We explain why budgies die, the signs and symptoms to look for, and how to treat a sick budge at home. Moreover, How to comfort a dying budgie.
As a budgie keeper, you probably know how strong the attachment with your bird can grow. The bond between the two of you might come to a sudden end when your pet dies. If such happened to you, it is a beautiful pet story cut short; and as you might know, feelings of sadness won’t fail to show.
Just like any pet, you keep; budgies require constant attention to keep them healthy. The parakeet in the wild does not compare with the one in your cage. The free bird is a born-survivor as opposed to the pet you keep.
Many differences exist that are advantageous to our friends in the bush enabling deal with health issues better than the one in the cage. A variety of natural fruits, seeds, vegetation, and insects to forage on in the savanna fortify their immunity. Since such provisions are not available in equal measure in the cage, your fledgling’s immunity might not be as strong as it should be.
Making a comfortable home is essential
Budgie keepers should not forget that the health of the pet comes upfront before other things. Making a comfortable home for your pets is essential in seeing them thrive to maximum lifespans. Giving them proper nourishment is critical to boosting immunity even though it might not match the nutrition in the wild.
In this article, we tackle several issues that concern the parakeet’s health. We explain why budgies die, the signs and symptoms to look for, and how to treat a sick budge at home. Moreover, we briefly touch on how to comfort a dying budgie.
Why do Budgies die suddenly?
If a relative dies suddenly, the first thing that comes to mind is a postmortem test. The same is true of budgies. Sudden deaths are a result of a critical underlying threat that you should attend to urgently.
Contacting a vet in your area is crucial in unraveling the mysterious death and helps you get recommendations on how to fix the problem.
Compared to other pets, budgies systems are fragile in several ways. In most cases, they don’t show symptoms until they stop their chatting and maneuvering. As such, it might be too late to call for help but to comfort a dying budgie.
Among several causes of the birds’ death, here are four:
Some illnesses might sneak in unnoticed to the owner’s eye. Such diseases include parrot fever that results from Chlamydia species. Due to its passive nature in birds that harbor the bacteria, it might cause sudden symptomless death.
If any, the symptoms of the disease might include appetite loss. In postmortem results, tumors show up after the bird’s death.
Toxins are poisoning that altar the body system and how it functions. These elements are more dangerous to budgies than humans. If you have noticed, most of the toxins that are harmless to you might kill your pet instantly.
These toxins might originate from many sources that you use at home. Beware of insecticides and other chemicals that you spray at home for various purposes. When parakeets ingest such through their water and food, it will only be a matter of minutes and, they will be no more.
Watch out for toxic fumes that can kill your fledgling. PTFE that coats cooking pans are harmful when they burn to smoke around your pet. Inhaling the fumes of the compound deals a death blow without warning.
You do well to avoid giving your bird food like caffeine, fruit pits, avocado and peanuts since they have toxic effects.
Your parakeet always thrives if you provide it with plenty of water and a balanced diet. Dehydration is one reason that budgies die without warning. Always ensure you fill the water troughs and bottles to keep the bird in optimum hydration.
Budgie food should be specific for them to help them stay healthy. You do well to buy seed mix for your pet, for it contains valuable nutrients that are missing in several birdseed foods.
In the wild, their cousins forage on fresh fruits and vegetation that are high in nutrients. You can try to replicate the same diet for your bird. Give to it some fresh vegetables and fruit to bolster his/her immune system.
A caution though, do not overfeed your parakeet, especially with high-sugar foods that would raise blood sugar level. Such imbalances are a cause of death in budgies and, you don’t want to go through an experience of that nature.
Heat exposure can kill your bird instantly. You should study the location of the bird’s cage before you allocate it. The environment from morning-to-morning should be good enough for your bird’s body temperature to stay at a constant state.
Overheating is one of the causes that will make your bird drop and fall asleep indefinitely. Do not lock your friend in your car when you are going out for long.
Other dangerous places to put the cave of a budgie include;
- an open-air where the day time sun rays strike directly
- closer to cooking spots and boilers where the flames and heat are extreme
Signs and symptoms to look for in a dying budgie
Since the four causes of death we have seen above are the common defining factor in a pet’s death, we do well to look for general signs and symptoms that manifest when your bird is sick.
Pay close attention to signs such as;
Difficulty in breathing
Just like in humans, (well, we understand this point better with the Coronavirus disease) you should not take breathing problems in parakeets lightly.
If the problem is due to overheating, worry less. It is OK for birds to pant as a strategy to control their internal temperature. Still, if it persists, it might be an indication that something dangerous is affecting your bird.
You do well to look for the following behaviors when your bird has breathing problems:
- Stretching its neck as it struggles to inhale.
- Opening its beak wide and breathing heavily.
- The tail moves up and down as it struggles to breathe.
- Producing unusual wheezing and clicking sounds
- Shortness of breath.
Infections in budgies can have several causative agents. Two of them are; viral and infestation by air sac mites.
How to differentiate between viral infection and mite’s infestation
The viral infection occurs in the upper respiratory tract, whereas the mites affect the air sac.
In a viral infection, look for runny nose, cough and sneeze typically to upper respiratory tract illnesses.
