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Recovery from AGY (Avian Gastric Yeast)

Shilpa

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SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE BACKSTORY.

Recently, my female budgie, Chicky started vomiting. It was over the weekend but she had vomited on and off before but I was too busy to notice. I know it's a really bad excuse but I had a lot going on and I just didn't think too much of it. But this weekend was different. She vomited a lot and was overall puffed up and lethargic. It was the weekend and there wasn't much I could do because all of the avian vets in my area were closed until Monday. It was the same situation with exotic animal vets. Canine and feline vets said they don't treat birds. I put her in the hospital cage to reduce activity and separate her. I thought I could wait and get her an appointment on Monday but things got worse. Her poop became all slimy and watery and a very dark shade of green. She started becoming unresponsive and would only open her eyes if I shook the cage and when she needed to vomit. She vomited all night and all day for more than two days. It was like her body wasn't digesting any food. I was so worried and I did start a thread on 911 BIRD EMERGENCY HIGHWAY but there wasn't much I could do without a vet. I gave her ACV just to slow down any yeast growth (@Lady Jane and @Shezbug helped me with that) so she would make it until Monday. I was so scared at night fearing the worst in the morning. In the morning, I would wake up at the crack of dawn with so much fear to check her cage. I got no sleep and was overall depressed. My whole family was. She was never too close to us and preferred to be on her own. It's been over four months and she still gets scared when I am around. Still, we felt bad of course. What made us feel worse was that when she became sick, she started to bond with us. Stepping up, running to us, flying to us, sleeping on my shoulder, etc. These few days were the worst, especially considering the night before, I had gotten great news that would change my life. But she held on and eventually Monday came. I called my vet the first thing in the morning but more bad news came. They said they couldn't get me an appointment until the next month. I thought she wouldn't make it until then without treatment so I called other vets and they said the same thing. I was worried again and I called more vets farther and farther away. Eventually, I found a vet a few hours away that did could give me an appointment that day. The doctor had been treating birds for 22 years and had studied Avian Medicine and Surgery. I was worried the car drive would make her sicker or that she wouldn't make it but I had no other choice. I said I would be there and gave the receptionist my information. We arrived and they took Chicky in. I couldn't go in because of COVID-19 restrictions so everything was curbside. The doctor called about 45 minutes later and asked me to explain the symptoms. I did and he asked me more questions about diet and whether she was cage most of the time or not. I told him she was out of her cage most of the day and based on her symptoms and this info, he said two things concerned him. One was AGY and the other was that since she flies freely around the house, she could have swallowed something. He said he would have to do a stool test to check for yeast and an x-ray to check if she swallowed something. I asked if he could do the stool test first because I highly doubted that she swallowed something. Sure enough, they found yeast growth in her stool. He said the x-ray wouldn't be necessary anymore and prescribed Amphotericin B. He gave me a medical report and the prescription and thankfully, said he could have the prescription sent to a pharmacy in my city. When Chicky came back, she looked a bit better. The doctor hadn't done anything but somehow she kept her eyes open the whole ride back and reacted when I tapped on her cage.

I picked up her medicine (Amphotericin B) the next day after the pharmacy called and told me it was ready and I also got instructions on how to give it to her. The doctor had told me I would have to give it to her orally using a syringe with a towel restraint for a whole month. The instructions on the bottle said the same thing but with more info. 0.12 ml (squirted into her mouth as two drops) every 12 hours using the syringe provided by them. They also said the medicine had to be refrigerated. At this point, I have given her two doses, the Tuesday night dose, and the morning dose today (Wednesday). I accidentally lost a dose yesterday when Chicky moved when I squirted it and it spilled on my mom's finger. She is the only one in our household who can hold the birds without panicking lol. Anyways, since Chicky is not tame, it's almost impossible to "catch" her. She keeps running and flying around so it's impossible. So far we have been cornering her in her cage (sounds and honestly feels cruel but I don't know how else to do it) but I don't know how long I can keep this up. Does anyone have a more effective method? Also, she keeps biting and she bites hard too. She has drawn blood before and it is painful, trust me. Even as a budgie, her bites hurt but my mom refuses to use a towel to hold her because she is afraid she'll put too much pressure on her. She says she will only know if she uses her hands but when Chicky bites, her grip loosens and she sometimes lets go. Does anyone know what to do? So far, with drinking the medicine, Chicky is doing fine. She does refuse to open her mouth sometimes but when it is open, she swallows it and doesn't spit. I got the medicine banana-flavored because apparently, it was what most birds preferred at the pharmacy. They also said they could reflavor it for free once if she wouldn't drink it but no problems with that so far. It's the holding her part that we are having trouble with. Can someone please help me with this?
 

Macawnutz

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Sometimes you have to be the bad guy to do the right things. :( It sucks and I'm sorry.

