: First Vet Visit for Rain
01-01-2010, 12:15 PM
I'm taking my untamed budgie (Rain) to the vet tomorrow to get her feather loss checked out. I was wondering what I should expect from the vet. I was mostly wondering how they will examine her if she's untamed? Will it hurt her? As well, I'm transporting her in a Canadian winter.. which means very cold.. any useful tips for transportation i should know about? I'm quite nervous about taking her.
01-01-2010, 12:51 PM
Are you sure her feather loss isn't just her molting? Every parakeet molts, and losing their feathers isn't a bad thing.
Is it an avian vet or just a vet?
Also, posting a picture would be good :)
01-01-2010, 12:51 PM
if it's an avian vet, they will know what to do
they will handle them the same tame or not
cover the cage when transporting and rain will be fine :)
01-01-2010, 01:14 PM
The vet will be fine with handling an untamed budgie. This is what has happened with me when I've taken my birds to our avian vet. They always weigh my bird to make sure she is not under/overweight, and may do an exam of her body, looking for any lumps or bumps out of the ordinary. The vet uses a tool to slightly open up her beak and then looks around inside her mouth area, and he also thoroughly looks at the feathers and vent area. The vet also checks out her eyes. They may recommend getting a blood sample or taking a fecal sample to do some diagnostics. They will know how to handle your budgie in a way that does not hurt her - she may be uncomfortable because she is restrained, but they will be very gentle. Do not worry :)
Like spicky said, cover the cage up while transporting it to keep the cold out. I have a small cage I use just for transport. I loosely wrap it up in a thin blanket and then put the cage +blanket in a canvas shopping bag. I check in on the budgies during the drive and play music in the car for them to chirp along to.
I hope your vet visit goes well!!
01-01-2010, 01:27 PM
Thank you for all your replies. I called the vet first because she has molted before but right now the top of her chest is completely bare and she still picks at it... so the vet told me to bring her in. This is a regular vet place but the only one in my area that takes in birds.. so i hope they know how to handle them.. it was recommended by a friend of mine who had budgies years ago and now she's becoming a vet tech.. so i do trust her opinion. I have a smaller cage that I first had her in when I first got her before I converted to a larger cage... I'll put her in there and then I saw an idea to put them in a laundry basket so I thought I would put a large blanket over the whole laundry basket that way she still has air.. but it said to put a hot water bottle in the bottom of the cage with a towel over it.. I'm kinda apprehensive to do this.. should I?
01-01-2010, 07:40 PM
Here are some pictures of Rain, I tryed getting as close as I could to the cage so you could see her chest but she was a little nervous since I took them from my laptop and not a camera. Hopefully you can see her chest and maybe someone could tell me if they've ever had their birds look like that before. Thanks.:S
01-01-2010, 07:45 PM
That's not normal...does she pluck her feathers?
If the cage is small, I would just carry it. You don't want it to bounce around too much in the laundry basket. Make sure that there are no toys in the cage so they can't bounce around and hurt your budgie. I would put in a little bit of food if the drive is long so they can munch on it.
I'm not so sure on the hot water bottles either... I would wait for someone else to 'okay' that. Maybe you could get the car started before hand so it is already warm when you bring her out?
01-01-2010, 07:50 PM
Yes, I'll warm up the car so it's warm when we get out there.. I'm using her old starter cage which is quite small and I'm not putting any toys in.. the drive should only take around 10 minutes so I don't think she'll need any food. I just liked the laundry basket idea because it has high edges so it'll protect her from the wind and handles so I don't drop her. Thank you for reassuring my feeling of something not being right. She does pluck her feathers out and I've seen her pick at the already bare skin but I try to distract her from it by whistling at her. Hopefully the vet tomorrow can offer some reassuring words for my birdy. Thank you for your help. I'll update tomorrow after the visit.
01-01-2010, 07:53 PM
Thank you for updating us, I thought it was just molting. The vet will handle her the same as everyone else said, I can't wait to hear an update, hopefully a positive one!
01-01-2010, 08:03 PM
oh ouch ouch that is serious
hopefully you'll get it sorted
thought about getting her a friend?:)
01-01-2010, 08:05 PM
I have actually, and I would be very willing to but I want to get the vets approval first. I don't want to put more stress on a sick birdy... plus I'm having a hard time finding a budgie breeder.. I'm reluctant to get another from a pet store as I did Rain because she was so afraid of hand taming.. So we will see. Thank you for your kind replies.
