Wholistic Advice Wanted for Sick Bird

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TinaLoui, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. TinaLoui

    TinaLoui In the Brooder

    10
    3
    11
    Sep 19, 2018
    I have an all-white female budgie named Snowy who has been very sick for about two weeks now. I realise this forum is for chickens but I was hoping many of you may have more experience with how to treat your birds wholistically and be of some help.

    We took her to the vet as soon as we noticed something was not right. She was fluffed up and kept nodding off even upon getting her out of the cage. Her poop had been looking a bit yellow for the past two days and we hadn't thought anything of it (though should have known).
    My 10yo usually feeds her once per day but if the seed doesn't look like its all eaten he just gives it a bit of a stir. Problem is we were giving her Coles brand Budgie and Canary mix for the last 12-18months after we moved house. As it didn't contain any vegetable oils I thought it was a good choice plus it had all these added ingredients, pellets etc that I thought would be good for her. As it turns out she has been picking over it all and just eating the millet. I had walked past her cage about a week before she started getting sick and had noticed her seed badly needed changing. I tipped the whole lot out and gave her a fresh containerful. The poor thing was starving she was so keen to get to the seed. She acted very similarly when I switched out her Coles brand seed for some fresh finch mix from the animal produce store, after we discovered she was sick.

    As soon as we noticed she was sick we took her to the vet for some free emergency treatment - 1/2hr in the humidicrib. They wouldn't let me out the back while they examined her and she screamed and screamed. It was so distressing. Apparently they wouldn't let me hold her due to "Workplace Health and Safety" issues in the event that my own pet bit me! (She does this at home anyway!) Anyway, it was such a foreign environment for her that I just wanted to get her back home where I could give her less stressed out care. That and the vet wanted to charge $150 per day to keep her in their hospital.

    I was told that without running tests that believed it was probably a liver problem as I had suspected but that it would cost a minimum of $50-$70 just for their consult, extra for tests etc. I was told that if they kept her in they would likely give her a course of aggressive antibiotics and fluids and then send her home for me to do the same. I declined their antibiotics and said I would prefer to give her colloidal silver which I have been doing for the past week or two. They gave me a little syringe which she gladly accepted fluids from for the first few days before become quite distressed by it so I stopped and just put it in her water container.

    I have been doing my best to keep her in the warmest part of the house each day which has managed to defluff her feathers when she is warm enough. She is still quite sleepy and depressed however with only the very very very occasional chirp.

    Usually quite keen to eat carrot, apple, parsley, milk thistle etc she hasn't wanted any of it since becoming sick. I gave her a piece of orange peel a few weeks ago from a friends farm before realising recently that the orange peels weren't washed....I do wonder if perhaps that could have been a factor as well.

    Whilst I was syringe feeding her I made up lots of goodies in a blender which I fed to her for a day or two before she baulked at it - parsley, chives, milk thistle, broccoli, cauliflower, apple, orange, scrambled egg (no fat or salt added), aloe vera juice, natural apple cider vinegar, cabbage. I have also been syringing or putting aloe vera juice in her liquid. I am unsure if I have been giving the correct dilutions of aloe vera juice/colloidal silver/apple cider vinegar and whether it is OK to mix all three. I have been trying to change the water every 3 days due to the aloe's potential to go bad.

    After all this her poop went from being yellow all over - poop, urates and urine to a light green now dark poop but still yellow urates. Her urine has also at times been yellow. I have taken everything out of her liquid today and just given her straight filtered water (fluoride still left in unfortunately...don't know if that could be making things worse as I know that's not good for humans or animals yet they still add it to our water supply). I have also syringed her some water today. Her urine is looking clearer but I have noticed overnight that her poop is getting quite large now.

    I give her a sock filled with rice and closed with velcro as a heatpack on her perch at night which she seems to appreciate. She climbs up on top of and snuggles up next to her mirror which seems to keep her company. When its taken away and put back in the cage she cheers up slightly and goes to almost talk to it. Usually I just flick the dry poop off the sock but today it was too large and wet that I had to give her a bath to wash it off her feet and feathers.

    I've been told that both the mirror and patting her, whilst she likes it, could be sexually stimulating her and causing her unnecessary stress if she cannot then release her sexual tension. Reluctantly I stopped patting her after this and took the mirror out for a day or tow but to encourage her to sit on the heatpack I reintroduced it. Now that she has the idea I guess I could take it back out again. I also put a towel in the dryer at night to warm it up and place over her cage along with a small baby quilt to keep her well insulated.

    Whilst bathing her today I noticed that her keel is becoming very prominent and her breathing is sounding like a ticking clock. The feathers around her bum are also looking a bit untidy but if shes had diarrohea I guess that is to be expected. What also alarmed me upon placing her back in the cage is that one of her toes on her left claw was pointing a bit sideways. I took her back out to have a look and cleaned up some dried up poo on the toe and could see a red spot nearby and in the crack between the toes. Yesterday she got herself caught on the heatpack as I was placing it in the cage - she gets quite excited and climbs all over it. Her claws have gotten very long...which is my fault for not trimming. I'd trim them now but I am thinking I might need to get a seperate pair of clippers to the household clippers...so I will look into that...but I am not sure whether this is a seperate issue to the general sickness or somehow related. I am also unsure what to do for her toe which now looks rather skewed. I am thinking it may have already been curled before the incident with the heatpack which is what caused her to become hooked in it in the first place.