Signs that your bird has mites’ infestation include wheezing, hoarse voice, and sometimes chirping reduces. Without prompt action, the pet might suffocate to death.
If you realize that your bird is not moulting well, that is a sign of trouble.
Moulting is a process that all birds go through to replace old feathers with new ones. The texture, color, and firmness of the feathers tell a lot about the bird’s health.
Watch out for the following warning signs:
Failure to preen; if the bird stops this age-old activity, the problem might result from being too weak to work. As such, it is not the beak or claws that have the problem; it might be an illness taking root.
Parasite infection; parasites such as Giardia species can cause the budgies skin to be dry and itchy. As a result, it resorts to picking out its feathers.
Feather cyst; they are lumps that occur beneath the skin. These feathers grow from a depth that can cause harm to the internal organs. Surgical help is a must to extract them.
There is a difference between regurgitation, which is voluntary, and vomiting, which is involuntary.
Whereas the former is harmless, the latter is a sign of illness.
When the head shakes violently before the food comes out, it is a sign of vomiting.
Reasons for vomiting vary. They could result from;
Yeast infection: the characteristic nasty or sour smell that accompanies the vomit shows this infection. The bird shows other symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, and a swollen crop.
Liver infection: watch out for green coloring in the vomit that is often loose. Abdominal swellings and difficult breathing are all signs of a liver infection.
A change in the budgies fecal color
For you to tell its health condition, you will also have to consider the bird’s droppings.
If the material in the droppings indicates a relatively moist form, stable white urates, and a dark color, then, the bird is well.
Since you deal with the pet daily, you should tell the change in the droppings.
Bile in the urate; usually seen as a yellow color. It is evidence of liver illness.
Blood in the droppings; usually shows by the presence of red color in the fecal matter. Such indicates internal bleeding and intestinal tumors.
Grey or white droppings; instead of the usual dark color, the droppings presume abnormal white and grey colors. As such, the parakeet might be suffering from pancreatic failure.
Al the three symptoms are fatal indicators that your bird is going through internal pain. If healthcare action delays, you might lose your pet.
A decrease in the budgies’ activity
Healthy budgies are ever hovering in their cage. Signs of weakness include reduced movement and, often lying down is indicative of illness.
Other signs to look out on include; reduced feeding, sleeping at day time, shivering, unsteadiness, keeping silent, inability to move, etc.
How to treat a sick budgie at home
You can take several steps to treat your fledgling at home.
First, you might want to quarantine your sick pet to avoid the spread of viral or bacterial infections to other birds. It is easier to deal with the pet in isolation since you can give it the attention it needs.
Second, if the case is overheating, transfer the cage to a cool place with adequate ventilation.
Third, to deal with your budgie’s plumage problems, for instance, in feather cyst, you should avoid much handling for you might cause more problems. You do well visit a vet for surgery.
Fourth, serve your bird with sufficient, clean water to rescue it from dehydration.
Fifth, you can consult with your vet regarding proper medication for your parakeet in cases of infections.
Last, if the situation is beyond home care services, please make sure you visit a veterinary officer before your friend succumbs to its illness.
How do you know that your budgie is dying?
All the above signs and symptoms are crucial in telling the severity of your budgies illness.
Though some are more pronounced than the rest. Such severe conditions include;
Complete inability to move: this condition is fatal. When the bird doesn’t move, it may mean two things. Either it has many complications or a single deadly one. As such, it cannot eat, which worsens the situation.
Chronic breathing difficulty: apart from wheezing and hoarse voice, the bird might be having frequent seizures due to lack of oxygen in the body. This condition is fatal.
Extreme body temperature: if you do not help your pet, the bird might die of overheating.
Trembling and kicking its legs: the parakeet due to system arrest has problems of organ failures. There’s little you can do at a personal level to alleviate the condition.
How to comfort a dying budgie
Even with proper healthcare, things might fall apart; your friend might not live long. As such, you might want the last hours with him/her to be memorable.
How should you comfort your dying budgies?
To make him a warm environment, you would want to keep him in a warm room. To ensure that the room temperature suits the bird, ascertain its body temperature to help know the right environment for him.
If you have been holding him frequently, you can give him a warm yet tender stroke to calm his/her nerves.
You would want to cut on the budgie’s boredom. You might open the windows to enable it to feel and communicate with the outside, including its fellow birds. Let it hear the chaps and see the maneuvers of birds outside.
If you want to ensure the health of your parakeet, you should be ready to make necessary changes to the advantage of your bird. The challenge of caring for budgies comes in when they are ill. As a budgie keeper, you don’t want to lose your friend to any sudden incident that you can easily tend to at no cost. Regularly assess the environment your budgies are in to eliminate anything that could harm them.
Always try changing your budgies’ environment to replicate what they would frequently get in their natural world. Be sure to remove any chemical that could harm your bird from their vicinity. Being familiar with budgie illness symptoms will help you deal promptly with any case that arises.
Disclaimer: these are just some of the signs of a sick bird. Not all birds who display these are sick, and not all birds who are sick display these. Always, always consult your vet! If your bird is sick or injured please take it to an AVIAN VET. Alen AxP Is not an Avian Veterinarian!