A little more than two weeks ago, little Beau lost 2 grams of weight; he’s really tiny (originally weighing in at 28 grams) to begin with, so any drop was concerning. It didn’t come back over the next two or three days.
On day three, he seemed a touch unsteady, was rather sleepy, and lost interest in his toys.
We weren’t sure what was going on, but ultimately decided not to take a chance and brought him into the vet.
He’s been fighting for his life ever since.
Little Beau has a liver infection combined with an avian yeast infestation—that’s likely why he was so tiny to begin with. Our English budgie (Winston) loves tiny little blue budgies, so we picked the tiniest one of all; he was full of energy, had a bright yellow beak, and seemed healthy as can be.
Turns out that bright yellow beak was a sign of jaundice. He’s had this liver infection for awhile, probably as long as we’ve had him. The vet says that the avian yeast is present in many nests, and that normally it just results in some skinnier budgies. It’s only when other infections weaken their immune systems that it can spread and lead to massive malnourishment, which is our current concern.
Every day since, we’ve pumped him full of three different medicines (baytril for the liver infection, nystatin for the yeast, milk thistle to help his liver heal) twice a day and prayed he’d survive the night.
He’s not out of the woods yet, but we think his liver infection is clearing and he’s on new, stronger meds for his yeast (and so is his girlfriend, since it’s contagious).
Moral of the story? Weigh your bird daily—if he suddenly stops maintaining his weight, take him into the vet. It may save his life.
Beau is still fighting and is far from healthy. We’re going to give him the best shot we can at life; though he is little, he is so loved by us and his lady-friend.
He originally cost $15 to bring home from a local bird shop; his current vet bill is hovering around $600 with his numerous meds, the frequent checkups, the myriad tests. Though he is little, he is worth it.
Update: Beau held on as long as he could and seemed to be getting better, but he succumbed to his illness two months after being diagnosed. Still, he had a wonderful life and his girlfriend loved him dearly.