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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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After trying to chirp with a rasping sound, my budgie (about

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After trying to chirp with a rasping sound, my budgie (about 7-8 years old) became quiet and over the last couple of days became fat and listless. Now she sits on her perch with her head tucked right back, doesn't respond to anything and is barely eating. Sometimes makes jerky head movements as if wanting to vomit or regurgitate, but nothing happens. Tried to feed her fruit in the past but she would never touch it, just sticks to seed and millet. Would it be kinder to end it, is she likely to suffer long otherwise? She does not appear to be in pain but I can't tell

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now I have to say that I am very concerned about Joey.

Birds are a prey species, therefore they usually go out of their way to pretend all is well. So, to see her showing so many signs of being unwell along appetite loss and possible GI distress, she is telling us that the underlying situation is getting advanced. Therefore, since her lack of eating is going to weaken her and lead to deterioration quite rapidly, you need to either have her checked by her vet to treat the treatable or would need to consider putting her down to avoid her suffering unnecessarily at home. If you need to find an avian vet, you can do so via the RCVS register's advanced search database (

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not really any farther on with this. Can you give an idea roughly how long she is likely to last or if she is likely to be in worse distress with this condition? having had to have a cat put down some years ago I find it hard to make that final decision again, even though it would be kinder.

Hello again,

As I am sure you can appreciate, no one has studied how long a bird will last when unwell (that would be quite unethical). Though if you leave her like this, which I strongly do not advise you doing, I suspect given her lack of eating that she will pass away in the next few days from starvation and dehydration. So, I know it is difficult but we cannot let her weaken and suffer that way over this week. So, either she needs to be seen to determine if she can be helped or given peace from what is actively suffering now if she cannot be treated.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thanks, ***** ***** that answers the question as best it can. It's always a difficult time for anyone.

Absolutely, it is never easy (even as a vet). Though with how she is just now, I'd not want you to let this linger for her since she is already telling us that she is too poorly to carry out instinctive behaviour or even keep her body going.

Take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Joey has just taken her last flight. At the last moment before I took her she seemed to perk up a bit, but apparently that happens. She had a bad respiratory problem as well as with her digestion. Once it was over the vet told me she released a lot of mucous, so she would have been in great discomfort breathing as well as in trying to pass anything. Thanks for the advice, it helped even though I was half-way there.

You are very welcome, my dear.

If they did find respiratory issues as well and she passed that mucus from her airway, then it was the kindest thing we could do for her (and a peace we cannot often even give people).

Please take care, my thoughts are with you.

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Case over now, best regards, Phil