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Patricia
Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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MY PARAKEET LOOKS LIKE IT HAS A TUMOR, AND IS ACTING ILL ...

Customer Question

MY PARAKEET LOOKS LIKE IT HAS A TUMOR, AND IS ACTING ILL WHAT CAN BE THE P
ROBLEM
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Patricia replied 7 years ago.
Hello. What is the location of this suspected tumor? Is it near the bird's vent by chance? Can you give me an approximation of the size of it, i.e. a pencil eraser, a nickel, a quarter, etc.? How long ago since you first noticed it? When you say acting ill, what symptoms are you seeing; sitting with feathers fluffed, sitting on the cage floor? Any change in the appearance of the droppings? How old is the bird and do you know if it's male or female? If it's truly a tumor, those can stem from diet so please tell me everything in the birds usual dailey diet. This extra information will help me give you by best advice. Thanks, Patricia
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Patricia's Post: WHAT LOOKS LIKE A TUMOR IS SORT OF BETWEEN HIS FEET SO TO SPEAK, ITS ABOUT THE SIZE OF A PENCIL ERASER AND ITS RED AND SWOLLEN LOOKING. HE HAS ONLY BEEN ACTING ILL FOR A FEW DAYS AND I DIDNT NOTICE THE SPOT UNTILL A FEW DAYS AGO EITHER. HE IS SLEEPING ALOT AND ALL PUFFED UP ON HIS PERCH WITH HIS HEAD TUCKED. HE IS NO LONGER ACTIVE AND EATS VERY LITTLE. HIS DIET IS MAINLY VEGITABLE BLEND SEED, AND I MAKE SURE HE HAS FRESH FFOD AND WATER DAILY. HE HASNT MADE MUCH SOUNDS IN A FEW DAYS EITHER, BUT HE ISNT COMPLETELY STILL ALL THE TIME.
Expert:  Patricia replied 7 years ago.

