Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Monthly Archives: April 2012

Moulting & filming

To add to all of Atilla’s health troubles, she is now moulting.  She is shedding feathers left, right & centre.  She also has loads of pin feathers, particularly on her belly, above her legs & under her wings.  Her face also looks a little “ragged”.  She normally looks so well groomed, so I know she must be feeling bad.  In fact, the last few days she has moved away from her purple lantern mirror to sit on the (mirror-less) perch the other side of the Manor.  I wonder if that is because she does not want to catch sight of her reflection…

 

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

I took this video to show her chewing the toy but predictably she stopped chewing the toy, but did have a stretch, revealing all her pin feathers.  Then she made her way out to investigate the camera. 

Whilst investigating the camera, she managed to take this little film of Cagney….

The Big Blue Crane

Building work out the back has been steadily progressing Fencing for back gardens has gone up, along with paving stones.  All this work has been overseen by both Bezukhov & Cagney.

Whilst we were being distracted by the development of the back gardens, further along more work was being done behind the trees that are still standing.  However, it was difficult to avoid this building work on the day the big blue crane came.  This time the boys were a little overwhelmed to be shouting out orders to the workmen.

 

Sideways poop stalactite

Since Atilla’s dramatic “down” day on Easter Sunday, her poops have very gradually improved.  Though she herself has up & down days, I am pleased that her poop has returned to a more healthy colour, form & texture.  Every so often a poop gets caught on her lump & I try to remove it quickly before it becomes an unmanageable mountain.  However, she has had a poop-free lump for a few days now. 🙂

One morning she did have a rather interesting poop formation – a sort of sideways poop stalactite – that deserved a photo.  It was quite precarious & actually fell off by itself.

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No more bedtime swings

Atilla in position first

Cagney’s leg & foot problems have not been getting any better.  He is still holding his bruised right leg up & still has the sore underneath his left foot.  As the rope perches seem softer & kinder to his feet it was decided to replace the 3 bedtime swings with one long, bendy, rope perch.

Atilla was not fazed by the new arrangement & that first night immediately claimed her spot on the rope perch, next to the manor bars.  The toyboys were a little put out that the swings were no longer there.  They faffed about for some time.  After trying out all possible positions they finally settled, Bezukhov on the rope perch & Cagney on the peg!  So much for a nice soft rope perch for his sore foot!

Confused boys

The peg was about the same height as the rope perch so I could not see any particular benefit to him choosing it.

The following night, after more faffing about from the boys, Bezukhov settled on the peg & Cagney on the rope perch (halleujah!)  He had shuffled up next to Atilla but she pecked him away as she does like her own space whilst sleeping.  They did have a quick snog before boundaries were established though.

The next night, Cagney chose the peg again.  To try & discourage this choice, I made a slight adjustment to the rope perch so bent it up closer to the Manor roof, thereby making it higher than the peg.  Since then, he has slept on the rope perch. 🙂

Shall we settle here?

Talk to the fingernail

Bezukhov talks to the fingernail then flies to the camera much like his girlfriend Raspy used to….

Under Pressure

It has been two weeks since Cagney bruised his right leg.  The exotic vet visit was brought forward a day which suited us better.  Cagney was still not using his right leg although he was now stretching it out behind him when stretching his wing out which he was not doing before.

The added problem now was the pressure sore on his left foot as a result of not being able to rest it due to the gammy right leg.  This was getting him down somewhat.  When resting, he would hold his right foot up but slump to the left in a way that I assume he could take pressure off the left foot sore.  He looked rather sorry for himself.  He did not seem to be feeding Atilla as often but would go to her regularly for head preens, like he needed some extra comfort & tender loving care.  Atilla, even though still weak, would always give him a thorough head preen, complete with pulling out feathers that Cagney would want to check before she flung away.

After a bit of a chase, Mr EV was able to examine Cagney & confirmed he had a superficial pressure sore.  He said to give him antibiotics for the next five days to prevent infection.  He agreed that he was slowly regaining use of his right leg.

Mr EV also checked out Atilla & said she was looking better than when he last saw her.  That day was indeed an “up” day for her, where she was accepting seed from me & actually three times that day went down to get seed herself. 🙂  Mr EV advised that on her “down” days to give her some painkiller/anti-inflammatory medication.

The invalids:

Up & Down

Atilla seems to be having up days or down days.  I have stopped being too hopeful when she has an up day although I feel very happy on those days.  Equally, I try not to be too concerned when she has a down day as it may be followed (hopefully) by an up day.  So far, her down days have not been as down as that Easter Sunday.  Basically, we take it one day at a time.

On the Tuesday, I prepared an egg mixture with crushed pellets, seaweed & broccoli.  I put the egg dish on the landing platform.  At one point I was very surprised to see Atilla not only sat on the egg dish but eating the egg!  She had been very quiet & sleepy all day so it was lovely to see this little bit of activity from her.  It did take it out of her though & she had to have a sleep on the egg dish which meant the tasty contents were temporarily out of bounds to the toyboys.

Cagney’s leg was not getting any better so I booked a visit from Mr Exotic Vet – the earliest was Friday.  Although Cagney was still active, flying, eating & pooping, his leg & foot problems seemed to be getting him down a little.  He was turning to Atilla more & more for comfort…

Poop & a sore

Aloe Vera plant

On Sunday there was very little change, if any.  Atilla slept fine overnight, but all poop had got caught on her lump.  I managed to catch her, wrap her in a tea-towel & remove the offending poop.  Once again, I smeared vaseline with aloe vera gel onto her lump to either encourage poop to slide off or at the very least, make it easier to remove poop if it settles again.  Fortunately, after the poop-clearing she was able to poop clear of the lump.  In fact, during the day, only 2 or 3 poops got caught on the lump.

Red sore on left foot

The next day there was still no change – Atilla was sleepy.  Once again, I caught her up & removed her overnight poop from her lump.  Worryingly, Cagney seemed quieter & less active.  His right foot did not appear to be any better.  On closer investigation, I noticed he had a red sore under his left foot.  I can only assume this is because he has been using it all the time & has been unable to rest it.  He must be feeling very fed up.

About 3 times during the day I offered the seed pot to Atilla & she ate.  On one occasion she made her own way down to the seed pot.  She also ate some broccoli & of course anything that Cagney was offering.

Poop mountain, reinforcements & misting

Even though Mr Exotic Vet had cleared poop away from Atilla’s lump, it started building up.  I can only assume this was happening because the poop was either too runny, and/or she was too weak to do her squat & wriggle to propel the poop away from her vent & the lump.  I tried a couple of times to catch her to clean the poop but found it impossible to keep her still in my hand – she could wriggle & squirm for England.  That in itself was quite reassuring in that she was not so ill that she could not resist.

Spinach leaves

In the hope of loosening the poop mountain, I gave Atilla & the toyboys a misting.  As far as leaves, they only had spinach, so I picked out a few large leaves & hoped they would be tempted to get wet.  Atilla came out onto the landing platform quite quickly to investigate but I can only assume the water temperature was not quite to her liking as she turned her back & retired to her perch.  The boys had a little play in the wet spinach but I guess followed their leader & were not able to drum up much enthusiasm.

So, there was no luck with soaking Atilla’s poop, however the poop had to be cleared as it would not be long before it would be mounting up & blocking the vent area.  I decided to call in reinforcements for the next day.

Surprisingly Atilla was quite alert the next morning.  So much so that when I opened up the Manor she clearly wanted to fly & stretch her wings.  She promptly landed on the floor, but when I returned her to the Manor she flew off again, got further around the room but landed on the floor again.  No matter… I felt this was a good sign as she clearly wanted to be active.

Unfortunately, her activity did not shift the ever-growing poop mountain on her lump.

Not long after Atilla’s little fly, the poop-clearing troops arrived (my mum).  After much discussion, we decided the poop should be soaked for at least a minute & the best way to do this would be to put Atilla in a bird bath.  I would be the one to catch/hold her & mum would be armed with cotton buds & cotton wool for shifting the poop.

As a precursor I gave them all another spinach misting (in the hope that Atilla could soak her lump herself!)  Atilla did not have the energy to roll in the spinach but did get a little wet.  Cagney had a crawl through the spinach leaves & got a nice wet belly & Bezukhov had a romp & a dance over the leaves & I think he forgot that he was actually meant to wash himself!

