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Thread: New budgie breathing heavily?

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    New budgie breathing heavily?

    Hello! I, sort of by surprise to myself even, "rescued" a budgie a couple days ago. A friend of a friend bought this bird from a Petsmart about a week ago, and decided birds weren't for him. I JUST got a new baby cockatiel and have never had budgies, but decided to try and take him on. He is being kept in the guest bedroom for a quarantine period but I am hoping to work on taming him during this quarantine period and then putting him in the same room as my cockatiel eventually so that they can be buddies.

    I have had him for three days now and have noticed that he seems to be settling in. I know he is eating and drinking and moving about, because whenever I walk into the room there is seed eaten and he is always in a different spot. However, he seems to still be afraid of me as whenever I enter the room he freezes. I have started talking to him softly and putting my hand in the cage, I even got him out today after he flew out of the cage and just held him for a bit and pet his head, he actually really calmed down for that.

    One thing I've noticed though is that he seems to be breathing heavily and rapidly. His little chest is just going up and down whenever I see him. He has no discharge coming from his nose, his vent is clean, and like I said I don't really see him moving around but I know he is at least some and he is eating well.

    My only real bird experience is with cockatiels so I am wondering if maybe this breathing is normal for a budgie? If not and he is ill I am a little concerned about keeping him even in a separate room from my tiel, and definitely don't want to be handling him when I also handle my cockatiel (I do wash my hands between). Since the little guy did come from Petsmart the guy who bought him still has a few days to return him if he doesn't work out with me and I'd hate to do that to him but I don't have the resources right now to take on a little budgie that is sick from the get go!

    Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    Is his tail bobbing up and down?? Often times when a budgie or other small bird is not feeling well, or has some sort of illness, the tail will bob up and down. Like you, I am concerned about his breathing, and I admire you for noticing.

    Tonight, I would be sure to cover his cage with a soft blanket. Hopefully, he will sleep all night. The blanket will keep him from drafts and/or cold air. You also can take a small blanket, warm it up, and put it under the cage which will create warmth. We have another member, Deanna, who just posted today concerning another bird that was not feeling well, that she uses a heating pad that she hangs on the side of the cage after putting the cover on the cage, on low setting, so that would generate some heat for him. Personally, I've never tried heating pads because I would be concerned about the pad being turned on all night while I was sleeping.

    Did the guy you got him from mention anything about his behavior? I feel the budgie could have a respiratory infection. Do you know if the person who had him is a smoker or an e-cig person? His droppings may become lose and watery, he could become all fluffed up and be lethargic, with his eyes closed. He also could shiver. He also could stop eating and drinking. And he also could stay on the bottom of the cage in the corner, trying to keep warm. These are some symptoms you can watch for.

    I can fully understand your concern, and also I know that Avian and other Vets can be expensive. Like you, I would consider having the guy who had him take him back to Petsmart. Maybe they would take the bird to a Vet and pay for the expense and then when the bird is healed, you could consider taking him back.

    You hopefully can sort out your decision overnight. Personally, if he is still breathing heavy by morning, I would say he needs either attention from a Vet or to be returned to Petsmart. You have a little cockatiel and sure do not want the cockatiel to get sick. Bacteria can go airborne even if you have him in another room.
    Last edited by maxollie; 01-28-2016 at 06:43 PM.

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    The only thing he said about his behavior was that he "isn't friendly". I don't think he smokes but I'm not sure.

    I suppose his tail is bobbing a bit but it is with his breathing, I am not 100% sure what to look for there. So far the only I'm seeing is his heavy breathing, he doesn't seem to stay fluffed up, his droppings all appear to be pretty normal and he seems to be having regular droppings as well. I am really concerned about the breathing though and really paranoid about my cockatiel.

    I took a video of his breathing. I did turn the light on and woke him up for the video so he was a little fluffed up then but isn't all the time.

    Here's the video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLZxfkP4-_g

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    i'm going to throw in a possibility of being stupid right now....Mine did that too, but stopped after a week with me....Is that not just possibly fear? Mine birdy is happy and having fun and driving me nuts now. It can be fear from what I think. The same as humans that breathe faster when they are afraid or get panic attacks due to anxiety can a bird not experience the same? He has just moved homes twice and well you are big. I would have anxiety for weeks if someone 70 times my size were to handle me and keep me in a cage in a place I m not familiar with. Hell I would die of fear.

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    I definitely see the breathing, and from having budgies for a very long time, I do not recall ever having one displaying this behavior. He does seem a little puffed up, but of course he was sleeping. I do not see the tail bobbing. Tail bobbing is one of the first signs of a possible illness with a budgie.