01-01-2010, 08:07 PM
And, your responses are worrying me a bit... does serious mean deadly? Do you think I'm taking her to the vet in time? Any ideas of what it could be?
01-01-2010, 08:10 PM
not serious as in she's going to drop dead
but it's bad and it looks as if she has been plucking
their is many reasons for her to be plucking, it'll be sad if it turns out she was doing so because she was lonely
imagine myself pulling my hair out....ouchy!
i hope tomorrow goes well :) i'm sure once all sorted she'll be fine and back in fitting form
it may be an underlining illnesses
remember all birds in pet shops come from breeders....so one will be near
01-02-2010, 02:12 PM
Soo.. we went to the vet.. what a stressful thing to do in -35 c weather but we made it. The vet looked at her and she doesn't think it's an underlying condition which is good but she said it's due to stress.. so she put a collar on her like my dog wore when she had surgery :) she was not happy and she's still trying to figure out how to walk but it looks like she's getting it. They also said she's a little underweight so they gave her a vitamin shot. They also gave me some printed information on feather picking and I asked about getting another bird and they said that i shouldn't think about that right now. She has to wear the collar for 6-8 weeks or until her feathers have grown back then we can talk about getting another birdy for her. She also said that sometimes people let their birds pluck and that as long as they don't irritate the skin to cause an infection that they are usually healthy. However, because her weight is down I have to really watch her eating and she gave me a list of vegetables to try to get her to eat as well. So I'm glad that she's okay but I hope the stress of the vet visit doesn't stress her out too much. So, let me know what you guys think about the vet visit. Thanks for your support :budgie:
01-02-2010, 04:17 PM
pictures of her in her collar which she is chewing off. :(
01-02-2010, 04:24 PM
Awww, poor Rain, having to wear that collar. :( It looks so uncomfortable for her. It reminds me of when my budgie Skyla had to wear one when she had a tumour; the collar kept her from picking at it. The collar we had for Skyla was also quite different in that is was spherical rather than conical. She hated it! It was a necessary evil, just as it is in your little sweety's case.
I'm glad you got the vet fine in the cold weather. It was definitely worth bringing her in!
Keep us posted on how she and her feathers are doing! :)
01-02-2010, 04:38 PM
I'll definately keep you posted, thank you... Any advice on how to get her to stop picking at the collar? it's fabric so she's chewing right through it! Are there ones that are harder that she wouldn't be able to chew as easily but aren't harmful?
01-02-2010, 05:06 PM
Well, there are other styles of collars that are used. Usually they are made of plastic. I am surprised that Rain was given one made of fabric. I'd hate to see her ingesting any of that.
The collar we have had with our budgie Skyla is this one:
I know it is probably difficult to see the collar as it is small, spherical and clear, but it gives you an idea of how discrete and unobtrusive it is (as far as collars go anyway... :P)
01-02-2010, 05:10 PM
That looks so much better! And she can't pluck her feathers with that on? Rain is having a hard time balancing and she can't get up into her perches which is really bothering her. I know she's spitting it out because I can see the blue stuff everywhere.. but I mean I paid $10 for a collar she's going to chew through? Do you know where I could find one of those? Is it from your vet or a store? Thanks for the picture.. by the way that little birdy looks adorable!
01-02-2010, 05:18 PM
aaannddd she took her collar off... I knew that thing wasn't going to work. Poor girl is sleeping now though.. vet isn't open until Monday.. should I try to put it back on or try to get a different one?
01-02-2010, 05:48 PM
Sounds like the collar you have right now is useless. I'm not sure I would bother putting it back on if Rain is just going to tear it off.
The collar you see in the photo was from our avian vet. In fact, our budgie started out with the conical style collar (much like what you have, but just made of plastic), and our budgie did not do well with it on at all. She couldn't get her balance so the vet suggested we try the spherical one. It seemed to work okay, and it was more comfortable for her. Hopefully your vet has something like that? :rolleyes:
01-02-2010, 05:50 PM
leave it for now and ring the vet and say it's just not practical!
did he say why she was so stressed?
surely once the collar comes off....she will have new feathers but she will just pluck them out again
the collar will only prevent her from getting to them but won't solve the problem
01-02-2010, 06:55 PM
I just got back from running to another vet before they closed and got her a plastic one with rubber around the inside hole to protect her neck. She hates it and I'm so exhausted.. she keeps trying to climb her cage because she hates being on the floor but I had to take out the higher perches because she has no balance. I don't know what to do anymore..
