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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 has respiratory and sits at the bottom of the cage

Customer Question

my budgie has respiratory and sits at the bottom of the cage I recenty was given another budgie but kept him in another cage but it seemed not long after I got this budgie my budgie got like this could he be having a llergic reaction to the other bird both birds are males but my one didn't seem to like him is that because he maybe was not well before because I thought all male budgies get on

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 4 years ago.

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,

Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 4 years ago.
Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.

Steroids are very dangerous in birds, and may make him much worse. Bird vets almost never use them. I assume your vet does not see many birds? Birds are never allergic to each other. Your little guy is very very ill.

What part of the UK are you in? He is in a life threatening situation and needs to be seen immediately by a really good vet. He will need specific diagnosis, treatment, care, and possible treatment for the steroids.

The new budgie may have brought in illness. If the original bird had steroids, his immune system will be even more suppressed. There are a lot of possibilities and you really need a second opinion, better treatment plan, diagnostic work, etc.

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

Here are some helpful links:
Emergency/Convalescent Housing

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.

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

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.
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 4 years ago.
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Every little bird is important to me, and I have suffered loss as well. I do truly sympathize.

I will answer you here and have your other question removed to save you that charge.

"dear pat please help me I received your ansrew about my budgie but before receiving this I had another appointment with my vet he give my budgie another steroid injection and within seconds my beloved little boy died why would this be it was like a heart attack how can he die from this steroid injection I wish I had spoken to you before if I had known about an aviary vet can budgies survie most things and what is the average age for a budgie to die and would it of been a painful death I feel so very bad and upset he was so special to me"

Unfortunately many vets are not very skilled or educated in bird medicine, and if your vet was using steroids they may not have had proper training in restraint and administering injections, either. If possible, the best thing would be to collect his remains and have a good, bird-experienced vet perform a post-mortem examination. When I do this, I try often return the bodies for burial or submit for cremation; it does not have to be a horrible procedure. A post-mortem would answer very many questions; and if there was a problem with veterinary care, you might have recourse. At minimum the vet might recieve more training or be warned off bird patients. I know it will not help your sadness and grief, but it might save other little birds down the line.

The average age for a budgie depends a great deal on his origin, husbandry, and genetics. In my area, 10-12 years seems to be about the average, but they can have pretty severe geriatric changes by 7-8.

Again, I am very sad for you.