Update on Sick Parakeets

Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Cruise Ship in Alaska Shown: Budgies "Nikko", "Lexi" and "Visa"

Thursday night (the day we took the parakeets to the vet) we gave them their medications (all 3 of them) and they did really well. Once Nikko realized we weren't going after puss in his cere, he took his medication graciously. His cere was looking a lot better, no longer inflamed and had obvious signs of healing. It still was a pinkish tint and looked irritable. Although the vet said we'd need to push puss out of it the following day(s), we thought it would be best to give Nikko a day (at least) off from it as we let it heal. This served to be really good. Plus a friend told me it would take at least a few days until there would be any puss to clean out (a relief to my ears). Their weights after eating organic pellets (Harrison's) and no seed but after medicating, was 26 for Lexi (+3 grams) and 28 for Nikko (the same). I was happy because as long as they didn't lose more weight, it was a positive sign. I was bummed Nikko didn't gain anything but happy that their weights were so positive without any added seed that night. Thursday weights:

  • Nikko = 28 (same as vet's office weight)
  • Lexi = 26 (+3 grams from the vet's office)
They had no problem eating the Harrison's pellets, they're the same size pellet as they're used to and they've eaten a lot of different kinds and brands... including Harrison's before. So that part was easy. Friday morning we weighed them and they were both -1 gram. This was before medicating. We gave them all their medication and I put them in a larger cage as they had spent the night in a travel cage. I wanted to make sure they both got a bath so I bathed them in the sunshine in the nice, Florida warmth so a chill would not be of concern. They weren't as into it as usual but didn't mind either. The oil from Harrison's was making their feathers yellow when it would get on the sides of their mouth (totally my fault, they have tiny mouths!) Friday AM weights:
  • Nikko = 27
  • Lexi = 25
I really wanted them back in a large cage so that I could watch their behavior and see if they were flying at all, things like that. Just to monitor how active they were being. During breakfast Nikko flew to me and all around the room a little just wanting to hang out. His cere looked completely healed and back to normal (as far as SIZE is concerned) but was still red. The good news was that they both were very active in the large cage and never hung out on the bottom, nor were either of them puffed up at all. I began taking AM/PM weights and even would weigh them throughout the day. I noticed that during the day their weights would both fluctuate a gram. Friday PM weights:
  • Nikko = 28
  • Lexi = 25
Saturday morning (after weighing) I decided to give them seed to help give their weight gain an extra push. And it seemed to help as I had hoped! You can see they both weighed more than had been charted before (from vet until now) with the help of the seed implementation. Saturday AM weights:
  • Nikko = 27
  • Lexi = 23
Saturday PM weights:
  • Nikko = 29
  • Lexi = 27
I feel really good about them now that we're onto Monday. If for anything, for Sunday's AM weights as the AM tends to be far less than PM. Sunday AM weights:
  • Nikko = 29
  • Lexi = 26

Still no test results back on Chlamydia, however, I really think Lexi and Nikko will be okay. Hopefully this charting of their illness helps you in your quest with your own budgie. Because they are SO small, you have to weigh them regularly to be able to catch illness. And these tests and medications don't come cheap, it cost me $200 per budgie for medication and exams. These prices may be over or under what your own vet may charge, but at least you have an idea of price.

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.

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