sip and then scratch his cheek to make him drink it and then give him another sip until it was all gone. After you done with the medicine drip a drop water in his beak to wash the nasty tasting medicine away.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    She seems to be doing better.
    Thanks for all your advice!

    She is now eating by herself and her poop has started looking normal. I checked the flagyl dose on the net. Most sites mention a duration of 2-10 days. Also it is supposed to be carcinogenic in rats. So I am planning to continue it for 7 days. Do you think the period is too short? Also what happens when I reintroduce her back in the large cage? Is there a case of reinfection from the other budgies? I am planning to disinfect the cage before putting her back.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    I use to give Flagyl to Boomer for up to 3 weeks at times but it was from his vet and she knew the exact amount to give to him that wouldn't hurt him. Maybe you can cut the dose in half after the first week just to make sure you got rid of whatever was making her sick. I am thrilled she is feeling better now
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    Do any of the other budgies have any of the symptoms she did? My thinking is that you totally disinfect the cage with white vinegar and warm water, and then remove all of the toys. Take the perches out and also disinfect them. Wash any mirrors thoroughly. I would throw out any toys and get new ones. You also will need to keep an eye on her since she hasn't been with the other budgies for awhile. I also am very happy to read she is eating again and her poops are getting better. That is great news!

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    Re: Help! Budgie seems to pick at her food, not eating, looking restless

    The other budgies don't seem to have any outward symptoms. Though its been more than two months and yet two of them have not put on any weight. But they are very active.

    Btw Annie is now very curious about the lady next door. (they are both in separate small cages, next to each other). She has now conveniently forgotten Leo and infact even perches on him, with scant regard for his feelings. Right now she has very tiny down like feathers coming near her tail area. But the feather growth continues to be extremely slow.

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