Yesterday I noticed my parakeet with a completely limp leg. She was unable to move it at all and not able to grasp onto the bars of the cage with her left leg. I thought maybe it was a broken leg so I took her in and the vet was very sure it was a kidney tumor pressing on the nerve causing paralysis for that leg. He took x-rays but was also going to get a 2nd opinion from a radiologist. It seemed to me that it was very sudden with her losing functioning in her leg (as if overnight). I asked if there was something to do for it but he sort of shrugged his shoulders and said you can get chemo and radiation but of course that is out of the question for us. So we put her in a seperate cage from the other budgie I have and made things easier for her such as a small cup of water and seed on the bottom of the cage rather than the ones that go on the side of the cage. We basically lowered everything almost to the very bottom of the cage. It's very difficult for her to get anywhere and has difficulty keeping balance. So...now to the question. Is there some sort of anti bacterial or medicine to give her to help or stop the tumor? Also if nothing can really be done how long should I expect her to live from this point? I feel like I should of asked the vet more and will call tomorrow but I wanted a 2nd opinion also. Thanks.
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: 3
Type of Animal: Parakeet
Name of Bird: Topaz
Went to the vet
-- You did the right thing by taking this beloved pet to the vet and I commend you for that. Many owners wouldn't have bothered, so you've proven how much you genuinely care. I'm sorry that the vet wasn't more forthcoming in explaining how this probably happened. Let me take the time that they should have and please forgive me if I'm blunt ok? You deserve honesty, even if it's not what you want to hear. A symptom such as you've described with the leg IS typical when a bird has a tumor pressing on a nerve. It's also possible as the result of hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) and a few other conditions. Unfortunately, these conditions are not bacterial based and that's why no antibiotic will work. Most of the time the cause of the diseases or conditions, including tumors, is nutrition. And when you mentioned "seed", you gave the most often found source of the nutritional connection. Despite what pet store clerks, even pet store owners might tell you; in spite of what's on the packaging and all of the promises of how wonderful it is, seed is the WORST base diet for all birds in human care. It's toxic, it's junk and it's going to shorten bird's lives tremendously. There is no truth in advertising laws for pets like for humans; and there is very little we can do if a product kills our companion. They are considered 'replaceable goods'. How tragic is that? Now, there's a chance you can make a difference for your bird even at this point. I don't know what tests or Xrays or other diagnostics were done and I absolutely would never second guess a vet who has had the privilege of a hands on exam, but with that said, let's at least try. We owe that to your little Topaz and believe me, you'll rest better knowing you did everything you could possible do. --- Offer ½ spoon of all natural, organic baby food (squash, yams, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables) which many birds take readily; also try some pabulum or baby rice cereal and a few licks of natural (no artificial anything) yogurt. --- Make an oatmeal using 2 tablespoons of all natural oats + 4 tablespoons of plain, hot tap water. Let it stand for about 5 or 10 minutes until the water is mostly absorbed. You can add ½ teaspoon of no sugar added, all natural applesauce, either regular or jarred baby food type, which often makes the oatmeal more acceptable for picky eaters. --- Chop up some fresh or dried fruits to add. With dried fruits try to find ‘no sulfites’ on the packaging. **********************************************For supportive care & hydration: --- Make some sugar water with 1-2 tablespoons of natural white sugar (none of those sugar substitutes no matter how natural they claim to be) in ½ cup of water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and offer the bird a couple drops of this along with the Pedialyte. --- You're doing GREAT by making her cage safe and keeping her comfortable at the bottom. --- I want you to look here (copy and paste this into your address bar) for more feeding options http://www.4AnimalCare.org/birds--- You may see an improvement within a day or two of getting her nutritional needs adjusted, but do not let this fool you into thinking all is well forever. She'll need follow up visits and she's going to need regular weights done. Get yourself a gram scale and at the link provided above you can see how to get the weight and record it. --- This is especially important while keeping her from seeds and encouraging all of her food intake to be fresh, good foods and of course a pellet based diet (also discussed at the link)--- We'll take this one step at a time ok? And I'm here every day (hours are different, but I always check in) so be sure to let me know what's happening. It may be too late, but it may also be 'just in time', so let's pray!
Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author