Bezukhov had another routine visit to the vet, two weeks ago, on the 1st June. This was to have repeat blood tests.
His previous visit was on the 16th April. Since then, we had “Black Wednesday” (22nd April) when he had 4 seizures in one day. I had the camera handy at one point & managed to film him having a seizure. It pained me deeply to do that but I thought it may be useful to have a visual record for Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV). That particular one was quite long, at about 24 seconds.
Ms EHV confirmed the seizure looked more like a vacancy episode than a grand mal seizure, although the origin of both is similar and the former is still a type of seizure.
We had another discussion over his medication with the result that we would carry on as per normal & wait to see if the next blood tests reveal anything else. The only change we implemented is to give Bezukhov some millet immediately after a seizure. Ms EHV said that seizures, however brief, use up a lot of energy so it may help him to eat a food with a high energy value as soon after as possible.
Bezukhov back in the travel cage
Bezukhov after vet visit with trimmed left cheek feathers
Bezukhov was a very good boy on his visit to the vet. She examined him before anaesthetizing him in order to get the blood sample. Other than the seizures, he appeared well. In fact, his feathers have improved. His belly feathers had previously developed noticeable dark tinges which Ms EHV said was due to his liver not functioning properly. As a result of his ongoing medication & supplements & also a recent moult, his new feathers have grown in without the discolouration (see comparison photos at the bottom of this post: Dec 2014 & April 2015).
He has put on more weight & came in at approx. 56 g. Like before, Ms EHV was not concerned as she felt a little extra weight with his condition is an advantage.
Bezukhov was a good boy & provided her with a blood sample. She returned him to me in a still groggy state & very fluffed up. Whilst he was ‘under’, at my request, she attempted to do something about his sticky, medicine-soaked cheek feathers. There was not enough time to wash the syrupy Lactulose out, so she simply trimmed those feathers. Only his left side is affected – I am not sure why, it must be the way I give him the medicine, or perhaps he has a dominant wriggling side!
When we returned home, there was the usual chirpy greetings, but I let Bezukhov rest a little while in the travel cage before letting him out. As soon as he started getting restless, I let him out & he flew to the manor & was reunited with his best buddy Cagney.
The results were available a few days afterwards. It was revealed that Bezukhov has low white blood cells (the ones that fight infection) and it was suggested that he may be suffering from a virus. For this, he was prescribed a course of antibiotics as a preventative measure rather than a curative one. His current medication regime to continue.
There was much discussion about administering of the antibiotics & hospitalising him for at least a week was mentioned to ensure he gets the medication twice daily. I decided against this as I thought the stress of being away from all that is familiar to him would just make him ill! Ms EHV has since prescribed an antibiotic to be given once a day. This has been included in the current medication regime & he has so far had 3 doses (I think – it is so very difficult to give him medicine!) As it is important he has the course without gaps, I prepare 2 syringes with the antibiotic. If the first one is squirted over his head or in his eye or spat out, then I can use the second syringe.
Medicating birds, particularly ones with PPC (Poor Patient Compliance), in my opinion, must be one of the most difficult jobs…. ever!
Bezukhov is otherwise in good spirits; he always has something to say, he is flying about & still eating well.
Bezukhov’s discoloured feathers from December 2014
Bezukhov’s improved feathers from April 2015