My parakeet has had a tumor for quite awhile, I know I will have to put him down. The tumor is now large, protruding

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Customer: My parakeet has had a tumor for quite awhile, I know I will have to put him down. The tumor is now large, protruding from his chest. Today I notice blood spots on his perch. I believe he is picking at it. My problem is he is still happy, singing, eating, and feeding his mate. What should I do?
Answered by Dr. Lisa B. in 3 hours 12 years ago
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Dr. Lisa B.
26+ years of experience
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1,386 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Bird Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Avian Medicine, Poultry Veterinary Medicine

Thank you for your submission. Firstly I would like to know if you have taken the bird to the vet since the tumor appeared? Has he been properly diagnosed? Also, what is his name? I will have a second round of more detailed questions depending on your answers. Looking forward to hearing from you :)
Customer

No, I did not take him to the vet, at this time I just could not afford the vet fees. I'm also a bit leery, as the last time I took a parakeet to the vet, he did unauthorised surgery, for a blocked oil gland, the cost was nearly 500.00 , but worse, the poor thing suffered thru the night and died the next day. My current Parakeet is named Nico.

 

 

Thank you for your reply in regards XXXXX XXXXX condition. The first thing I would like to do is to try and diagnose the tumor for you. What I would like is for you to describe for me in detail what it looks like?

how long he has had it?

was the development of the growth fast / slow etc?

Can you provide a description of Nico's overall mood?

Have his behaviors been impacted by the growth?

What is Nico's diet like?

Also how old is Nico and where did you get him from?

Im sorry to hear about your bad experience with a vet. They are way too common. I want to make sure to be able to provide an answer, if I can, to try and treat Nico properly. Giving you advice on how to try and save him would be a lot more productive for the both of us I think then a generic answer as to his comfort. Lets see what we can figure out. I look forward to your response.
Customer
Thank you! I first noticed his tumor approximatly 4(?) months ago, as a small bump under his chest. He had been on a seed only diet, so after doing some reading, much on this site, I added fruit, veggies, and grains to his diet, minimizing seeds. It has grown at a slow, but steady rate, breaking through the skin. It now looks like a pinkish large ball, with a darker red, almost scabbed looking top, although I dont know if it is blood. Most of the pink is still under feathers, but the dark bloddy looking bit is what is protuding the most. Nico is about 5, and was purchased from Petsmart. His behaviors have not changed, still quite happy, and active. I notice tonight he was climbing the cage between his perch and food dish, rather than flying between the perches. They have a VERY large rod iron cage. I added addtioinal perches tonight, so he could climb them to his fav high perch from the food dish. His appetitie seems fine, still active , and cherping away.

By your description it sounds to me that Nico has developed a fatty tumor. This is due to a high fat diet that was probably attributed to the seeds he was consuming. What you need to do is modify him to an immediate low fat regimen. Some of the seeds he was consuming were obviously the culprit and the reason why you would find advice posted everywhere about a balanced diet.

 

I would recommend diced blueberries (his dropping will turn blue dont be alarmed), diced raspberry's, strawberry even apple or other fruit... avoid high citric acid stuff like orange. Thinly sliced and cut green beans, shaved corn, carrots or anything else of this nature would suffice. The pet store would probably be able to assist with this as well. Tell them you need a no to low fat content in the diet.

 

These tumors when treated will dissipate, thats the good news. The bad news is that when they are left untreated they become a more serious issue that requires surgery. As you have already been made aware the process can be expensive and takes on a whole plethora of risks in its own right.

 

I would recommend a collar to avoid picking at the tumor and advancing the skin wound. I would think you could find this at a local pet/vet supply. Its important to ward off infection long enough to treat the little guy.

 

It is important to remember that Nico's instinct is to avoid the visual perception of injury to avoid predation and harassment from other birds. He is not going to show you he is sick. When he does it would most likely be a quick decline.

 

Also try to make him exercise a couple of times a day by playing with him. The activity is good for him. If he seems active we wont address pain relief at the moment. If and when it does become apparent... purchase some unflavored liquid ibuprofen... mix it one teaspoon medicine to two parts water. Administer it twice a day by dropper at the end of the beak. Do not get it into or near the nostrils. It will aid him if he is in discomfort.

 

After clicking the green "accept" button feel free to check back in with me in a few days with the reply feature to keep me updated as to Nico's condition. He may surprise you and recover with some love and help.

Customer
Thank you so much. I wish I would have sought your advice sooner! I will do as you suggest, and hope for the best, XXXXX XXXXX it's not too late!
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+ years of experience
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