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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years in general practice, including avian.
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My budgie is generally weak and unhealthy. We have taken her

Customer Question

my budgie is generally weak and unhealthy. We have taken her to bird vet and gone through regiments of antibiotics (2 different kinds) and diflucan anti-fungal medication. She is parasite free and the diflucan does seem to help while she's on it; however, after 2-3 days between dosages she goes back to being lethargic, listless and puffed up. She has a small heater attached to cage and a warming perch but her feet are always cold. She often licks the bars of the cage as well as picks/eats poop. She is about 3 years old. The vet says she is not egg-bound.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.I'm sorry to read of Xana's condition. How long has she not been well?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About a year. We had another female that passed last summer at about the same age and seemed to just waste away until she finally died. We have another very healthy male that is now about 5 years old. All 3 were cage mates. The male is a strong flier and very social. Xana flied just fine until about a year and a half ago but now is quite weak. She can go short distances but its mostly just flapping close to the ground (gets no lift). She will also sometimes regurgitate undigested seeds which makes me think she has some sort of crop issue. The diflucan helps but does not cure whatever is going on. Over the past 3-4 months we have given her dosa. es in the following way:
1. 14 days diflucan once per day along with Ciprofloxin antibiotic 2xday (we ran out of antibiotic after initial 14 days)
2.About a week of no meds, lethargy, etc returns
3. 7 days once per day of diflucan
4. Break in meds. still sick
5. 21 day diflucan 1xday. After about 10 days she perks up, not puffing up as much and vocalizes a little
6. Break thinking this may have healed her. After 3-4 days she goes back to being sickly
7. 14 day diflucan 1xday. Perks up again after about day 10
8. Break in diflucan. Get another antibiotic formula of metronidazole 2xday. We're on about 14 days and she's showing no improvement.
9. We just started trying the hand feeding Exact baby bird formula and she seems disinterested
10. She will try periodically to eat seeds or accept regurgitated food from the male but she sleeps so much that it doesn't seem possible that she'd be getting enough nourishment.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here are Rx details:
Ciprofloxacin 12.5 mg/ml. Give 0.02 mls by mouth every 12 hours
Diflucan 5 mg/cc. Give 0.03 by mouth every 24 hours
Mentronidazole 3 mg/ml. Give 0.1 ml (0.3 mg) by mouth every 12 hours
All are dispensed via syringes directly into her mouth
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional detailed information, every bit helps! I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, i'm in the middle of a very busy day at my clinic, so I must reply as time allows. As avian experts have determined that dietary issues underlie 90-95% of pet bird health issues, let's start there. What does she eat?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mostly premium store bought seed blends for parakeets and recently Harrison's high potency super fine blend for small birds. Additionally, we offer sprays of millet which she loves. We offer greens such as those in field greens from stores (spinach, lettuce, etc.) She prefers the lettuce over spinach. We also offer her occasional celery as she loves it. She will also pick at the inside of a banana peel, and accepts other flesh fruits we may also eat (apple, peach, nectarine, strawberry tops). We typically remove the fresh offerings within the day. She likes bits of crackers and wheat bread but we have pretty much stopped giving that to her. The other bird eats and has no issues with anything and will still occasionally "steal" a small piece of bread or cracker here and there. We've even started limiting him as we know he will sometimes feed her. He most often will eat and has a "plastic bobble headed parakeet friend" that he prefers to feed ALOT! I have seen Xana also go to our male parakeet's plastic friend and lick off the remaining regurgitated food rather than eat freshly offered seeds. Both birds live and eat together so it is disheartening to see one that is the picture of health and one that is just the opposite. Thank you for your replies.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thank you. Did your veterinarian ever take radiographs or do any laboratory testing on her?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No radiographs or blood tests due to cost. She did a fecal test for parasites and it was negative. An external exam was done and the vet indicated her crop was slightly thickened and that she was slightly underweight but nothing extreme. No broken bones and that her skin, cere, eyes and feathers appear to be normal. She did not indicate any respiratory distress
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. The symptoms she is showing as well as the fact your other bird showed the same signs is very troubling. I would recommend separating the two remaining birds immediately to try to prevent the spread of a virus. The disease that most closely fits the symptoms you're seeing is proventricular dilatation disease (PDD). This is a devastating disease in parrot-type birds and can be passed from bird to bird. you can read a number of articles about PDD online, but one of the less technical, yet accurate, one can be found here: wish I had a happier answer for you, but it is important for you to know what it is with which you're dealing so you can protect your male and know what you can and can't do for Xana. Some veterinarians have used non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help manage the symptoms of the disease. You can find an article about fighting PDD (that's the title of the article listing online, too). The author has put a lot of effort into researching and combating this disease. If you have further questions, please let me know. Kind regards, *****