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    I definitely see the breathing, and from having budgies for a very long time, I do not recall ever having one displaying this behavior. He does seem a little puffed up, but of course he was sleeping. I do not see the tail bobbing. Tail bobbing is one of the first signs of a possible illness with a budgie.
    HMM if you were in this situation what would you do? I have to decide by tomorrow if I am going to keep him or else he will be returned to Petsmart. I don't want him to pass any illness on to my cockatiel but I would feel terrible about returning him to the store if he wasn't actually ill.

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    Do you know if he is young or older? If he is young he will have stripes from his nose all the way down the back of his neck. As they get older they lose the stripes and have a solid color forhead. As the age they also get a grey (or white in some mutations) iris ring but babies will have completely black eyes.
    My reason for asking is I have a older cockatiel, Ellie, who has anxiety and arthritis. She gets extremely heavy breathing when I take her out of her cage. For some reason she just doesn't like being out. I don't know how she was treated as a baby but I believe she was caged for most of her life so now she gets anxiety when she's out of her cage. Like your budgie, she will allow me to hold her. She wouldn't ever bite me. But she doesn't enjoy it and the second I let go she flies back to the cage.
    I wouldn't worry too much. It's possible it's a respiratory problem. Just make sure he is warm at night. If it is anxiety it may start to fade, but only time will tell.
    My parakeets don't breath like that, but they also don't have any anxiety as they are just babies.
    Emma Ellie Nala Mayzie

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    Oh! I just read your last comment. When I purchased my parakeets from petco they say that if there are any health issues that need medical treatment they will pay for the vet bill. This "warrenty" on paying the vet bill lasts for 30 days. You should contact petsmart and see if they have the same thing. Or if you feel this will be too much risk for your cockatiel you can just return him.
    Emma Ellie Nala Mayzie

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    So I apparently actually have until Sunday to decide, I decided to move him to a room in the house that I am in more often so that I can keep a closer eye on him. That way I can also see if he stops breathing so heavily once he gets used to seeing people regularly, instead of me just popping in to check on him several times a day.

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    I just wanted to update, once I moved the little guy into a room I was in more often I started to notice that he was also sneezing quite a bit, so I decided to have him returned to the store. Since it was still in the 2 week warranty time, they gave me the option of exchanging him for another bird. Petsmart's return policy is a little weird and when you return a bird to them due to health reasons they will take it to the vet and then put it back on the sales floor after it is better. They will give you the option of giving you a call once the bird is better so that you can come back and re-buy it, but they won't leave it off the sales floor until you come to pick it up. Since I am pretty sure he had an infection that all the other birds would have as well, I returned him to a different Petsmart so they could get him to the vet and all of their birds there looked MUCH healthier and also a lot younger so I decided to do the exchange. I got a little guy that is already flying around, chirping, and taking food from my hand within only a couple of days, which is more than what I accomplished with the other poor little guy after almost a week. I'm hoping he gets to the vet and is given a clean bill of health before being resold at the store that had healthier birds to begin with!!

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    fantastic that it works out for you

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    Thank you. I feel really bad about the first little guy but I think the people at this petsmart are better at taking care of their birds and I am hoping they will take him to the vet as they said they would, they even said they would give me a call when he's healthy again in case I wanted to buy him again.

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    Hi, Courtney! I admire you completely for making that decision. Recently I got a new budgie at Petco, and the clerk told me I also could bring her back, in two weeks if I didn't want her. I've purchased budgies from time to time over several years and I've never had to return one. But for some reason, this time, when the clerk told me, I did think to myself, "Oh Dear . . . now if a bird was sick when you brought it back, even though they might take it to the vet . . surely they wouldn't put the bird back into the aviary. Well, now I know the answer.

    We will hope that little guy survives. But more importantly, I am sooooo happy you are having a wonderful experience with your new little one, and it has to be a big relief for you, knowing the other one will be cared for and you can have a brand new budgie friend to add to your flock.

    When he/she settles, do post some pics of him. I wish you the best!
    Last edited by maxollie; 02-02-2016 at 02:44 PM.

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    Don't feel bad at all. Sometimes making hard choices really is not fun at all. I have never owned a bird before and I am just winging it right now with him. Later next week I will have a budgie gym for my baby assembled and have him a playing spot on my desk. Sometimes struggling is scary. I remember I nearly lost one of my dogs to tick fever. The person we bought my dog from didn't inform us of the tick outbreak. We nearly lost him and I was so scared that I would have to put my dog to sleep.

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    Re: New budgie breathing heavily?

    Sorry to hear that the first little budgie started to sneeze and you did do the right thing. I just hope they do take him to the vets and it can get better and find another good home to go to. That is great the new one you got is so friendly right from the beginning and it sounds like you two will be bonded in no time.
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