Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Toxic plants for budgies

I had to call the vet over a second time last week, because Isla was throwing up again =(
This gave me plenty of reasons to worry, because she has been sick recently, and vomiting can be the cause of a few nasty illnesses.
The vet quickly found out what was wrong. He explained that budgies are in fact always busy cleaning themselves, because they want to be clean all the time. The problem is that Isla still had diarrhoea, and among other things, she has to clean her vent. By doing this, she accidently swallowed parts of the diarrhoea. Of course, no one wants to eat their own poop so it came right out again.

Photo © Erlend Alvestad

Now Isla is taking medication against diarrhoea and I have to clean her as soon as the poops start sticking to her vent again. It's almost like changing dipers!

Now my question is: where does this recurring diarrhoea come from? I have a theory. My budgies have been crazy over a certain plant we have in our room: a Dracaena Massangeana. Although it's not on any list of toxic plants for birds, I suspect that eating too much of it may cause diarrhoea. And my budgies are VERY addicted to the plant. Over the course of a few months, we noticed that Isla got diarrhoea/retching fits a few times, while otherwise she seems perfectly healthy. So we took the plant away from them (I felt bad because it's their favourite hangout spot) and now we'll wait and see if Isla gets better - for good. I'd hate to see my budgies on antibiotics again.

I caught Frodo nibbling the plant only a week ago. Photo © Erlend Alvestad

You can find a  good list of toxic plants and branches for budgies here.


  1. I find keeping fids out of plants so tough! I gave away all the ones that I could not identify. Still, Muffin, my cockatiel, makes a dash for the supposedly bird safe ones. I feel sorry for them - I'm sure they don't like to be chewed on!

  2. Hehe my plant suffered the same fate! I had to take it away because my budgies were obviously planning to eat up the whole thing! :)