On returning from the vets, Raspy got rapidly worse. It was alarming. As she was struggling to stay on the perch, I held her in my hands, close to my chest. She was still straining. I tried to administer painkiller but she would not open her beak.
For the next hour I just held her & told her she was my beautiful little girl & that we all loved her. Strangely, you could hear a pin drop. The boys were completely quiet. No mean feat for them. I paced the room, holding Raspy, trying to keep her warm & comfortable. After about an hour of this, she gave a twitch of her shoulders & that was it. My beautiful baby was gone.
About 5 minutes after she passed, the toyboys started tweeting again.
I carried on holding her for another hour, unable to let her go.
Whilst Raspy was resting, I was able to turn my attention to the others. Atilla did not seem her usual self… In fact, she dozed on my shoulder for about half an hour which was unusual as normally she would use the opportunity to chew my jumper or my hair or ear. When I changed their bottom paper, I found that Atilla’s poop was far from normal…. very green & watery. If you can imagine a mushy pea soup, then you will get the picture…
So now I have two poorly puddings…. As the evening wore on, I could see that Atilla really wanted some peace & quiet, so quickly cleaned up the travel/hospital cage (again) & put her in there. After much faffing around, I managed to persuade the toyboys to spend the night together in the Manor, whilst Raspy rested in the Ferplast & Atilla was in the hospital cage. Naturally, I checked on both puddings through the night….
Morning came & Raspy was no better. She was not worse, but not better either. Atilla’s poop was still dreadful. Better call the vet…. I managed to book her in with Mr Exotic Vet (back from his holiday) for that afternoon.
As the day progressed, it seemed that Raspy got worse & was straining but nothing, not even poop, was coming out. About an hour before the vet appointment, she fell off the perch. She got back up again, but by this time I was really worried about her. I put her in the hospital cage with her sister so I could take them both to Mr EV.
By the time I got to Mr EV, I was all choked up at having two poorly girls. I filled him in on what had happened to Raspy since he had last seen her on the Friday. He checked her over & could not feel an egg. He also checked to see if there was any obstruction in her vent area as she had not been pooping & said all was fine there. He suggested I take her home & give her some painkillers as she was most probably still uncomfortable & sore from the operation.
He checked Atilla over & said she had an infection, probably brought on by the stress of seeing her sister ill. He gave her antibiotics to clear the infection up.
We got home around 16:30. I could hear both toyboys shouting from my front door. As soon as I brought the girls into the lounge, they calmed down a little. I immediately put Raspy in the Ferplast for more rest, however, she seemed worse….
It was 2 weeks ago today that Raspy laid her very first & most unexpected egg. Sadly, we had no idea this was the beginning of the end.
Five days later, I found her straining to lay her second egg. After a vet visit & a worrying weekend it seemed the egg was absorbed. By the Monday (21st) she was definitely back to herself again, as can be seen by these blurry webcam videos: Part 1 (EDIT: video no longer available) & Part 2. You will see she was happy in the Ferplast with her boyfriend Bezukhov, jumping about, having a little hanky-panky & going in & out the nest box like a jack-in-the-box.
However, when I got home that evening, I found her straining to lay another egg again. Things did not look good. I could see a red bulge, coming & going as she was straining. I rang the vet but Mr Exotic Vet was on holiday. I was told to contact a vet at another branch who deals with budgies. I rang them & was told she would ring back. Whilst waiting, I rang Mr Avian Vet but his assistant told me he was on holiday. I described Raspy’s predicament to her & she gave me as much information as she could.
I checked on Raspy all through the night. She just sat in the same place on the perch (she would normally sleep on the swing). Bezukhov was in the Ferplast with her & slept on the swing. As it got light, she got restless again. She now had a permanent big red bulge, with some blood. I managed to speak to Ms Budgie Vet & she said “Bring her in immediately“.
It took moments to get Raspy into the travel cage. She really was not able to resist or kick up a fuss at all (a very bad sign). Ms Budgie Vet said she had a prolapse & needed to be operated on as soon as possible. Quite literally, as soon as I signed the consent form, Raspy was whisked away from me. I was told to go home for a few hours & they would ring me when the operation was over, around 12:30-1pm.
Of course, I could not go home, even though it was just a 20 minute drive away. I stayed in the car in the car park & then went for a walk around the back streets. I got back to the car again & waited for the phone call which came at 12:30.
Raspy was okay! The operation went well, the egg was removed & the prolapse tucked in again & more importantly, Raspy had come to & was already back on her perch again. Gosh…. such RELIEF!
They asked me to pick her up at 5pm when Ms Budgie Vet would be able to speak to me. At that point, I did go home, & found Bezukhov shouting for his girl. Where was she? I told him she would be back that evening, but he did not listen to me & carried on shouting.
It was so good to see Raspy sat on her perch. She looked worn out, which was not surprising given the serious operation she had just gone through. I was given all the medication (antibiotics & painkillers) & told that the next 48 hours would be critical – worst case scenario would be that she would try to lay another egg whilst she still had the stitch in & her insides had not fully healed.
