Help! Calling all Parakeet owners: Sick Parakeet! Update: She's gone..

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by 77horses, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Help! My Parakeet, Toddra, has been acting lethargic and ill for the past few weeks. [​IMG] I used to think it was normal when she was a little puffed, but it has been getting worse and worse lately. Today, she seems really ill. In fact when I first found her I thought she was dieing; she was all puffed up, her eyes were squinty, and she felt so light weight and kept falling over. I took her out of her cage (which she shares with 5 other Parakeets) and separated her with her own food and water. She was having problems with standing up straight on her perch and food dish. In fact, she had to sit in her food dish to eat for a while.
    Now, she is still fluffed up and her eyes are squinty. They aren't watery or anything. Her feet feel cold, and they should be warm, like a healthy, content Parakeet's feet would be. She seems a bit more balanced now. Also, her vent area seems a little dirty.
    All of the Parakeets always/almost always have fresh food and water. She's not getting pecked by the others or anything. The cage is big enough for all of them; they all have plenty of space and perches and toys to climb on.
    Her diet consists of a healthy seed mix that we buy (with sunflower seeds, millet seeds, etc...) and we give them extra veggies/fruits once and a while, but not as much as we should. Thdey love lettuce, but it's not the healthiest veggie, since it's mostly water. But they also like apples, broccoli, plain/non-salted crackers, whole wheat bread...That's about it.
    Also, their cage is pretty clean. The perches are most poop-free and we keep colorless newspaper in the bottom of the cage so we can change it easily and keep it clean.

    Oh and Toddra is the only Parakeet who seems ill. Her mate, Kiwi, is healthy and active and so are all the others. [​IMG]

    Thanks! [​IMG]

    (Mods: Please move this thread to the right forum if it's in the wrong one. I wasn't sure whether to go to the pets/other livestock forum or this one. Thanks!)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  2. jeannieo

    jeannieo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2008
    Collinsville, CT
    I hope it is not this, but I had a keet that acted just like yours and she had something called AGY (avian gastric yeast). It's not usually a good outcome and you need to get your keet to the vet asap. They check the poop and the medicine is something you give her 2X daily for a month! The vets kept my keet overnight and when I picked her up, the bill was $300! I almost s--t right there! but I thought she looked better and was eating like a little horse and she was dead the next day. don't delay, get to the vet.
  3. msdoolittle

    msdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    There are so many things that it COULD be that it's impossible to say. But, I would tell you that when birds act ill, it's an emergency. As you probably know, birds try to hide illness as long as they can (being prey animals), so when you see signs of illness, it is serious. If you can afford to take her to a vet, I'd take her ASAP. If you cannot, then I would keep her separated, keep a heat lamp on her 'hospital cage', and keep 3 of the sides covered w/ a blanket to keep in the heat. You are shooting for about 80 degrees or so. Obviously, you want to make sure she is staying hydrated (leave fresh water in, and you may even have to give her some Pedialyte orally w/ a dropper), and that she is eating. When we had in very sick birds in the clinic where I worked, we sometimes had to even tube feed (which should never, ever be done by someone with no experience) Anyway, a sick budgie is a very fragile animal.

    If she is not used to being held, please realize that just by picking her up, giving her meds, etc, could push her over the edge, so to speak, so please be aware of this.

    I wish you all the luck!
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I agree with Doodle, cept when my finch hen was sick, I covered her hospital cage with a hot wet towel, then another blanket on 3 or more sides, and put the heat lamp hitting the inside. It's amazing what high humidity might help with.
  5. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I'm not certain what is wrong with her, but if you can, it would be better to switch your parakeets to a less seed-based diet. Seeds are not actually the majority of their natural diet, and in high quantities can give birds in the parrot family bad liver problems that can kill them. I learned this the hard way with my first cockatiel, I rescued her from an abusive home and she never ate anything but seeds...died at about 10 years old of fatty liver disease. The veggies are good, also whole grains like brown rice (most like it cooked and warm, especially with scrambled eggs) or whole wheat products, and there are pelleted diets on the market that are better balanced nutritionally (unfortunately they're a bit more pricey too!). A little seed for a snack is fine. However, it can often be difficult to get birds to make the switch, and I've had a few rescued birds that would never give up the junk food diet.

    Hope she gets better!
  6. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Others have already posted some great advice. I definitely agree that you should get your birds on a pellet based diet rather than seed based. Seeds are not always as bad as they are made out to be, but rarely should they be given as the basis of a bird's diet. I would switch to pellets (although when a bird is sick, that is not the best time to attempt a major switch like that). I would put a lot of different easily digested foods out for her in addition to her regular diet- veggies, dark leafy greens, possibly some hard broiled eggs, and softened pellets. You can even mix up small amounts of hand feeding formula for sick birds to entice them to eat.

    Birds, especially Psittacines in my experience, tend to not show disease/illness symptoms until the very end. Going to an Avian vet is also usually a small fortune. Even a basic exam with lab work can run over a $1,000 easily. What you are seeing could be any number of things. Whenever I hear of a bird that has lost a lot of weight and/or is falling over, I automatically think of Proventricular Dilation Disease. It has become rather common unfortunately. Is this bird passing any undigested food in her droppings?
  7. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    Quote:They mentioned that the vent area looked a bit dirty. But if she is eating and still loosing weight maybe an intestinal problem. I really have no idea.
    I did raise parakeets several years back and had over 200 pair. I only lost 1. It was fine then next time I checked on them it was dead. All my birds where in a spare bedroom in an Aviary. I checked on them often. Anyway, I never had this problem. I do think the dirty vent is an indication to something. Parakeets normally keep themselves clean.
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ditto the above tips advice and comments... particularly about going to see an avian vet ASAP .... your bird is very ill and unfortunately these small birds are much more difficult to treat than chickens... particularly when they have been ill for a longer period of time as yours has been.
    Until you can get to the vet I suggest you immediately put the cage in the bathroom... add additional heat with a lamp (or turn up the heating > you will need to hang a wet towel up to increase the humidity... this is very important until you can get your ill bird to the vet. While transporting ensure it is in a closed cardboard box not the cage as this will keep the bird calm and not be drafty. Add electorlytes to the waterer and keep dribbling water along the beak (same as with chickens... when an ill bird/any bird/ is sick it will stop drinking and dehydration will kill it quicker than the ailment!)
    good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  9. Bantimna

    Bantimna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2009
    South Africa
    Quote:THe same like my parakeet Teeweetie, Boil the kettle and in a jug put a tea bag let it soak then remove and place in another cup with water. Now with the second cup let it cool and when cooled let her drink from it if you can. [​IMG]
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Quote:THe same like my parakeet Teeweetie, Boil the kettle and in a jug put a tea bag let it soak then remove and place in another cup with water. Now with the second cup let it cool and when cooled let her drink from it if you can. [​IMG]

    Are you talking about normal (black) tea??? I strongly urge you not to give tea as the caffeine content would NOT be good for a healthy bird much less a sick one.

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