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Why does my budgie have bad breath?

Sharlote

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11/19/21
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6
Hello! I'm extremely new to this forum but I had a quick question for any budgie owner that may know.

[ I have an avian vet appointment set for next week on Friday (the closest date they had available), but I am concerned if this issue requires me to do a walk-in for emergency care or if it can wait until the set appointment date. ]

My budgie, Nibbler, is a 6-7 year old female budgie. I noticed she developed a fishy smell in her mouth and it doesn't seem to want to go away. It has been like this for weeks (where I initially had an appointment set prior to the current one, but a potential covid-19 exposure in the household [we had to take tests] required me to reschedule.)

She is still active, eats, and drinks just fine. She doesn't puff up, regurgitate, vomit, have any discharge around her cere, have an abnormal tail bob, or seem to have any strange growths or bulges. This all began when I fed her some string cheese off and on once or twice a week for two weeks, until I noticed her breath (and found out it was bad to give her cheese). Ever since, she hasn't eaten the cheese in weeks, but she continues to have fishy breath.

Her diet consists of Lafeber's pellet berries, Intune pellets (ground up), and some millet. She has been too scared to try much else other than bananas and tangerines.

It is the first time I dealt with this sort of smell from a budgie, so I wanted to know if anyone has any idea what I could be possibly dealing with and whether or not I should be able to wait until my appointment next week on Friday or try to push her into emergency care. Budgies can be very sneaky about their health so I wanted to get a second opinion since I tend to be overly anxious about things a lot of the time.

Any feedback is appreciated! Thank you!
 

Miss_sj

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Hmmmm I am not super experienced so I will let some of the others chime in. I don’t like the sound of that to be honest- I wonder if the string cheese has caused some kind of infection or gut imbalance? Next Friday is a week away, to be honest that’s a long time for a budgie masking a possible illness. I think I would lean towards getting emergency care.
 

Sharlote

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Update 1:

She will be getting tests and some x-rays done today, as the vet seemed to have noticed a lump around her abdomen area. The vet did notice the fishy smell mainly from her vent so he plans on doing an in-house gram stain to check it. If she isn't too stressed---they want to also attempt a crop wash.

I will update later on when I get some results back from the avian vet after some of the tests. I hope she will be alright (in general and during the exams). Extremely anxious about it all :sad1:
 

reetybird

Strolling the yard
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8/15/21
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98
Location
North Carolina
Real Name
Casper
Hello! I'm extremely new to this forum but I had a quick question for any budgie owner that may know.

[ I have an avian vet appointment set for next week on Friday (the closest date they had available), but I am concerned if this issue requires me to do a walk-in for emergency care or if it can wait until the set appointment date. ]

My budgie, Nibbler, is a 6-7 year old female budgie. I noticed she developed a fishy smell in her mouth and it doesn't seem to want to go away. It has been like this for weeks (where I initially had an appointment set prior to the current one, but a potential covid-19 exposure in the household [we had to take tests] required me to reschedule.)

She is still active, eats, and drinks just fine. She doesn't puff up, regurgitate, vomit, have any discharge around her cere, have an abnormal tail bob, or seem to have any strange growths or bulges. This all began when I fed her some string cheese off and on once or twice a week for two weeks, until I noticed her breath (and found out it was bad to give her cheese). Ever since, she hasn't eaten the cheese in weeks, but she continues to have fishy breath.

Her diet consists of Lafeber's pellet berries, Intune pellets (ground up), and some millet. She has been too scared to try much else other than bananas and tangerines.

It is the first time I dealt with this sort of smell from a budgie, so I wanted to know if anyone has any idea what I could be possibly dealing with and whether or not I should be able to wait until my appointment next week on Friday or try to push her into emergency care. Budgies can be very sneaky about their health so I wanted to get a second opinion since I tend to be overly anxious about things a lot of the time.

