Saturday, May 19, 2012

Parasite Infestation (avian trichomoniasis)

Photo © Erlend Alvestad

As many of you know, our little Isla has been sick for a long time. The problem was clear: she kept having 'retching fits' and when it got worse, she threw up. Otherwise she seemed to be healthy. I contacted the vet about this several times. He told me to give the budgies vitamins and some kind of homemade food

In the end, he said that Isla was throwing up because she tried to clean her vent. That sounded more than a little ridiculous. I didn't study veterinary medicine, but I have a lot of experience with budgies and I could tell that the problem was crop-related. It just kept getting worse and worse. I noticed that she was losing weight rapidly. Most of the time she spent eating, eating, eating, but she kept throwing up the food. When I contacted him again, he admitted he didn't have a cure for the problem and suggested euthanasia!

I think I've never been so angry in my life. Isla is a young budgie, not even two years old, and he would just put her down without knowing what the problem is - without knowing that there's still a chance to save her?

That's when I started searching for a veterinary who is specialised in birds, someone who doesn't just treat cats and dogs like most of them do.
I found someone who lives fairly close to our place. Two days later I had an appointment. The veterinary, Inge Thas, immediately looked inside Isla's crop. The source of the problem was obviously in there. A few minutes later, Isla was diagnosed correctly with avian trichomoniasis.

Definition from Birds Online:
Another possible cause for vomiting is a parasite infestation of the crop. In budgies, the so-called avian trichomoniasis occurs quite often. Trichomonas is a protozoon and can kill a bird. The liquids birds throw up often smell fishy. This disease is highly contagious and all birds of a flock have to be treated. When parent birds feed their chicks or when adult budgies feed their partners, Trichomonas is transmitted. It also survives in the drinking water. Once an infected bird drank from the water, other flock members can be affected, too.

I hate saying this, but Isla's crop was FULL of those things :-( And since she kept feeding Frodo while she was sick, he got sick too.

Inge Thas was able to save my two birds, thanks to giving them the correct medication and care. I'm still torn with regret because I used to put all my faith in someone who doesn't know a thing about budgies. They have been suffering for nothing. But this is not going to happen again. If my budgies would get sick again in the future, I will know where to go. I want to encourage everyone here to do the same. Find a veterinary who is specialised in birds, your budgies don't deserve any less!

P.S. This kind of parasite infestation is apparently quite common in budgies. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, do not hesitate to seek help for your birds.
Isla probably caught it from another budgie in the pet store where I bought them.

14 comments:

  1. So glad you found an aviary vet. Reading your post mad me so mad at the other so called vet.

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  2. What type of treatment did the doctor prescribe for them? i'm so worried about budgie illnesses!thank-you for sharing this!!! are they all better now?

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  3. also...i was wondering if the avian trichomoniasis was possible for humans to catch? humans have a type of trichomoniasis too - will they be interchangeable?

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    Replies
    1. Trichomoniasis occurs in humans but its not called avian trichomoniasis and these are different in nature. The human one is sexually transmitted.

      Delete
  4. Glad you were able to find a vet who knew what they were doing. We have found that very few vets really know avian medicine or care, even when they claim to be "avian" vets sometimes. And, a lot of vets' attitude is that it's a cheap, disposable pet so just buy a new one...disgusting! Glad your case ended happily!

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  5. Yes, she really knows what she's doing. I'm never going anywhere else again :)

    @ elizlam: the avian vet prescribed a medicine called "tricho plus", against the crop parasites. Both of my budgies had to take it for 10 days, which was enough to get rid of all the parasites.

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    Replies
    1. Is Tricho plus a preventative or a cure?

      Do you have any advice about it?

      Thanks in advance :)

      Delete
    2. Is Tricho plus a preventative or a cure?

      Do you have any advice about it?

      Thanks in advance :)

      Delete
  6. My older female budgie has been puffed, seeking comfort/leaning on her mate and has been eating a lot. She's been dry retching every once in a while accompanied by a few sneezes, and the internet makes me think she has this same disease that your little guys did.

    How long was Isla sick before she got the proper diagnosis and treatment? My parents aren't keen on taking my bird to a vet because they think she's simply old and reaching the end of her days, so I'm on my own with taking her to see a doctor (which, with my transportation situation and lack of assistance, could be a couple of days). I'm asking because I'm afraid that even waiting a couple of days could mean death.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your stress. who was the vet you went to? my little rocco is going through the same thing and i went to a 'so called' bird specialist dr. phil in burwood. melbourne. DO NOT EVER GO THERE!!! he has no duty of care, no attention to detail and is just there to make money. he took no stool samples or tests and although i told him that rocco had all the symptoms of canker. i'm no bird specialist. but he gave me antiobiotics to give him twice a day and sent me on my merry way. one day later rocco wasn't getting any better. i called dr phil but he said to ride it out. i'm soooo glad i didn't and went with my gutt and took him to the bird vet in scoresby. they are amazing!!!! i will always go there in future. they took stool samples, tests and even have him for the weekend to undergo careful observation and treat him for canker because YES that's what he has! NEVER GO TO THAT SO CALLED BIRD VET IN BURWOOD. he has no regard for your or your dear family pets wellbeing. just dollars.

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  8. Is Tricho plus a preventative or a cure?

    About three months go my budgie passed from Trichomoniasis, Unfortunately it was to late to help him. He has another mate in the cage with him at the time and I'm worried that he may carry the parasite. He doesn't show any sighs aside for Dark Green poops which I head is normal on a heavy seed diet. Does anyone have any advice about Trico plus?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Is Tricho plus a preventative or a cure?

    About three months go my budgie passed from Trichomoniasis, Unfortunately it was to late to help him. He has another mate in the cage with him at the time and I'm worried that he may carry the parasite. He doesn't show any sighs aside for Dark Green poops which I head is normal on a heavy seed diet. Does anyone have any advice about Trico plus?

    ReplyDelete
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