01-02-2010, 07:12 PM
where do i find a spherical collar?
01-02-2010, 08:04 PM
Hmmm, that is a good question. Since mine came from my avian vet, I am not sure where you could get one. :S
01-02-2010, 08:55 PM
I took the collar off of her for tonight, the poor thing was trying to climb the walls of her cage because she doesn't like sleeping in a low place. She could only feel comfortable enough perched on my finger and of course that's exhausting for me. Tomorrow I'll put it back on and call every vet and store i know to see if they have those spherical collars because I cant see us doing this for 6-8 weeks. i feel so bad for her. but what's good about this experience is that she's learning to trust me more, tonight she ate out of a tablespoon measuring spoon from my hand :) she also had some water. I'm so glad she's eating through all of this stress. Hopefully the little girl can get some sleep tonight and we can try again tomorrow :):budgie:
01-03-2010, 09:17 AM
I think it was best that you took the collar off your little sweety. It sounds like it was just causing unnecessary aggravation. Poor little Rain. :(
Like Spicky mentioned earlier though, I wonder if this is the best way to treat a budgie who is plucking. Using a collar may help curb the behaviour temporarily, but it is always possible that once the collar is removed, the behaviour will just continue.
I was reading a bit online and found some sources that seem to indicate that there are a few medical conditions that can cause a bird to pluck:
Giardia (an internal parasite), bacterial infections, improper wing clipping, and dry skin are a few of them. It was also recommended that your bird be seen by an avian specialist. The avian vet should then do a variety of tests, such as CBC, vent & crop swabs and a test for Giardia.
I was also reading the birds who pluck may end up with nutritional deficiencies because their body is constantly trying to replace their feathers. Ensuring a well-balanced and varied diet is important.
Have you been able to correlate the plucking behaviour with anything? Sometimes there are triggers, however subtle, that can cause a bird to do this to their feathers....
Ultimately, if it is stress that is causing the plucking behaviour, then it needs to be figured out what is causing that stress.... Perhaps a change in Rain's environment might help? Where do you keep her in the house currently? What is her current cage environment like? What is her diet like?
Sorry for the lengthy post. I just want to try to help. I was thinking about Rain last night as I was falling asleep and thought there's got to be more to this.....
How is she today?
01-03-2010, 12:17 PM
Don't apologize for the lengthy post.. you are helping! Before the vet visit in Rain's cage there was a large wooden swing with chewy's on each side there was also a somewhat larger set of chewy's hanging as well. She has a mirror clock with bells hanging from it, 3 perch swirls that she can move along her perch and a set of rings hanging as well. She has two long perches that go across her cage and then two half perches which are randomly placed in the cage. She then has one food dish and one water dish. She usually has a cuttlebone or millet in her cage.
When we got home from the vet I had bought some toys that are supposed to help distract a plucker, a chewable box with a treat in the middle and a chewable ball, I also bought a hanging series of wood pieces that they can chew on as well as two small ladders. I then took out the large swing and the chewable hanging from before and switched around her cage a bit. She now eats her seeds mixed with egg granulas and I try to mix in some vegetable or fruit but sometimes she doesn't eat it but I change it twice a day. She gets bathed once every few days and I do a full cleaning of her cage once a week. Her cage sits in my bedroom against an inside wall between my closest and a dresser which receives about half sunlight from the window.
I have a question about the dry skin though, would a humidifier help that or is that dangerous for birds. And the bad news is that I don't think I can convince my parents to pay more money for another visit.. the last one cost us $90 and the vet listened to her heart, looked at her feet, vent, beak and inside her mouth and weight her. They said she was a little underweight and didn't have full dangly things in her mouth which means she's lacking nutrition so they gave her a vitamin injection which I can get for her every two weeks if I want. The other problem is that I went to clinic that practices "Avian medicine" but I wouldn't even know where to look for an "Avian Specialist". And remember the vet said she thinks it's behavioral and not an underlying condition... should I trust this?
