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Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience:  Expert
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My budgie had breathing problems squeaky voice and squeaky

Customer Question

My budgie had breathing problems squeaky voice and squeaky shrill
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the budgie's situation? How long has this been a concern?
Customer: a few weeks
JA: What environment do you keep the budgie in? Are there other pets or animals around?
Customer: no other pets or animals
JA: And what's the budgie's name and age?
Customer: dixie age 6 or 7
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: he is eating and drinking but looks a bit shabby today his feathers look dull
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 20 days 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!
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I am fine to wait but hope to get a response soon
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 20 days ago.

Hi there, you are through to Dr. Jake Im a UK based vet. Thank you for your enquiry regarding you budgie, Dixie.

How is Dixie in himself? is he still flying ok and bright and active?

This time of year birds are having their summer plumage come through, you can often see new feathering come through in a sheath which looks like a stick with a white film around the outside, this is normal and as they preen the sheath off ( or if he has a companion bird they will help) this results in a lot of feather dander which is white in colour. this is completely normal

In terms of the change in voice, have you noticed and heavy breathing? this can be seen as a 'tail bob' where their tail feathers bob up and down. a small movement of the tails is normal though if this is marked it could be a sign of a respiratory condition which could also be related to the change in voice.

are you able to upload a video / photos of dixie so i have a better idea of what his breathing looks like and what his feather quality looks like?


Dr. Jake

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Hi Jake I am away on holiday in the lakes today so can’t send any photos, it’s definitely a respiratory problem as I have noticed when he flies around he makes a squeaking noise and breathes heavy, he keeps opening his mouth as though he is trying to take in extra air and his tail does Bob up and down. His feathers are lovely except for yesterday when he was a little bit sick down his chest and he became a bit sticky.
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 20 days ago.

thanks very much for your reply.

A common cause of respiratory issues can be avian chlamydia though many bacteria can cause this and also fungal causes.

This can be prevented in budgies a few ways: diet is important - a lack of vitamin A makes the lung tissue weakened and more prone to infection. make sure you provide an adequate diet, fresh fruit and veg and a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement in the water such as Avipro avian. A seed only diet isnt adequate for budgies and generally makes them become sick. Seeded diets can be dusty also affecting the respiratory system.

Regular cleaning of the cage to prevent fungal spore build up and to keep ammonia levels low will help - these are toxic to the respiratory system and can lead to respiratory disease if levels are high. Many bird owners will have an air purifier in the room their birds are kept in to help with air quality as they are very sensitive to air pollution in the room- if you get one of these make sure its an animal safe one.

Budgies respiratory systems are very sensitive so aerosols, candles, fumes etc. can damage the lungs easily if used in the same room

2) chronic malnutrition can cause these signs, apart form vitamin A vitamin d3 and calcium are important - this also can be kept at a good level through adequate diet and also water supplementation.

the sickness is something that might be related or come be separate - if it was a one off then maybe not too much of a concern though budgies can get infections also in their crops which causes them to regurgitate, if he accidently breathed in some of this it could have set off the infection.

i would recommend booking an appointment with a vet when you are back from your holiday who has experience in birds, they can assess his breathing and prescribe appropriate medications which will likely be antibiotics and anti inflammatories, they may also recommend nebulisation with F10 solution at a concentration if 1ml f10 to 250ml water x3 daily for 10 minutes at a time - this will need to be done in a small container. Due to the sickness they may wish to look at some of the contents of the crop under the microscope to make sure there isnt any signs of yeast infection here

i hope all this information helps

Kind regards

Dr. Jake

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** tried to call many vets but they won’t see us as they have no spaces as we are not registered, do you know anywhere where I can just buy the medication online thank you.
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 20 days ago.

Unfortunately you cant buy medications online without animals having a full clinical exam and a written prescription. if you tell me the general area you live in I can try and help you find a vet who deals with exotics who can see dixie for you.



Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Thank you for all your help, I live in Liverpool the nearest bird vet is in St. Helens but I rang them and they have no spaces.
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 19 days ago.

Hi, no problem at all, yes your nearest avian specialist is rutland house.

another vet ive found near liverpool says they will see exotics here:

the next closest specialist vet i know of is quite far away in Manchester which is Ashleigh veterinary centre

Alternatively a small animal vet close by should still be able to provide first and and emergency care for Dixie and if they require further assistance they may ask for advice form the avian specialist from rutland vets.

thanks very much


Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** your help.
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 19 days ago.

no problem at all.