Amp B is nasty stuff. You are supposed to wear gloves and not get it on you so tell your mom to wear gloves to help hold her.
It is also going to make her feel worse before better so a small cage would be good for her. Keep her warm and in a quiet place.
I would love to tell you to try and mix it with something yummy that she could eat on her own but that's a pretty important medication to not get the full dose.
It may make her vomit more so make sure she stays hydrated and is eating well.
 

Hankmacaw

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Your mom will need to use a towel or dish washing cloth. to hold the bird. I'm going to include a video on how to towel and medicate small birds. She won't be able to bite you if your follow the directions in the video. Keep in mind at all times that if she doesn't get her meds, she will die. AGY is very serious and takes a long time to cure.


After giving the medications, give your bird lots of sweet talking and be sure to give it a valuable treat once it is let loose. Always tell her/him what you are going to do before you do it and tell him/her how sorry you are.
 

Shilpa

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Thanks The thing is when Chicky is even lightly touched, she starts screaming which freaks us all out because we'll, she acts like it's hurting but then I noticed that even when she wasn't being held, she would scream if my finger got too close to her body. She also tries to squeeze her head through the cage bars sometimes to escape from being held but she hasn't had any luck with that so far. My mom has agreed to use a towel to hold her and that's what she did for last night's dose and the one this morning. As for the cage, she is in a small hospital cage to limit activity and save energy. However, she does fly around well when she has to. When she doesn't have to, she prefers to sit in one place all day and just look at things. She's not sleeping or puffed up. She literally just observes me and what I'm doing and spends the rest of the time calling to Mickey. I would like to mix it with something as she might eat it herself as well but I don't know how comfortable I am with that. First, I don't think she eats anything that I could mix in the medicine with and second, in case she decides not to eat the whole thing or not eat it at all, she would lose the dose. Oddly, her vomiting slowed down during the ride to the vet and completely stopped after she came back from the vet. The same with pooping seeds. Her symptoms completely stopped before I even picked up her medicine. She hasn't vomited once since and even her poop is back to normal. I have only given her the medicine for two days. Never mind, she just pooped and it has a seed in it. She is eating and drinking well so that's good. I'm trying to get her to gain the weight she lost from vomiting nonstop for two days. She was only 27 grams at the vet and overall, she's a pretty chubby budgie. She lost weight. And as for the towel, my mom's using this small cotton hand towel. I think I have seen that video before but I'll rewatch it just to be sure. I will get her every dose on time because those two days when she was unresponsive were probably one of the worst in my whole life. I want her to get well soon so I'll get her to drink the medicine. I have been explaining to her that I'm giving her medicine, petting her head when she's drinking it, and apologizing afterwards. I know she probably doesn't understand what I'm saying but she does detect the guilty and sorry tone when I speak and she actually sits and listens. But I'm actually having trouble getting her to open her mouth for the syringe. Anything I can do? I still have a free reflavor and I can use it but I am not sure if that's the problem because after I get her to open her beak, she drinks it with no problem...
 

Hankmacaw

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You have two hands available, if your mom is holding the bird, use a nail on the second hand to pry her beak open.

Do not mix Amphotericin B with anything else - she needs her entire dose.

You are just going to have to bite the bullet and do what is best and right for your bird.

You can do it.
 

Shilpa

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I'm so sorry @Hankmacaw. For some reason I never got a notification when you replied and I thought no one replied after that :unsure1: Thanks for the reply by the way! I did watch the video with my whole family quite a few times and my mom has been using this dishtowel to hold Chicky. And like you said, she hasn't been able to bit much because of the firm grip on her neck. However, she does find a way to bite by moving the rest of her body but definitely not as much as before. She has been getting her entire dose this whole time and I never mixed it with anything. Although, I most likely couldn't have even if I wanted to because she only eats chop, millet, and this seed mix. Nothing else. And the pellet transition hasn't been going great. One more thing though: I'm really worried that if I try to pry her beak open, I'll accidentally somehow remove it. I did it when you told me with no fear but when I saw the video that day (I have been taking a video of her getting her medicine everyday just to use as a reference if needed in the future) and it looked like I nearly took her beak off. I am worried because I think @Vithula started a thread and said that their poor baby budgie lost his beak because he flew into a wall (or a door... I'm not too sure). Is this a possibility? She still refuses to open her beak...
 

Hankmacaw

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@Shilpa
All psittacine have some articulation in the maxilla (upper beak). Not knowing much about budgies, I don't know really how much, but macaws have quite a lot of articulation. A budgie can absolutely take it's beak off by ramming it into something a high speed that is hard. Rarely ever happens, but can happen.

If you think getting a budgies beak open is hard, try getting a beak like on my Hank (picture to the left) open. A GW is amazingly strong.

Thank your mom very, very much for helping you. Just keep up as you are. Ask any questions you have. Realize that AGY is difficult and long term to cure.
 

Macawnutz

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Here... Opening isn't the issue. They open that beak WIDE so they can bite the syringe in half! :D
 

Hankmacaw

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@Macawnutz Need I remind you once more how birds "should" take medications:

Both deceased
 
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