I read somewhere that birds that can see the door where people go in and out of sometimes pluck? But I don't know how to position her in my room to still be able to see out the window and not see the door.. do you think there's any truth to this?
Today Rain doesn't have her collar on and she's her usual trouble making self.. she's chirping joyfully and loudly and she's biting at her millet and checking out the new toys and has already tryed to dump her food dish which she loves to do. I just saw her biting at her wings a bit but she hasn't touched her chest since the collar came off but I imagine this is temporary. I will be calling vets and stores in a bit to try and find a spherical collar.
I'm not sure what the stress could have been, I honestly think it's a build up of loneliness since I got her because she is not hand tamed and she doesn't have a friend. I still talk to her everyday and we sing to the radio together but I'm sure it's not the same as having a physical companion. Although last night when she had the collar on, she trusted me to take her out of the cage and she would perch on my finger and she even began to fall asleep which is a huge change from before. She's usually very nervous around people.
Wow, sorry for such a long post.. and I'm sorry you are worrying about her before you go to sleep but thank you so much for being concerned.. I could hardly sleep too.. I was trying to listen if she had fallen asleep or was in distress or anything but it seems she slept well and has energy today.:budgie:
01-04-2010, 11:10 AM
I found a vet that has spherical collar!!! We are going tomorrow to get it put on her! I'm so glad I found this and I hope it works and they're only charging me $10 for it which was the same price as the cloth one :D I still see her picking but she's seems to be doing better. Thanks for everyone's great responses, you helped a lot!
01-04-2010, 11:58 AM
Oh perfect! Glad you found the collar! Ten dollars is a decent price for it too. ;)
It sounds like your budgie has a good environment and can get quite comfortable with you. I'm not sure how to solve your dilemma with the room. I have never heard of birds plucking because of being able to see a doorway. What I think can be stressful for them is if they were placed in a busy hallway and people constantly passed by closely to the cage... That could be stressful for the bird and could cause behavioural plucking....
It's hard to say as well if the vet you saw is correct about the diagnosis. What you could do for now is assume that it is and see how things go over the next little while. Spend lots of time with her getting her on your finger, continue singing with her when you are in the room, sit beside the cage etc. Hopefully that will help her.
Oh, about the humidifer... I, and a couple of other members posted about them in your other thread, so hopefully you will find that information useful.
I couldn't help but think about her before bedtime. That's when I do a lot of my thinking. :p I was feeling badly for her and her collar situation. I just hope that things all work out in the end. :)
Looking forward to more updates. ;)
01-04-2010, 02:35 PM
Well, my bedroom is attached to a busy hallway but I usually have my door closed unless I'm going right back into the room after leaving.. So I'm not quite sure why she's plucking... hopefully I'll be able to figure it out soon. Thanks for the support :) She's singing a lot today, she seems to have gotten over the vet visit well :budgie:
01-04-2010, 03:02 PM
Awww, that is so great to hear; the vet visit is now a distant memory! (Hopefully! :P)
My fingers are crossed that Rain is on her way to having her beautiful plumage grow back and that she is healthy and happy! :)
WOW, you and Rain have been through alot! Sounds like you have bonded with her. Is she still letting you get her and perching on your finger? When she is on your finger, that is a good time to offer her some millet! Bribery works wonders!! :)
Hope her new collar does the trick and she starts healing quickly.
Have you given anymore thought to getting her a friend? :budgie:
01-04-2010, 05:35 PM
Well when she has her collar on she's okay with relying on me to perch on and will eat from a tablespoon i'm holding but when it's off she tries to bite my hand if it's in the cage.. that could be because she knows I'm the one who put her collar on :( but we will see how she does with this new collar tomorrow... once she gets settled with her new collar and is able to balance on her perch in the cage i'll try practicing more with the stepping up and that. I'm still thinking about a friend for her but that will have to wait until she's settled with the collar and we'll see how she's doing. I'm trying to find a calming supplement to give her because of her nervous behavior, I don't want to stress her further with another bird. I will also have to buy another cage and will place the two birds side by side if I do end up getting another bird, just in case the other bird stresses her out or they need to be separated. Thanks for your comments!