Any feedback is appreciated! Thank you!
Sour smells are usually developing yeast infections, my birds breath stinks to but it’s normal in birds to usually have a normal scent. But if it’s string that’s a huge worry usually. Please get them to a vet
 

Sharlote

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11/19/21
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6
Sour smells are usually developing yeast infections, my birds breath stinks to but it’s normal in birds to usually have a normal scent. But if it’s string that’s a huge worry usually. Please get them to a vet
She is at the vet currently; waiting on results as we speak. She is getting stains done and some xrays after seeing a lump in her abdomen. Hopefully things can turn around for the better
 

reetybird

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Casper
She is at the vet currently; waiting on results as we speak. She is getting stains done and some xrays after seeing a lump in her abdomen. Hopefully things can turn around for the better
Poor baby, hope you are well :toyou:
 

Sharlote

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Poor baby, hope you are well :toyou:
They took x-rays and saw two masses---one large one in the crop, and one in the intestines. They aren't sure if it is a tumor or an abscess. They decided against a crop/fecal stain and referred me to another avian vet who has been practicing for over 40 years (on the off chance she may need surgery.) I'm honestly leaning towards potential abscess/build up from something she might have eaten that caused a yeast infection of sorts---but I will be getting answers next week when I get a chance to call that vet when they open up on Tuesday. Aside from that, they said she has no other issues. I'm incredibly scared but am hoping for the best
 

reetybird

Strolling the yard
Joined
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Messages
98
Location
North Carolina
Real Name
Casper
They took x-rays and saw two masses---one large one in the crop, and one in the intestines. They aren't sure if it is a tumor or an abscess. They decided against a crop/fecal stain and referred me to another avian vet who has been practicing for over 40 years (on the off chance she may need surgery.) I'm honestly leaning towards potential abscess/build up from something she might have eaten that caused a yeast infection of sorts---but I will be getting answers next week when I get a chance to call that vet when they open up on Tuesday. Aside from that, they said she has no other issues. I'm incredibly scared but am hoping for the best
Please update us. I am giving al my good luck and digital hugs to you my friend
 

sunnysmom

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Sending good thoughts. I hope she will be ok.
 

Sharlote

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Update for 12/3/2021 ---

I brought her to an avian vet and they got a better look at her and were able to feel around her crop. They said a surgery is absolutely required. It looks like she has a piece of a towel/multicolor rope she chewed on stuck in her crop and it is causing an infection in her crop. I made sure to ask the vet about the risk, and he assured me since it is a simple crop surgery, he has not had a bird die once from that surgery (and this avian vet has been doing surgery for longer than I've been alive apparently.) Other than that, my little girl is just a little overweight so she is on a restricted diet until surgery day because the vet wanted to make sure she has the least amount of fat as possible around the crop by the time he operates on her (to reduce the chance of bleeding significantly.) They left me with an antibiotic and sent me and her home and I'm going to be anxiously awaiting the surgery next week on Friday. Wish us luck. Crossing my fingers :nervous:
 

Miss_sj

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stacie
Oh dear . I’m so glad that this is treatable and the vet is all over it. It’s undoubtedly an anxious wait for you. Sending you best wishes!
 

Sharlote

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Update for 12/10/2021 --- Post surgery

Brought her into the vet today and she lost a little bit of weight (which is good!). My vet said she lost 3 grams, so it reduced the amount of fat around her crop. The vet said this will help with reducing the possibility (and amount) of bleeding when doing the procedure. I left her in his care and around 30-45 minutes later, it was time to pick her up. (She did bleed a little bit but by the time we picked her up, it was dried. She would have had more potential bleeding if she had the same amount of fat she had the last time she got checked on the 3rd.) He instructed us to continue using the antibiotic he gave us on the initial visit on the 3rd, and send her with us home. First few hours she had no interest in eating at all, selectively preening feathers around the sutures. Then she started drinking, and then she started eating more. It took around 8 hours post surgery before she started eating much more normally. As of now, she is fine. Still watching her poops, but I'll be keeping a close eye on her for the next two weeks until her sutures are scheduled to be removed. Honestly---so far the results of the surgery are great. She hasn't chirped since the surgery but I feel it will take probably a day or two before she will. But other than that, she is closer and closer to looking completely okay.

As for the surgery itself, they showed me what they removed from her crop :blink: It was about 2/3 of an inch long and about a 1/4 of an inch or so wide. This thing was HUGE! Turned out she chewed on her cage cover (which was fleece fabric) and a towel I had. The vet also advised that I removed any rope in her cage (like her spiral rope perch) so that this is less likely to happen again.

20211210_120916.jpg


Other than that, I'll update again in a few days or so and then again when she gets the sutures removed. If anything, I hope any of this information helps anyone else in deciding to take their bird to the vet. I only got lucky the fabric mass didn't get caught in her gizzard. If it did, her likeliness of surviving surgery would have dropped quite a bit. This surgery had a high survival rate given the vet I gave her to (according to his past achievements), pioneered some surgical procedures for small birds (amazingly enough.)

Anyway, thank you everyone for being so caring for her! I hope for a speedy recovery! :hug8:
 
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