Budgies, like all birds, are very adept at concealing their illness. This is a self-preservation mechanism, as the sick and the weak are the ones predators will focus on. By the time your pet looks ill, you can assume that your pet is seriously sick and is likely to deterioriate quickly unless appropriate treatment is provided.
By observing your pet daily you will learn its normal behavior and you will be able to notice anything out of the ordinary. Below is a list of things to look out for as possible indicators of disease / illness; and a vet may need to be consulted.
Signs of illness to watch out for:
Critical / Serious - bird needs to be taken to vet:
Introducing healthy foods - such as green leafy vegetables; red or orange fruits and veggies (which contain beta-carotene) - is a natural way to provide this nutrient safely. Calcium blocks should be provided also, to prevent calcium deficiency.
Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
Soaked and germinated "oil" seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while "starch" seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
Malignant Tumors, Lymphomas and Fatty Tumors (may be caused by seed-only diet): Tumors can be benign or malignant (cancerous) and can involve any organ or system. Some species of birds tend to develop benign fatty tumors called "Lipomas."
Lipomas are commonly seen in overweight Amazon Parrot, Rose-breasted Cockatoos and Budgies. It seems that older budgies are more prone to tumors of the ovary, testicle or kidney, which may eventually put pressure on the sciatic nerve on the affected side, resulting in lameness of the foot or leg.
Fibromas are tumors found on the wing and they may need to be surgically removed. In some instances, amputation of the wing may be necessary.
Testicular cancer in budgies: The cere turns purple-brown in male budgies.
Once cancer has been diagnosed, luprin is usually prescribed to reduce the tumor and, hopefully, prolong life.
Gout - due to kidney disease or an underlying metabolic problem. Show up as lameness or acute illness.
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