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Long term pain management

LadJen

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Hello,
I have an old budgie that unfortunately seems to have a broken hip. She’s around 10 years old and I’ve been for a while trying to find ways to reduce her pain. She’s a happy little fella that lives in an aviary with a few other and still flies and sings and preens. But I can see that sometimes especially towards the end of the day or on the week with no apple cider vinegar she holds her little leg up and squints her eyes a bit. There are no avian vets around me, although I work at a dog clinic and have given her a bit of metacam at the beginning. But I don’t want to damage her liver or any other organ. Afterward I’ve been adding apple cider vinegar one week yes and one week no as I know it helps with arthritis plus she’s not my only older bird. And I’ve been adding cayenne pepper to her food daily. Is there anything else I can offer her to help with the pain? She’s not a big chewer but i can try offering her things you might recommend. I was thinking of starting to grow arnica to try to feed her the flowers? Try to find a willow tree? But wouldn’t know which branch to grab? If you have any recommendations I will greatly appreciate it. Just want to give her a better quality of life as she still has plenty of energy and I know she still has a couple years left. I added a photo of her with her brother who is a year older. She’s the bright yellow with black spots who’s a bit crouched.
 

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tka

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I think you need to think about quality of life here. Is it better that she lives for potentially another couple of years but is in constant pain, or better that she might live a shorter period of time but is pain-free? Birds are very good at hiding their pain or weakness from us so if you're seeing signs like squinting and holding her leg up, then she probably is in considerable pain.

Personally I'd use the metacam which we definitely know works to control pain. If she was my bird, I'd rather know for certain that her pain levels were being managed effectively even though it might reduce her lifespan.

Cayenne pepper and arnica are supposed to have some healing properties but for a broken bone, I'd want certainty that whatever I was giving her would work.
 

LadJen

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I think you need to think about quality of life here. Is it better that she lives for potentially another couple of years but is in constant pain, or better that she might live a shorter period of time but is pain-free? Birds are very good at hiding their pain or weakness from us so if you're seeing signs like squinting and holding her leg up, then she probably is in considerable pain.

Personally I'd use the metacam which we definitely know works to control pain. If she was my bird, I'd rather know for certain that her pain levels were being managed effectively even though it might reduce her lifespan.

Cayenne pepper and arnica are supposed to have some healing properties but for a broken bone, I'd want certainty that whatever I was giving her would work.
In that case I will continue giving her the metacam and continue offering the rest to prevent the pain as much as possible. Her quality of life, at least to me, still seems pretty good, she even flies around the cage in bursts of energy to stretch her wings. Always rushes to eat all the fruits and veggies I offer. I mostly see the pain towards the end of the day since she likes to move around so much. But I do see your point and I will keep a close eye on her to make sure that her quality is still good. I actually try to watch her through cameras or from a hidden location to make sure she's not pretending because she sees me and I normally just see her chirping and hanging out with the other ones.
 

Lady Jane

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Who diagnosed the broken leg?
 

LadJen

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Who diagnosed the broken leg?
My vet took a look at her although he only works with dogs and cats, that was his opinion based on the way she was holding the leg and position. I’ve also done research online and found an avian vet online that told me that’s what it seemed to, after showing pics and describing the symptoms. Plus found 2 articles online, one which was a case file of a veterinarian and the photos looked exactly like how my bird sits. So it’s my best guess using my low resources as there aren’t any avian vets in my area. From everything I’ve read it seems the best treatment is surgery but I don’t have anyone to do it and at her age I don’t think it would be worth it. The other 2 options are euthanasia or pain management and preserving quality of life as long as possible. I’m honestly trying to do what’s best for her and give her the best life I can.
 
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rocky'smom

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Be very very careful if using Cayenne in paste version ( ie: Cayenne powder mixed with water) my Rocky (bird in my picture) ended up with bad eye infection from Cayenne paste. The drops were over a $100.00 for 10 days of medication. He was on eye drops for 6weeks.
 

LadJen

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Be very very careful if using Cayenne in paste version ( ie: Cayenne powder mixed with water) my Rocky (bird in my picture) ended up with bad eye infection from Cayenne paste. The drops were over a $100.00 for 10 days of medication. He was on eye drops for 6weeks.
That’s a really good point I normally sprinkle some on her food and put them on her chop but I’ll be careful and keep a better eye on her
 
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