Okay, thanks for the extra information. I see you are saying "he" but you didn't say if you know absolutely, positively which gender you have. Knowing for sure can affect which of the two strongest suspects may be the problem. If you will look at the cere, the bulbous area just above the beak where the nostrils are located and check the color of that area. If it's blue, purple or any shade of either, then you have a male bird. If it's tan, pinkish, creamy color or similar, then you have a female. First off, regardless of gender, your bird is not on a good diet. Seeds and seed products should not be more than about 25% of the entire dailey diet. A good brand of pellets needs to be mixed with the seeds and the rest of the diet needs to be fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and much more. There should always be a never ending supply of cuttlebone available also. The calcium in it is important for all birds but it can literally be life and death for a female. A bird on a diet that is too high in seeds, (fat) they are at high risk of fatty liver disease, (Hepatic Lipidosis), fatty tumors and obesity. I'll be giving you a lot of links where you can read up on all of this information in great detail. You also did not tell me how old the bird is so it's impossible for me to say how likely any of these possibilities are. If your bird is a female, in addition to the tumor risk, she could be egg bound. (If the bird has a blue cere, you can skip the next several paragraphs.) If your bird is female, keep in mind as you read this, you must assume she is egg bound until proven otherwise, and that means you must do any handling of her in the most gentle manner possible. If it's female, try to get her facing you so that you can look down along the underside of her body, trying to detect a lump or swelling just in front of her vent. Not seeing one does not mean she is not egg bound but seeing one, is almost a guarantee that is the problem. If that's the problem, it is a serious emergency. The best thing for your bird is to get it immediately to an emergency vet. The good Avian vets will have 24/7 emergency services available. If you don't already have one, I'll give you links to help with that. Against my better judgement, I'm going to give you one last ditch effort you can make. I say it that way because it is exactly that, last ditch, when all hope is gone, desparation move. I also warn you, it has little chance of success. It's only better than doing nothing. You can coat her vent with cooking oil and have her stand in a dish of luke warm water. The water must be deep enough to come about half way up her tummy and you must keep it warm. Any deeper and she will panic and struggle. Struggle is the last thing you want. You must handle her as gently as possible and don't put any pressure at all on her body, anywhere. If the egg has not already ruptured inside of her, you don't want to cause it to. The best way to keep her standing in the water is to cup both your hands over her body without really holding her directly. You must make sure the water stays warm. If you let it cool down, it can work against you. If she does not pass that egg in about 30 minutes or less, and without a vet, she is going to die. 30 minutes is the max. If this is going to work at all, most likely it will not take that long. But to repeat, that is not your first, best choicle. Your best choice is a vet who has tons of exprience working with birds and come highly recommended. That is much more important than credentials and certifications. The problem with trying this "at home" remedy is that is she has been straining for very long at all, trying to pass this egg, it may rupture inside of her that alone is life threatening. If she strains too hard, she is going to suffer a prolapse of her uterus. If it's "she" and if she is egg bound, that tissue you are seeing could be the beginning of a prolapse. She is literally going to turn her self inside out. She really, really needs a good vet. Whether you have a male or female, you still have a serious problem that cannot be handled at home. Every hour you delay getting to a proper vet, the risk of infection and worse, goes higher and higher. If left untreated, it will cost your bird it's life. Making that even worse is, neither is likely to make the bird drop dead in the next few hours. It could suffer for several days before it can't fight any longer. Again, no matter the gender of the root cause of the problem, the bird has been ill for quite a while. One of the problems we have with our parrots is their very strong instinct to mask all symptoms of illness or injury, from us. In the wild, they are prey and to show weakness is to get kicked out of the safety of the flock. By the time we see any symptoms, it's because they are too sick and too weak to keep up the pretense. A couple of the first things we will be able to notice is a change in behavior, (less playing, less or no talking, etc.), any change in the appearance of the droppings that lasts more than 24 hours and cannot be accounted for by diet. For example, a lot of fruits or veggies one day can make more runny droppings but it should not last more than a day, then go back to normal. Other symptoms are sitting with feathers fluffed, giving up the perches and staying on the cage floor, and sleeping an inordinate amount of time. For now, you need to make sure he/she does not get chilled and is not in any kind of draft, and keep alert for any of these other symptoms. The closer we can keep an ill bird to 80F. the better. Cover the top and three sides of the cage, keep household traffic to a minimum near the cage, keeping him as quiet and stress free as possible until you can get in to your avian vet. I'll be sending my best thoughts your way, hoping for the best possible outcome but let me know if you have any more questions. Patricia

Click here: Grit, Gravel and your Parakeet / Budgie

Click here: Hepatic Lipidosis

Click here: PetCareLibrary - Tumors in Parakeets (pvy.com)

Click here: Parakeet Medical and Safety Information

Click here: Parakeet Budgie and Keet FAQs and Info

Click here: Toxic and Safe Plants/Trees for Birds - Household Poisons

Click here: Birdsnways - Safe Plants & Trees for pet birds, pet parrots &exotic birds

Click here: Nutrition

Obesity & Diets (budgies)

Click here: The Basics: Intro to Budgies / Parakeets

Click here: The Budgie and Parakeet Place - Care, Training, Pictures and More

Click here: BUDGIE CARE SHEET

Click here: Bird Proofing Your Home: Household Hazards for Birds

Click here: Bird Proofing Your Home - Avoid These Pet Bird Hazards

Click here: Find your local Avian Veterinarian

Click here: Avian Veterinarians Recommended by Bird Breeders and Owners http://www.birdsnways.com/articles/abvpvets.htm

Click here: World Wide Avian Vet Listing

Click here: BirdsnWays - Avian Veterinarians - Vets - Vet Services for Pet Parrots & Exotic Birds

This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only sold by vets so it's another good list to check. Click here: Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic pet bird diets that were formulated to make your bird as he

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