As soon as I got her home I popped her in the Ferplast for some rest & recuperation. Bezukhov was in & out, giving her comforting kisses. I covered her over & put the radiator up so she was warm & desperately hoped she would feel better the next day…
On Friday morning I uncovered the Puddings & Toyboys & found Raspy attempting to push an egg out. (Egg No.1 arrived on Monday). She would push then rest, push then rest, almost like she was having contractions. I was not too concerned at that point although I did recall Atilla popping out a couple of her eggs with relative ease back in January. I put Raspy into the Ferplast so she could lay the egg without distractions from the toyboys.
After about half an hour Raspy was still pushing & I could see an egg shape. Things did not seem right to me. I now put her in the travel cage. I rang the vets for advice & was told he would ring back when he was free. After about half an hour she stopped pushing but there was still no sign of the egg. I rang the vets & Mr Exotic Vet answered. He suggested I give her another one & a half hours & to ring again. That would bring us to midday.
At midday, the situation was the same. Raspy had stopped pushing but I was convinced the egg was still there. How long is it supposed to take to pass an egg?? For the third time I rang the vets, & was told to bring her in as soon as possible.
As she was already in the travel cage, I quickly bundled her up & took her out to the car for the short trip to the vets.
On arrival, we were seen virtually immediately. As Mr Vet put his hand in the cage, Raspy made her feelings very clear, very loudly. She did her usual wriggling act but Mr Vet coped well & examined her.
He said she looked in good conditions & was not showing any signs of distress. The egg was quite high up. She was not egg-bound. He was going to give her a hormone injection but did not think she needed it. Her vent area was inflamed. It is possible the egg will be absorbed by her body. He reckoned that she would either lay the egg, or it would be absorbed, within a day. I was to contact him if she becomes distressed – excessive tail bobbing, droopy wings, not perching etc.
I told him I had planned to get a nest box as the previous few days she had been going mad trying to find somewhere to nest. Mr Vet encouraged me to do this.
So, consultation over & we made our way out. Raspy did indeed seem relatively okay & was preening in the car on the way home.
In all that time she had not eaten anything but Bezukhov was feeding her so I knew she was not hungry. I dipped spinach leaves in the water with calcivet & she drank from those several times. She had not pooped.
In the evening, she started pushing again for about half an hour but then gave up.
That night both Raspy & Bezukhov slept in the Ferplast. I checked on Raspy at intervals through the night. She sat in the same place & seemed ok, no excessive tail bobbing or anything. On the Saturday morning she was bright eyed, jumping around & even wanted to come out the cage & have a fly but in-between those times, she was dozing all fluffed up, like she really needed the rest.
She had managed to poop a few times that morning, so at least something was getting through. Her vent area was not right & was still red & inflamed looking.
Poor girl. I spent the whole day watching her & taking the cue from her as to what she wanted to do, come out for a fly or whatever. I made sure that only Bezukhov was out when she was out as Cagney can stress her sometimes.
Saturday evening, I decided to attach the nest box to the Ferplast. Raspy ignored it – I do not think she was in the mood to explore. However, beady-eyed Atilla spied it but that is another post!
Sunday was much the same as Saturday but Raspy was more of her old self. She was still having extended resting times but also managed to fly around a bit. I let all Puddings & Toyboys out together & Cagney (surprisingly) behaved himself!
In the evening Raspy even managed to eat some seed.
I can only assume the troublesome egg has been absorbed. However, is there another egg to come???
Atilla likes broccoli. These days however, she will nibble a bit but then immediately start destroying the rest, throwing it about like it has personally offended her. It’s advisable to keep your distance when she is in mid-destroy as otherwise you will walk away with pieces of broccoli embedded in your skin, clothes & hair.
Here she is in action: (Yes, Raspy decided to investigate the camera & Cagney joined her.)
The major fights are only ever over the Puddings. The usual scenario is that both couples have synchronised hanky-panky but when Cagney & Atilla finish, Cagney then wants to take on Raspy, regardless of whether her & Bezukhov have finished their rumpy-pumpying & regardless of whether Raspy actually wants to boogie-woogie with him.
Bezukhov sometimes gets fed up of Cagney trying to get it on with his girl & this is the result…..
Today I found an egg on the Manor floor! What a surprise!
I did a double-take & thought, how did that clove of garlic get in there? On closer inspection, it was revealed to be a little egg. It was under the swing Raspy had been sitting on. There is a very, very small possibility it was Atilla’s egg & had rolled over from where Atilla perches, but my educated guess is that Raspy is the culprit.
Even though the shell of the egg was thin, it was unbroken. I had to see what was inside though, so broke it open to find a tiny bit of yolk.
Fortunately they have just had a few days with Calcivet in the water. I planned to switch back to milk thistle today, but will continue with the Calcivet for a little longer.
Raspy is fine. She has been quite lively the last few days, flying back & forth to the window perch. Like her sister, she has also been searching high & low for a suitable nest. I must check my sleeves for eggs…..
Raspy spends a lot of time preening, cleaning & sorting out her feet. There could be chaos around but she will be lost in a world of budgie tootsies. I can see why she cares so much for her feet as they are rather beautiful.
If you look closely at the above photo you will see that Raspy has a curly back toenail.