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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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my budgie seems to be eating but loosing weight and his waste

Customer Question

my budgie seems to be eating but loosing weight and his waste seems to dry onto his feathers
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you,

Shantal
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

I apologize as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do
you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you
like for us to close your question at this time?

Thank you for your patience,

Shantal
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.
Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.

I am terribly sorry no other expert has taken your question. We all come online at different times, I have just logged in and saw that you have not been answered. I hope I can still be of assistance.


Please stop the castor oil.It is highly toxic in brds, does not relieve cnstipation, and that may not be the problem. Birds need to eat frequently, removing food may hasten the end. Please offer all the food the little bird wants, and include fibrous foodstuffs such as brown rice, leafy greens, fresh veg, cooked carrots or sweet potatoes.

If she has had grit or sand, remove it immediately. If budgies have nutritional deficits (from seed diet) they will eat the sand/grit to excess and have an impaction. What you will see is eating with weight loss. Some of these materials are very high in metal toxins. Bird do not need to eat grit anyway, for digestion; it is an old and dangerous myth. Laxatives of ANY sort do not shift the material, it is in the gizzard and not in the intestines; the only thing that helps is a high fiber diet and time.

There are other reasons, such as kidney disease, reproductive disease, tumor, infections, and so forth.

Without a diagnosis, I cannot recommend any particular course of treatment, except good nursing care at home.

If you feel comfortable with it, examine the bird thoroughly, using gentle restraint via washcloth or hand towel: do not
restrict the chest or hold around the body. Check the eyes, nostrils, mouth and beak if possible, having a good look in there for mucus, redness, masses or anything else unusual. Palpate the tummy for pain, fluid, lumps or anything else (eggs, if female or unknown). Check all the joints for swelling, pain, and mobility. The feathers should be parted to view the skin, muscles and skeleton below; this can be done using a q-tip with isopropyl alcohol or KY gel. Look for bruising, lacerations, injured feathers.

Your job is to keep the bird warm, safe, quiet, and confined; and to provide adequate hydration and calories.

Move the bird to a box or carrier with soft towels in the bottom, no perch, and food and water in low bowls that can be reached easily. Put the whole thing on a heating pad on low or medium. Check it frequently, no overheating allowed! Keep the unit partially covered, warm and quiet. White paper towels or white cloth towels will show the true color of the droppings. Small animal/reptile boxes are great for this purpose
.


Do not try to force food or water. Pedialyte or electrolyte replacer can help but many birds do not like them; when in doubt, plain warm water is best. They can hydrate from oral fluids almost as quickly as IV if the GI is functioning properly. You can offer warm cooked rice, pancakes, cornbread, grapes, melon, greens in addition to normal food.

Pet/feed store medications and home remedies are harmful, ineffective, immuno-suppressive, and make them much worse and may interfere with the veterinarian's diagnosis and treatment. Do not use them. Homeopathy and natureopathic techniques do not work in avians and can actually be very dangerous.

I know it is expensive, but you may not have many home options, because the first thing you need a vet for is to find out what is going on. Treatment is only as good as the diagnosis. If you call around, you may find a vet to work within your means.
Where are you located i the UK?

I really must stress that you need a bird-experienced person, and not just a vet who advertises that they care for birds.

You need to take your bird to see an avian-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check

http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/index.php/Avian_Vets/28

http://www.avianveterinaryservices.co.uk/

http://www.birdvet.co.uk/

http://alanjonesbirdvet.yolasite.com

http://www.cjhall-vets.co.uk/index.asp

www.marknelsonvet.co.uk

www.arkpetsonline.co.uk

www.riversideanimalcentre.org



ireland
http://www.veterinary.ie/
http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/index.php/Northern_Ireland_Avian_Vets/164


If this were my patient, and money no object, I would start with complete fecal analysis and direct smear,
stained with Sedi-stain and unstained for multiple parasites, fungi, spirals; direct smear stained with Sedi-stain and unstained of the oral cavity; bacterial culture and sensitivity of the feces and choana. Depending on the case I might do a fungal culture. Routine blood work is necessary to rule out other issues. There are MANY DNA/RNA tests for bird diseases. Ultrasound is often more informative than radiographs and does not require anesthesia (ask your vet about this option). Generally I start them out on medications as indicated by the tests.


Your bird may need injectable fluids, calcium, antibiotics and many other medications. Act quickly and good luck.


Here are a few suggestions that I give everyone: important!

The following guidelines help with basic issues such as nutrition, obesity, good immune status. Surprising how the following can make a bird healthy, and how infrequently birds are ill if they are on the following regimen. No amount of medicine is going to work if the birds' basic needs are not met.

AAV Guidelines

Birds should be on a high-quality, preferably prescription, pelleted diet: I prefer High-potency Harrison's
http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/products/harrisons.html

http://www.hbf-uk.co.uk/

http://www.mah-shop.com/


TOP
http://totallyorganics.com/t-pellets


Hagen
http://www.hagen.com/uk/birds/addinfo/tropican.cfm


In addition, they should be offered dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin; entire (tops and bottoms) fresh carrots and so forth. No seeds (and that means a mix, or millet, or sprays, etc. etc.) and only healthy, low-fat high fiber people food. A dietary change should be closely monitored and supervised by your avian vet.

Daily Maintenance

Birds should get 12-14 hours dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep at night. Any less and they can suffer from sleep deprivation and associated illnesses. They should be covered or their cage placed in a dark room that is not used after they go to bed.

The cage material should be cleaned everyday, and twice a day if the bird is really messy. Paper towels, newspaper, bath towels are ok. Never use corn cob, sawdust, wood chips, or walnut shell.
Food and water dishes should be cleaned and changed daily. Keep one set cleaned while the other is in use.

Fresh, perishable food should be placed in separate food bowls. Remove fresh food from the cage after a couple of hours to avoid spoilage.

Change cage papers daily, and clean the grate and tray weekly.

Clean food debris or droppings from toys and perches as needed (which can be as often as once a day).

Grit is not necessary for birds, and will cause digestive problems and death. The best sources of minerals (and vitamins) are leafy greens. Never give grit, gravel sandpaper or cement perches. A bird will eat those to excess when it is not feeling well or if there is a nutritional deficiency. They do not need it at all (an old myth from the poultry days, even poultry do not need it). It can cause an impaction and lead to serious or fatal consequences.

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