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Thread: Constipation, Swollen Tummy, Vent Clean - What's going on?

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
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    Sep 2018
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    Constipation, Swollen Tummy, Vent Clean - What's going on?

    I just came back after burying a female budgie. She died today morning at 7am. I found her head tucked 36 hours earlier and went to examine. She had a huge swollen red tummy. Her vent was clean. She would try to poop but nothing would come out. I separated her to a different cage with a 60w light bulb for heat. I started Doxycycline, enroflaxin and an antidiarrheal syrup. Her condition kept deteriorating. She couldn't open her eyes. She stopped eating. If she did poop, it was watery and few times it was blood(like a cm long tissue). Without the heating bulb, she would feel cold and her feathers would stand up. She went to bottom of the cage, ran to drink the water several times, franticly fluttered her wings, rolled over and died in pain.

    I can't tell you how much this affects me. I have spent a lot of money on my birds but the vets in my area are useless. They mainly focus on poultry birds and are heartless. For any type of swelling, they prescribe an antidiarrheal syrup.

    This is the 3-4th bird I have lost to this same disease.

    If I find any bird having wet feathers around the vent, I immediately mix 2gm of Doxycycline and enroflaxin in the water. I have never had a budgie who died of diarrhea. Never ever.

    Once a female budgie had her egg broken inside her vent. The egg contents were squeezed out but the shell remained inside her. I separated her into small cage. I put an 60w bulb over the cage for warmness. In the next 15 days she became very weak. Her weight dropped by 8-10grams. She needed constant attention and heat bulb. I fed her Doxycycline and enroflaxin two times every single day through crop syringe. It finally took her 30-45 days to recover enough to be put back into the colony cage.

    I have saved many emergency case budgies. But I have never found a way to save a budgie that suffers from constipation. This is a dangerous disease. The vent remains clean but the stomach gets massively swollen. It becomes more difficult for the bird to pass poop as each day passes. On the 2nd or 3rd day, the budgie dies in pain.

    I feel helpless and I blame myself for failing to ensure their safety. I have no idea what this disease is. Antibiotics/vitamins/stimulats do not work in this particular case. It would be greatly appreciated if someone knowledgeable gave me some info on how to handle this situation.

    Thank you for reading

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    USA Midwest
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    Re: Constipation, Swollen Tummy, Vent Clean - What's going on?

    Hi, and welcome to the community. I am so sorry you have lost this budgie and am sending you hugs.

    What diet do your birds eat? Do you feed seeds only, pellets only, or a combination of both. Feeding pellets to small birds like budgies requires lots of water being consumed daily, because unlike natural seeds that do have moisture, pellets are very dry foods, are man made, and have no moisture, or, very little moisture in them! As a result, birds on pellets tend to get constipated. They need fresh veggies and fruits in their daily diet as well as a good seed mix.

    From what you have written, it apears to me your little budgie could have had tumors or anal obstruction. Or, tumors in the testes or reproductive system. Without a necropsy it is difficult to know what happened.

    Please do not blame yourself. You were very thoughtful, loving and caring of him. It is terribly heartbreaking to see something happen such as this, and the caregiver cannot save the bird no matter what.

    I recommend to not feed any cabbage family veggies to budgies, including broccoli, parsley, kale, and cabbage. These veggies have a phyto chemical in them that can and often do cause tumors, especially in the esophagus. And I suggest if you do feed pellets, feed a mix of 15% pellets and 80% seed. Your budgies need fresh veggies and fruits, and a good quality seed mix, every day, in my view.

    I admire you for caring and lovng all your flock, and especially tying to save this one.

    Fly high and free sweet budgie!! Over the rainbow bridge.
    Last edited by maxollie; 09-09-2018 at 02:41 PM.

  3. #3
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Colfax, California
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    Re: Constipation, Swollen Tummy, Vent Clean - What's going on?

    I am sorry you lost your bird. It must of been so upsetting to try so hard to save her yet she still died. You did what you could do but her little body just couldn't make it through this. Hugs to you.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  4. #4
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    Re: Constipation, Swollen Tummy, Vent Clean - What's going on?

    Thank you for the comments.

    It is hard to do something when you dont understand what it is. I've been reading a lot about this on the internet forums. I've narrowed down my suspicions on two possibilities:

    1) A hyperactive metastasis growth in her intestinal tract (aka cancer)

    2) She may have swallowed a metallic piece that could have got stuck in her intestines which caused infection, constipation and poop in blood. I have some rust developing on the mesh wire at the corners of my mini-aviary(4L x 3B x 6H ft) but I have never seen any of my birds lick that. We fed out budgies almost everything we ate. If we bought apple, we put some inside the cage. Carrots, cucumbers, biscuits, corn etc.

    Previously, I had a different female with a fat deposit under its belly and I know how that feels. It is like a blob of fat "on the skin" which you can almost separate(pull up) from the body and roll in your fingers. An egg bound bird looks similar. The egg inside makes it appears just like a fat deposit(bit pale-ish and little fat yellow) but you can fell the thing "underneath the skin" and it is hard to touch so you know it is an egg. In the recent case, her whole belly was swollen, red and soft like jelly.

    I've gone through this article decided to add 1-2gms of tumeric powder to the water feeder once a week. The article says that turmeric maybe restricting damaged cells(maybe genetic) from going full metastasis. Some people on the avian forums are claiming that budgie mutations are prone to develop metastasis in the 1-3 age period.

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