Budgie Diseases and Symptoms: First Aid Or Vet?

As an attentive bird keeper, you will immediately notice if something is wrong with your protégés. Budgerigars are extremely active birds that always seem to be on the move and chirp and moan incessantly – especially in flocks. If a single animal secretes itself and sits indifferently to the side or even on the ground for a long time, these are alarm signals. A sick budgie must be presented to the veterinarian immediately: the small body and its organism, which is working at full speed, can quickly be damaged if help is not provided immediately.

First Aid for Break Pilots – Accidents in Budgerigars

Accidents during free flight require treatment just as quickly. Budgies are fast-paced fliers that can perform spectacular flight maneuvers. But even in a known area, it can happen that a bird collides with an obstacle. For example, if the bird flies in front of the windowpane with force and remains visibly dazed on the ground, it may have suffered an approach trauma, possibly accompanied by a concussion.

If the budgie has no obvious injuries or breaks but seems disoriented, it needs rest first. Softly pad a small bird transport box with a cloth, bed the bird on it, and take it to a dark room. Important: Don’t touch it! Clarify the next steps with the vet by phone before you venture a transport. In many cases, birds will recover on their own after a few hours. Measures such as the administration of rescue drops or heat radiation should not be carried out without the express consent of the veterinarian!

Serious injuries such as fractures or bruises must be treated by a veterinarian immediately – secure the bird, stop minor bleeding with gelatine packs if possible and bring the animal to the doctor as soon as possible. If a cat has bitten the bird, even a tiny wound needs to be treated. There is a high risk of infection with cat saliva.

Budgerigar Diseases: Symptoms

Unfortunately, budgerigars are like most birds: before humans notice symptoms of illness, in many cases, the bird has already successfully concealed them for some time. In nature, this is a sensible survival strategy, because sick birds are easy prey for predators. Take the time to closely observe each of your birds for a while every day. Then you will notice small ailments.

Typical symptoms of the disease are:

  • Segregation from the swarm;
  • Sleepiness;
  • Apathy, disinterest in the partner;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Crouching, legs apart, sitting posture;
  • Constant sitting on the floor;
  • Changes in the feces;
  • Restlessness, nervousness;
  • Noticeably frequent, hectic cleaning;
  • Puffed plumage;
  • Breathing noises, also with tail rocking;
  • Glued anus and head plumage.

Digestive and Respiratory Problems: Common Budgie Diseases

A good indicator of the budgie’s health is the texture of the droppings. A typical parakeet blob consists of a semi-solid, clearly defined green and white curl that hardens quickly and turns black and white. Depending on the feed, the color and consistency can change for a short time, for example after eating beetroot or lettuce (which makes the droppings more watery). However, if the bird obviously has diarrhea or polyuria – an increased amount of urine in the feces – the feathers of the anus are sticky or if it has problems with noticeably large or hard balls of feces interspersed with undigested food, there is a digestive disorder. If the symptoms persist for several hours, medical advice is required. Diarrhea can become fatal after just twelve hours, as a budgie becomes dehydrated quickly.

Breathing sounds or difficult breathing can indicate problems with the airways. The diagnosis should be made by the veterinarian: From the fungal disease aspergillosis (which is rare in the budgie) to the common cold, everything is conceivable.

Poisoning – Household Hazards

Budgies are very curious and stick their beak into things that are none of their business or even dangerous. Make sure that the rooms in which the parakeets have free flight are bird-proof, so that the animals cannot even reach poisonous substances. If it does happen and a bird has nibbled on a poisonous houseplant or swallowed particles of heavy metals (lead, zinc, copper, for example when gnawing a cable), symptoms such as apathy, indifference and tremors can occur. Do not waste time and take the animal to the doctor.

Itchy Pests: Budgie Mites and Parasites

Budgies can acquire parasites even if they do not live in an outdoor aviary. The birds indicate the infestation with featherlings by hectic scratching and cleaning as well as noticeable restlessness. With a strong infestation, it can lead to damage to the plumage. To get rid of the ectoparasites, the vet uses an anti-parasitic drug. Grave mites, on the other hand, attack soft parts of the body such as the wax skin and legs of the birds: porous growths result. The treatment is medicated and by suffocating the mites with oil or ointments, alternatively, the use of a spot-on agent is possible – all these treatments belong in the hands of an ornithological veterinarian!

Beak Out of Control: Excessive Horn Growth

The overgrowth of the beak horn and claws can have several causes:
Since claws and beaks that are too long increase the risk of accidents and hinder food intake, the horn must be professionally shortened. As a beginner, leave the beak trimming and claw cutting of the budgie to the veterinarian or an experienced parakeet keeper!

The budgie medicine cabinet

In addition to the items mentioned, the emergency kit for budgie keepers should contain the following equipment:

  • Pipette (for instilling liquid medication);
  • Syringe without a needle (for pasty drugs);
  • Tweezers;
  • Swabs, cotton swabs, wound dressings;
  • Pet crate;
  • Wound cleanser (betaisodona solution);
  • Hemostatic agents (gelatine sponges).

A red light lamp and quarantine accommodation should also be available for emergencies.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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