    I just feel so awful that she is like this....and that it could be a result of something we have or haven't done. We have had her for 5 years but couldn't ascertain exactly how old she is as she was given to us by another family who could no longer have her as a pet for their autistic child as it wasn't working out really well. We were told at the time that she was still a baby but just how young that was we wouldn't know. If I had known things could become so bad and so expensive with even a bird I would not have taken her on as I don't believe in having dogs or cats unless we can afford Pet Insurance. There are no avian vets in our area and the local vet could charge us a fortune for as much of a hit and miss game as we are already taking. I figure if we can work out what the possibilities could be and treat her as though she could have any of those conditions then we are providing the best care for her that we can....in the comfort of her own home without the stress of strange people and noisy cats and dogs. The vet has already advised us that either way this could be a palliative care situation but they certainly weren't expecting her to still be alive after this long.

    Can anyone advise what natural remedies I may be able to offer my bird that I am not already doing or what dilutions I should be using etc?

    Please note...I am doing the same thing I would do for myself or my own human family giving her natural antibiotics instead of pharmaceutical antibiotics. I am not allowing my bird to go without medical treatment I am just giving her a more natural alternative just as would my own family members. The vet has already admitted that even if I gave her their pharmaceuticals they are not a magic cure-all and she could still be dying. So please spare the judgment here on whether or not I am being a responsible pet owner. My question was not how can I get out of my responsibilities as a pet owner but rather my question is to those who have experience with treating birds wholistically am I doing all that I can?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
    JulyFly and Feathers Brady like this.
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi

    15,924
    22,954
    902
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    Do they think she might have liver disease as a result of a mostly seed diet, which is very common in parrots that are fed seeds and not pellets and thus why a seed diet is recommended against? Yellow urates is a sign of liver disease.

    The main way to treat liver disease is with a change in diet. Birds with liver disease should be placed on a low fat diet, which should include pellets and healthy fruits and vegetables. A good diet consists of 75 to 80 percent pellets, and 20 to 25 percent fruits and vegetables.

    She sounds like she's not eating well and losing weight, thus the prominent keel. Sometimes birds need to be tube fed when you're trying to get them better from fatty liver disease.

    You might want to read through this about treating fatty liver disease: https://lafeber.com/vet/nutritional-management-of-liver-disease-in-birds/

    Of course, she may also have an infection that requires antibiotics. You could always try buying Baytril online and dosing her with that, since it's fairly broad spectrum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  3. I’m sorry about your bird. @Hen Pen Jem is my go-to person for hollistic remedies. If you are dealing with a liver problem, milk thistle might be worth a try.
    I would probably also learn to tube baby bird formula, but others might have done more good ideas for you. @Wyorp Rock has good advice on supportive care, too. Good luck!
     
    rebrascora and TinaLoui like this.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    24,384
    3,125
    546
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Why let her suffer? You've used just about everything under the sun including colloidal silver two weeks prior to taking her to the vet, where did that get you? No amount of holistic treatment nor chemicals will treat liver failure in birds.
    An avian vet will charge you the same amount of money as a regular vet, probably more due to his specialty.
    I've had budgies when I was kid. When it's their time to go, it's best to humanely cull them.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  5. TinaLoui

    TinaLoui In the Brooder

    10
    3
    11
    Sep 19, 2018
    Yes they suspect liver disease. However her diet was changed from produce store seed to Coles mix about 18mnths ago which contains pellets but she had no interest in them and I am concerned may have become starved as a result. I notice there also seems to be a lot of conflict about whether or not pellets are as good for preventing fatty liver as they are claimed. This experience has certainly turned me off.

    Tube feeding...is that feeding from a syringe? I started doing that when she first became sick but after a few days it seemed to be causing her distress so I backed off but a week and a half later and I have noticed she has lost a load of weight so have restarted the syringe feeding regime.

    Thankyou for the article. I read over it...a lot of jargon that I wasn't sure how helpful it was but I did find a couple of good reminders/tips.

    Baytril online....so you don't need a vet's prescription to purchase it then?? That is curious. I do hope though that the colloidal silver will be as effective. I think people tend to think that because its natural it can't be as effective...but I'm not sure if that's true and if it is as effective without as many negative side effects that drugs have than that's got to be a good thing.
     
  6. TinaLoui

    TinaLoui In the Brooder

    10
    3
    11
    Sep 19, 2018
    No....this is where you are wrong. The vet didn't think she would last the day and instead she has lived another 2 weeks while I have given her antibiotic colloidal silver. Sorry for the confusion on my part. I gave it to her by syringe initially but then backed off and gave it just in the water supply which I think was a mistake as her yellow urine seems to indicate that she has not been drinking as much without being syringed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  7. TinaLoui

    TinaLoui In the Brooder

    10
    3
    11
    Sep 19, 2018
    I have no idea if it's "her time to go" and would it be "humane" to euthanise your family member if they got liver disease or a respiratory infection? While she continues to fight for her life so will I....but you are right....vet fees are excessive especially when she could go anyway.
     
  8. TinaLoui

    TinaLoui In the Brooder

    10
    3
    11
    Sep 19, 2018
    Thankyou I look forward to hearing their opinions. Will they be notified that they have been tagged in this thread? (I am only new here so don't know how it works). I was hoping to give milk thistle but she has gone off her appetite for fruit/vege etc. She will tear shreds off a carrot (but not eat it) if I hold it to her mouth so the best I can do is put a blended food mixture on the carrot so she will hopefully swallow some.
     
  9. TinaLoui

    TinaLoui In the Brooder

    10
    3
    11
    Sep 19, 2018
    By the way....Liver disease has been suspected but no-one has said she has liver failure. Birds have been said to recover from liver disease including using natural remedies.
     
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    24,384
    3,125
    546
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Humans and animals/birds are no comparison, apples and oranges. One human life is worth MORE than ALL the birds on this planet.
    I've had many pets put down over the years either due to illness or old age. I begrudgingly cull my chickens when necessary and it's usually a favorite :(. Personally, I wont let an animal suffer. :old
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: