The last two weeks
30 January 2014
Posted by on
We are still reeling from the loss of Thomas. After my last post on Thomas & his health problems, various things were going on in the background.
In writing this post it has turned into a clinical list of events. That is partly my intention as I feel the need to log our efforts to help Thomas:
- Tuesday, 14th January – Thomas began a course of antibiotics in the evening, to deal with a suspected infection.
- Friday, 17th January – By this time, his poops were like pea soup & Thomas was more lethargic & sleepy. I spoke to Mr EV that day & he said to come off the Baytril. I removed it & replaced it with Guardian Angel in his water.
- Monday, 20th January – Two lots of poop samples were given to Mr EV. One was to test for bacteria and/or infection & the other to check if he is digesting food properly. In the meantime, Thomas had a combination of Milk Thistle, L-Carnitine & Guardian Angel in his water.
- Thursday, 23rd January – One lot of results were in: Thomas did NOT have an infection. The other results were due later on, but speculating on those, Mr EV seemed to think the problem was all to do with Thomas’s liver not doing what it is supposed to do. He mentioned another supplement that is used for dogs & cats but not tested on birds (probably due to dosage etc.)
- Friday, 24th January – All this time, Thomas was getting worse. At this point, I gave him Aloe Vera juice in his water (5ml in 50ml of water) & also pegged up a piece of Aloe Vera leaf which he appeared to nibble/lick.
- Saturday, 25th January – Thomas had some slurps of the water with Aloe Vera. He was eating millet when offered & sometimes seed.
- Sunday, 26th January – In the morning, he stopped eating seed. Not even millet. In desperation I offered him different vegetables. He turned away from broccoli, celery, & spinach. However, his eyes lit up when he saw the beetroot stalk. Whatever beetroot had, he wanted it. He could not get enough of those stalks. In the afternoon he was even inspired to eat a little seed. I switched back to Guardian Angel in his water.
Despite the obvious need to medicate to improve Thomas’s condition, his general well-being was also high priority.
Some days Thomas did not want to come out of his cage. I got into the routine of letting Phineas out early to give Thomas more time on his own & not worry about getting in Phinny’s way or having to assert himself over a seed pot (they both preferred the same one). I would often use these times to sneakily offer millet through the bars (to avoid having the others gorge on it). As he was so weak, we felt it was important to make sure he ate (even millet) to keep his energy levels up.
Other days, Thomas really wanted to come out. I could not deny him time with the others, even when he was very lethargic. I was extra vigilant at those times. Cagney & Bezukhov were sympathetic to his condition but Phineas seemed oblivious. If Thomas was in the way & snoozing, Cagney would gently nudge his tail so he could tiptoe past. Phineas would just barge past.
When Thomas was out, I made sure beetroot stalks were available at the Manor. After a nap, he would seek out the beetroot stalk. I started offering him seed as it was a long way down to Cagney & Bezukhov’s seed pot. He would eat out the little seed pot (bottom of a fountain feeder), then chew the beetroot, then have a few seeds. It was interesting how much he seemed to need the beetroot.
I think the benefits of interaction with the rest of the flock, when poorly, cannot be underestimated (assuming under supervision). I feel that Thomas took comfort at those times being in the middle of the flock, being “normal” & belonging.