The aftermath

So, after that distraction, it actually took us two attempts to get rid of all the poop.  Both times, I managed to put Atilla into the bird bath with warm water & keep her in by placing my hand over the open doorway (where the bath should hook onto the cage bars).  Atilla attempted to bite a hole through my fingers to escape but the skin on my fingers are like leather now (thanks Atilla & Raspy) so I could withstand the biting.

The soaking definitely helped in removing the poop.  On the second try I managed to wrap Atilla in a tea-towel which made it a lot easier to hold her still for longer.  Once the poop was gone, before releasing Atilla, mum smeared some vaseline on her lump.  I had already mixed in some aloe vera gel from a plant into the vaseline.  I hoped this would protect the skin on her lump as it is difficult to pull off poop that has hardened.

The poop mountain

What a relief.  The deed was done.  Atilla tweeted as she ran back to her perch & I think she appreciated being rid of the poop though did not appreciate the dunking in the bird bath or the general indignity of the process.  I turned the electric blanket on so she could stay warm as her back end was still wet from the bath.

After she recovered she was able to preen her bottom/vent area & tidy it up a bit.

Limpalong Cagney, sleepy Atilla & the Vet

Electric blanket on the Manor

The day after the Avian Vet visit, Atilla was still very sleepy & weak, in fact most of the time she could hardly open her eyes.  I kept her warm in the Manor under the electric blanket.  Her lump had got smaller due to the injection to reduce the excess fluid.  It now hung down flatly rather than being big & round.

Cagney carried on feeding her.  She did not accept any food/seed from me.  I boiled up an egg & mixed in pellets that I had crushed to a powder, crushed seaweed, a pinch of Guardian Angel & broccoli & sprinkled a few drops of water that had the antibiotic in.  I hoped this concoction would provide Atilla with more vitamins & hopefully more energy.

Cagney eating egg mixture

Despite Cagney gamely keeping up with feeding Atilla, his foot was no better so I decided to call out Mr Exotic Vet for the next day.

Come bedtime, Atilla made her way to the peg & after a little rest there, decided she wanted to sleep on the swing Bezukhov was on (the boys were sleeping on the two front swings).  It is possible that she did not even know he was there as she was still barely opening her eyes, but either way, she jumped on it & landed beside a surprised Bezukhov.  I offered my finger to Bezukhov who, still in shock, readily agreed to settle on the back swing.

Cagney feeding Atilla

The following morning, I found Atilla had made her way to the ttmss swing & was sitting there quite comfortably.  I handed up the water pot & she slurped from it.  She also climbed on my finger & walked up my arm, outside the Manor.  I moved near the plant pot stand & she jumped on it!  I think she appreciated the change of scenery.  She sat there for awhile, being fed by Cagney.  Bezukhov sat with them… all three on the plant pot stand.

Atilla's outing on the plant pot stand

When Mr EV & his assistant arrived, Atilla was back in the Manor & the toyboys were having a fly around the lounge.  Naturally, Cagney did not want to be caught & flew off whenever Mr EV approached.  Funnily enough, Bezukhov flew everywhere that Cagney did even though we were not after him.  Cagney got a little tired & eventually he was caught when he flew into the Manor to hide.

Mr EV confirmed that Cagney’s leg was bruised.  He cut his toenails as some of them were quite long & we assume he must have caught one, causing the bruising on his leg.  We were to allow more time for his leg to heal.

Cagney preening a sleepy Atilla

Atilla was still weak so Mr EV had a look at her.  He managed to prise off two large crusty poops on her lump that must have felt uncomfortable.  I explained all that had happened with Mr AV.  Mr EV said he would ring Mr AV & find out if there was any other medication to help Atilla.

It felt reassuring knowing that two vets would be discussing how to make my precious Atilla comfortable.

After Mr EV departed, I left them all locked in the Manor to calm down & rest.

Result of poop clearing

At bedtime, Atilla made her way to the peg & after a brief doze, launched herself at Cagney’s swing.  For a few moments, they were sat side-by-side, Cagney looking a bit shocked at her supposed decision to share the swing.  Then Atilla launched herself at the back swing where she settled for the night.